© 2017 Exnauts. All rights reserved.
When a client walks through the door and puts a brief forward, a common practice by most app shops and even agencies is to digest the brief and produce something in return – but what really takes our fancy is the story behind it. What makes a good product great is the narrative, the passion of the founder, the enthusiasm of the team – all positively contagious if extracted in the right way. Discovery sessions facilitate precisely that in a systematic and almost scientific manner.
As the name states, a discovery workshop is a brain dump session in which potential clients are offered the opportunity to discover their product from a different perspective, whilst identifying what their current challenges are and how we can aid in solving them. The sessions are extensive, starting with the vision/dream and the motivation behind the business, and ending with tangible screenflows, and at times UI concepts. In the long run they help give substance to the following three areas:
Customer development using qualitative methods help identify the key pain points and how we can go about solving them using a minimum viable product (MVP).
Once the research gives you a good steer on which direction the product needs to go, the UX architecture can be mapped out in conjunction with the red route analysis.
The final stage in polishing the product is adding the beautiful skin to the wireframed experiences. These are often accompanied by fluid and intuitive interaction animations.
The red route analysis is one of our favourite techniques to map out user experiences, which ties in directly to the screenflow architecture. It helps articulate features that need to be at the forefront of the experience, as opposed to those that could be hidden away behind a menu, for instance. In addition to the red route, depending on the kind of product, several other exercises will be used in tandem – such as persona building, card sorting, emotion wheels and so forth.
The primary aim of the discovery session is to take away a tangible list of features
The features are then mapped onto a Red Route graph, which dictates the information architecture
The end goal before prototyping is the screen-flow diagram, which gives context to the entire journey
Our preferred tool of choice, among others, is Justinmind prototyping tool.
Cycle through the following slides to see what various screens look like in their prototype wireframe form.
Forming the bulk of UI design, screen design is exactly what it says on the tin – dressing your screens and all the elements therein with aesthetically pleasing skins that are in line with brand guidelines and/or other visual extracts from the discovery session. Traditionally the godfather of design softwares – Photoshop – was used for this process, but off late leaner and meaner softwares like Sketch have carved out a well deserved space for themselves.
While interface animations are often seen as a part of interaction design, which is in itself an important component within the giant umbrella of user experience design, the interface animations that we speak of are the ones which add a bit of flair to the UI rather than giving context to the UX. They are the user delights akin to watching fireworks in the sky, and were also traditionally created using veteran softwares like After Effects. Today, however, softwares like Flinto and Principle have taken centre stage.
While our process ends there – we are also able stay involved as part of a maintenance retainer, checking the builds with our QA engineer at the end of every sprint to make sure the product reflects the functionality and designs to the last pixel.
© 2018 Exnauts