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An Introduction to User Experience Design
Table of Contents
What is User Experience?
A User Experience Designer’s Toolkit
Activity: Show What You Know
Conclusion
An Introduction to User Experience Design
What is User Experience?
“‘User experience’
encompasses all aspects of
the end-user's interaction
with the company, its
services, and its products.
https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/86623992811488400/
Don Norman
Called the “father of modern user
experience”
Interacting with
their website
• Using their website
• Researching the
product
• Using the online chat/
help feature
Buying the
Video Game
Let’s say you wanted to order a video game online...
• Filling out the order form
with your personal
information
• Do they even ship to your
country?
• Will they price match if it
goes on sale after you
buy?
Playing the
Video Game
• Game set up: how easy
or difficult is it?
• Can you play with friends
or only on your own?
• Is it compatible with your
console?
Let’s say you wanted to order a video game online...
All of these factors (and more!) contribute to
the user experience of the video game!
Interacting with
their website
Buying the
Video Game
Playing the
Video Game
So what is a User Experience Designer?
A user experience designer can have many different responsibilities on a team!
While their main role has to do with designing the experience of their product or service for their
users, they might also be responsible for…
User
research
Content
creation
Coding
User
interface
(UI)
design
Competitive analysis
An Introduction to User Experience Design
A User Experience Designer’s Toolkit
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
1
Research techniques
Usability testing
What it is: The most formal
of these three techniques,
usability testing is usually
used to test an in-progress
prototype to see what
works well and what can be
refined.
When to do it: Depending
on project timeline and
budget, as frequently and
as often as you can.
Tip: Testing often, making
changes based on
feedback, and then re-
testing is often called
“iterative design”.
Guerilla research
What it is: Guerilla
research is where you go
out into the “real world”
(sidewalks tend to work
well) and ask people
passing by their opinion on
something you’re looking to
test or verify.
When to do it: At the
beginning, so you can use
the quick insights to refine
your research efforts down
the line!
Tip: Only ask one quick
question and don’t take
rejection personally- people
are busy and it’s not you!
Competitive analysis
What it is: Competitive
analysis looks at what your
competition is doing. What
features are they offering?
What are they doing well?
What are they struggling
with that your product or
service could improve on?
When to do it: A big push at
the beginning of the project
will help give you context,
and ongoing awareness of
what’s out in the market will
help you stay relevant
Tip: Look to other
industries for inspiration!
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
1 Insightful research starts with asking effective questions. Compare the
following questions: what kind of information will each question give you?
Do you like this
button here?
What do you think
this button is used
for?
vs
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
1
Do you like this
button here?
Yes
No
• Questions that start with “do you…” often just lead to “yes” or “no” answers
which, ultimately, don’t provide a lot of information
• Also, some people will say “yes” just to avoid hurting your feelings!
How to make it better:
What does this button
placement mean to you?
How would you use this
button?
What is confusing about this
button?
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
1
• Open-ended questions will often yield better insights
• They give your participants the opportunity to expand on their responses
What do you think this
button is used for?
Well, I
think…
Try starting your questions with the 5 Ws…
Who What Where When Why How
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
2
Your Persona
It is always helpful to keep in mind who you are designing for. One way that
you can do this is by creating a persona.
A persona is… A persona is not…
Based in demographic information
and other facts
Based in stereotypes
One person who might use the end
product you’re creating
The only person who will use your
end product
A reality check: consider all features
you’re thinking of adding in light of
your persona
A substitute for actually testing your
ideas with potential users
Used to build empathy for potential
users
A bad idea!
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
2
https://static.pexels.com/photos/38554/girl-people-landscape-sun-38554.jpeg
Megan Rochester
22 years old
Student, University of Waterloo, studying Environment and Business
Lives in Waterloo, originally from Winnipeg
• Loves camping and being outside
• Buys “green”, sustainable products
• Is saving up for her graduate education
• Wants to adopt a dog but can’t right now, because she’s frequently out of the house,
due to class
Below is an example of a basic persona. Notice how we only need a few
lines of information to start empathizing with Megan and making her feel
real!
