“I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Designing for a future that is not entirely clear is both challenging and exciting for user experience and interaction designers. During the developing stages of the product’s design, we work within the Design group and in conjunction with the Strategy and Technology groups to define what each brand experience should be, how it’s voiced, the platforms it should be built on, who the target audience is and, ultimately, we project how end users will receive the product. We call these beginning phases “discovery” and “ideation.” They present the greatest opportunity for our agency to discern how to target our efforts and how best to provide our clients with experiences that will continue to perform in a quickly changing market. Some of the big questions posed are:
How should we position content and messaging?
How will we leverage exciting interactions?
How can we use this branding opportunity to make a big leap?
But as the division lessens between designers and technologists, choosing which platform best suits the project is an increasingly important decision. It is a decision that should be made across groups with consideration for a range of opinions. The “design” of a product now encompasses each stage of the project’s lifecycle – from ideation to execution and then performance. And while design and technology decisions are made throughout the development of a product, it is important to remain flexible as a project progresses. The viability of an interaction or a concept may fade or it may not live up to expectations as it is realized; a good designer should be able to recognize this and correct the course. Despite the frustration that can come with it, it is this fluid process that makes our industry as exciting as it is.
We take a varied approach – designing for multiple devices, platforms and user groups, and the efforts of the agency have become much more integrated as a result. This makes the importance of communication and collaboration throughout the design process incomparable. We’ve found it important to take moments for discussion and reflection in every step of a project’s lifecycle, which are explained in the gallery below.
Creating a successful user experience will depend upon each stage in a project’s lifecycle, and seeing each stage through with an eye for the next can ensure that this happens with grace and ease.