Experience design is the one thing that holds us together.
How to match the user experience to the design and the design back to the user experience is a journey that we set ourselves on for all our clients. And it begins with understanding.
What can we do to make this an experience? Something that’s more than sleeping on an air bed in our living room?
We love the Air BnB story and it’s all about experience design. It gives us inspiration to do what we do … but better. It gives us the inspiration that we know, designing an experience for a user or segments of users can dramatically impact their behaviour for the better. And the AirBnB story is one that is born completely out of design thinking.
Experience design for us is more than UX design within the realms of an experiment. It all starts with understanding the user more than you think is possible and unlocking their anxieties and motivations. Then, a case of connecting those two dots inside our heads and creating the solution together.
We do this through comprehensive user understanding.
It starts with that level of understanding.
Because our team is made up of UX researchers, web analysts, content optimisers and experiment strategists, our different skill sets makes for varying view points of the understanding of a user (sometimes, widely so)
If you ever want to understand your product, go stay in the home of your user (which might be where AirBnB has the upper hand). To replicate that level of understanding, we become your user. We become the patient as it were. From the moment we work with you, we buy from you to experience who you are and tell that story about our experience.
When we start to glean an understanding of your users problems, design thinking helps solve those. Whether that be through combatting a lack trust, or insinuating social proof or – potentially – any one of Caldinis 7 guiding principles or more, experience design is what we do and at the centre of it is the user.
Ideas are born out of our experiment and optimisation sprints.
Any research undertaken is reviewed together as multiple heads are better than one. Because our T-Shaped model collaborates different skill sets, we find these ideas are usually much more evolved than first conceived. Why? Because this model plus these experiment sprints breeds innovation.
Lightning demos and rapid, prioritised note taking allow for both convergent and divergent ways of thinking.
These ideas are then granulised and prioritised to formulate one, two, or more variants in which to test in a practical environment.
Using a more bespoke form of design sprints, evolved from Google Ventures, we sketch out our ideas in the form of crazy 8’s and prioritised granular design ideas.
We love to sketch and, in fact, all David himself wanted to be when he grew up was an animator for Disney – walking round the office you’ll see animated sketches of Disney characters all over.
Using Sketch (the app not the technique) we convert these designs into both low and high fidelity wireframes that are iterated on and either tested, through a prototype tool like Invision and remote user testing software like Usertest.io, or released to the wild to split test. The solution is completely dependant on the insight and hypothesis that precedes it.
DATA BEFORE CREATIVITY
It is our view that experience design doesn’t need to be innovative, it needs to solve something efficiently.
There are continual debates of how important design is within an experiment. Does design affect the results of what is intended to be a proof of concept? Indeed, does data hinder creativity and innovation? What comes first data or creativity? To tell you the truth, in the early stages of a feature, we’re not sure how useful data actually is if we don’t have a meaningful scale to test it against. Data can sometimes be misleading and, indeed, remove gut feeling.
Experience design is a balance, because of these questions, and we firmly believe in evolving it and creating a culture to breed it.