One of the key differentiators of how we work at DMI is our User Centered Design Process. The core objective of UCD is to involve the key stakeholders and end-users at every stage to the greatest extent possible. Our process is split in 4 phases from Ideation to Production:
Service Concept Design
Start by understanding the objectives, customer insights and business rationale behind the concept. Then we expand it together by:
a. Research and analysis
b. Identifying use cases related to the concept
c. Story boarding the use cases and test with Client/User stakeholder and focus group
d. Refining and prioritizing additional use cases
e. The prioritized use cases and concepts from the Research & Analysis are brought to life with sketches
User Experience Design (UX)
Our process includes:
a. Creating Mood boards and review with Client/User
b. Describing the user flows and information architecture
c. Producing sketches of the app or site
d. Producing Wireframes
e. Reviewing user flows, wireframes and mood boards with Client/User stakeholders
User Interface Design (UI)
Once the UX has been signed off, UI starts including:
a. Producing pixel perfect and device specific mock-ups
b. Reviewing visual designs with Client/User stakeholders
c. Optimising based on feedback
III. USER TESTING
Depending on the type of project and timelines we sometimes use prototyping and other times go straight to agile development. For prototyping we use e.g. the tool Proto.io to create an interactive, downloadable app containing the pixel perfect mock-ups from the UI design. The app can be tested with users as if it was a fully functional one although it’s limited by the use number of screens and functionality that has been designed
User Task Analysis
Identification and thorough understanding of end users’ goals and tasks.
Throughout the process we engage the end user and key stakeholders as frequently as possible. Ideally, we observe real users performing the actions and ask them what they need. We get inside the users’ heads and check out the tools they currently use, how they approach the tasks at hand, limitations or problems they encounter, and ways to enhance their experience. This analysis is conducted by making a number of assumptions based on the definition of the target audience.
User testing feeds back into the process (see graph: Prototype)
Instead of directing the user we watch what users do, where they have difficulties, and why they have those issues, results are recorded to avoid ‘false memory syndrome’ and to provide solid information for colleagues and management.
Testing is usually done on relatively small groups of people, generally no more than 5 representatives of each target user profile. We don’t need a huge sample because we are looking to identify problems and design solutions as opposed to discovering how many people have the same problem.
Five users can usually identify approximately 80% of all problems, so we test, analyze, redesign, test again, analyze, redesign, etc. Eventually fewer problems will be encountered and when the client is satisfied with the results we can sign off on the prototype or release the final product.
Once we are satisfied that the concept, design and core use cases will satisfy the users we move into agile development of the mobile service. In some cases we may do this straight from Design and incorporate user testing in Production whereas in other cases user testing is done through prototyping.
During Production we start user testing from the first working release of the software to ensure that we are are developing fulfills the users needs and to get feedback on improvements.
Discover our other work processes: