When we see an app in the store, we do not think about the journey that took to get it there: we simply download it and enjoy it, sometimes more, sometimes less and usually that is due to the user experience. The UX is a path drawn long before you start developing the app.

In previous post we have already explained what Design Thinking is but, what is behind this methodology? Is it a trend or is it really the basis on which to build any design? (Hint: correct answer is #2) Sometimes, this process is attributed to interaction, thus to our sector ICT, nothing further from reality!. UX is behind every product we see, have and create. Interaction is not only digital, it is sensorial, everything a user feels when interacting with a product is user experience (be it an app, a magazine or a juicer) and it needs to be analyzed.

The design department of SlashMobility keeps this in mind and since its inception has implemented this methodology in every project that lands the company: “it is in our hands where they fall first and with which we start this path of the hand of the user. If we aim to launch a successful application, the first steps, long before we start designing, is to observe the future user of the app: who is he or she, what does he or she need, what does he or she do, how does he or she do it. ” That is why, in this post, Laura González our UX / UI Designer expands on this idea by explaining some of the methods of Design Thinking used to understand the essence of the user.

FOCUS GROUP & INTERVIEWS: EMPHASIZE WITH THE USER

A focus group is a group of between 5 and 15 people selected by the team considering the profiles that could interest for the investigation. The mediator asks questions to open debate and we receive all kinds of inputs from the participants: opinions, complaints, associated concepts, feelings, emotions, reactions. The second phase consists of interviews, which do nothing more than minimize the siege of focus group participants and get individual responses from Stakeholders.

BENCHMARKING: INVESTIGATE YOUR COMPETITORS

This technique is a must for the Design team: even when preparing content for the Sales Department to submit a proposal, Benchmarking is done to analyze the competition. It consists on identifying products (usually apps) that share characteristics with the project in question and detecting the do’s and don’ts. This analysis gives us very clear conclusions about where to go and what to avoid with just seeing what is in the market.

CUSTOMER JOURNEY: THE USER’S WAY

A Customer Journey is performed when the target or main user (or several) has already been detected. With this profile, a “person” is created: a fictitious profile extracted from that target. With this “person” in mind, a journey is drawn which shows the interaction between this user and the current situation (without the product we intend to create): get up, eat breakfast, leave the house, go to work, open the mobile, etc. . In each of these phases of the journey, we show the mood of the customer (mixing with Blueprint, another technique of Design Thinking). From this technique we extract the pain points: the most critical phases for the user, necessary rehabilitation on our part.

MINDMAP & MOODBOARD: INSIGHTS

These are two techniques that I have decided to explain at the same time because they are very similar, although each one has proper value. The mindmap is a textual map that is generated, like a genealogical tree, from words that derive from each other and form a network of concepts. On the other hand, the moodboard is also a conceptual map, with the difference of being visual: it consists of elements such as images, clippings, textures, materials, colors, etc. that we associate with the brand or idea that we want to reach. Be it from the mindmap or the moodboard, from these conceptual maps we extract the insights (insight: knowledge, keyword, perception) to begin to ideate.

BRAINSTORMING: IDEATING WITH A BASIS

And we reach the last technique introduced, my favorite, indeed! This is where we put everything on the table: what we have found, what we have extracted from the users, the concepts that we had already associated … and as the name already indicates, let the ideas rain! Thanks to the methodology of Design Thinking with which we have been paving the way, the descent (converging all that information into something definable) is much smoother and will be much more likely to bring up a solution. The goal is to generate ideas, many ideas: some very general, others useful, others wonderful and others not so much. From all of them we take what we want to do and little by little those that we like get closer to something more concrete. Hint: if each time you like them more, you’re on the right track!

So far our favorite techniques, but there are many more! And although we have explained these five, in SlashMobility we know that it is never enough what the user can take us to discover to be as close to success as possible, that is why we know many much more and we apply one or the other depending on each project. So many techniques, and so many users!

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