In my past 16 years of experience, I have gained experience in the following:
A great tool to help inform design decisions. These tests can be done quickly and offer solid results.
Talking to your users about more than just features provides an enormous amount of information that helps inform persona development as well and specific features.
Quantitative data helps the team decide where to focus their efforts. Understanding what your users are saying vs what they are doing can lead to interesting insights.
It would be great if requirements could just be picked up, but most of the time a hunt and gather approach is needed. It’s important to understand the personalities of the various stakeholders to plan a strategy of interviews and facilitated sessions.
Personas and scenarios are important tools to help keep the team focused on a specific type of user and their tasks.
Any one interface should have one primary persona. Multiple primary personas leads to an unfocused and confusing interface for both personas.
Secondary personas play an important role on the page, but not at the costs of the primary’s.
Tertiary personas are accounted for, but their features may be layered back behind a pop-up or linked page.
Team members that populate the site with content or provide support are affected by features which result monetary impact for the business.
The main goal of rapid iterations is to explore all options and fail early, before it gets to code where changes are expensive and time consuming.
Help visualize complex interactions without waiting for the UI to be figured out.
Allow for quick, broad explorations. Promote creative solutions.
Bring wireframes alive with natural page flows and details interaction behaviors.
Once the flow and general structure has been decided, the design refinement stage starts. Various details need to be hashed out such as:
It is important to stay connected through the development phase in order to maintain design intent.
The Agile development methodology has many advantages, one of which is to allow the design to continue evolving to account for both limitations and opportunities. This can be best achieved if the UX designer engaged throughout the process.