Process is the way that things get done.
In working on a range of digital experiences and website projects, I’ve developed a methodology that combines rigorous discovery with Agile design and development principles. This approach favors inquiry and collaboration over pre-prescribed solutions, a high level of transparency between client and agency teams, and values individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
When it comes down to it, designing a site for the right audience is crucial to its success. After our kickoff where I’ve listened to you talk about your audiences and their goals, I conduct user interviews where I have an opportunity to speak with your users to learn more about them, their needs, and goals. I take what I’ve learned back to the drawing board to create personas based on your user’s demographics, needs, goals, and behaviors. These personas will guide us to always make decisions based on the needs of our audience.
Uncovering Data & Unique Insights
I look at best practices, what the current trends are, and how we can make the user experience better across the site. Some methods that I employ to discover these insights are:
Heuristic review -I evaluate your current site and document usability flaws and other areas for improvement.
Content audit- I review and catalogue your existing repository of content. I make decisions on what stays and what goes, and, if it stays, where it goes on the new site.
Competitive survey -I research and analyze current industry best practices and trends, review competitors sites and pull out features or information that we believe could be successful on your site. I then conduct user testing on these sites/features in order to understand what is and isn’t successful.
Analytics review - I review and interpret your existing analytics. This helps us understand how users are interacting with the current site, where they might be encountering issues and where there is success that we can build on.
Stakeholder interviews -I have conversations with the key contacts at your funding, selling, or driving the product.
Determining Content Types
Now that I have all or most of the data that I need, I look at interface elements that can house this data and how they fit together with the larger site. For example, most websites are made up of pages that hold:
User Flows & Journeys
Once I have an indication of what content lives on each page, I create flows for how users move through the site. These flows determine all required pages on the site, how they fit together and what the site map will look like at launch.
Once I have a clear indication of functionality, flow and content hierarchy, I create final wireframes that reflect each page. Developers and graphic designers can use these wireframes to start work on their parts of the project.