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
2
Another way we can make Megan come to life is by creating a Thinks –
Feels – Says – Does chart. Based on what we know about Megan, what
does she think, feel, say, and do?
Megan Rochester
Thinks
Says
Feels
Does
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
2
Here’s an example of what her chart might look like:
Megan Rochester
Thinks
Says
Feels
Does
“I hope I can afford grad school.” Homesick for family in Winnipeg
Volunteers at a local animal
shelter to be around dogs
Goes camping with friends
Sometimes sleeps through her
8:30 class after working on group
projects through the night
“Do I want to live in Waterloo or
Winnipeg? Should I try to get a
more permanent apartment?”
Determined to graduate with an
excellent academic standing
“I can’t this weekend, I’ve got to
work.”
At peace in nature
“EV3 is practically my second
home at this point.”
“I need more plants in my room.”
Building Your UX Design Toolkit
3
As a designer, it is important to make sure you understand exactly what the
problem is you’re trying to solve with your design. One way of making sure
you’re getting to the root cause is by crafting a problem statement.
Problem statements
As a…
I want…
So that…
Who are you designing for? Consider the persona
you’ve created.
What are they looking for? What is the underlying
problem they’re looking to solve?
What is the desired outcome? How will you know if
your solution was successful?
An Introduction to User Experience Design
Activity: Show What You Know
Activity: Show What You Know
1 2 3 Bringing it all together
Scenario: Imagine you’re working for a company who is trying to design a revolutionary new way
for people to transport liquid when they’re camping. Consider our persona from before and the
following problem statement:
Megan Rochester
22 years old
Student, University of Waterloo, studying Environment and Business
Lives in Waterloo, originally from Winnipeg
As an… environmentally conscious university student, I want… a
sustainable way to carry water with me so that… I always have water
when I go camping.
Activity: Show What You Know
Based on the information we have, what design decisions can we make?
We are designing for
students.
Megan favours
sustainable products.
The product needs to be
durable enough for
camping.
Megan doesn’t go
camping often because of
school, so this solution
will likely find its way into
her “daily life” too.
Activity: Show What You Know
Based on the information we have, what design decisions can we make?
We are designing for
students.
Though still durable, it needs to be
relatively cheap for the student budget.
Megan favours
sustainable products.
We need to create something that can
be reused a lot that will still maintain
quality.
The product needs to be
durable enough for
camping.
We probably can’t make the product
out of glass if it’s expected to survive
camping, so metal or plastic is a better
option.
Megan doesn’t go
camping often because of
school, so this solution
will likely find its way into
her “daily life” too.
The product should be built for
“domestic” life: it should be able to go
in the dishwasher, hold hot liquids, and
even potentially be microwave safe.
An Introduction to User Experience Design
Conclusion
Conclusion
• What user experience is
• The role(s) of a user experience designer
• Some research techniques and how to ask questions that will help you to get information
about your design
• What a persona is and how to create one
• Building empathy through a Thinks – Feels – Says – Does map
• How to create a problem statement
• How to tie these components together to help inform design decisions
Today we learned:
Conclusion
This was just a very brief introduction to user experience- there’s so much out there to explore
and the field is growing by the day! Some great resources for further reading:
uxdesign.cc
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
designresources.party
Conclusion
“Take chances, make mistakes,
and get messy!”
- Ms. Frizzle
Ms. Frizzle was a character created by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen in 1985 for Scholastic for the Magic School Bus series.

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Introduction to User Experience Design

  • 1. An Introduction to User Experience Design
  • 2. Table of Contents What is User Experience? A User Experience Designer’s Toolkit Activity: Show What You Know Conclusion
  • 3. An Introduction to User Experience Design What is User Experience?
  • 4. “‘User experience’ encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products. https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/86623992811488400/ Don Norman Called the “father of modern user experience”
  • 5. Interacting with their website • Using their website • Researching the product • Using the online chat/ help feature Buying the Video Game Let’s say you wanted to order a video game online... • Filling out the order form with your personal information • Do they even ship to your country? • Will they price match if it goes on sale after you buy? Playing the Video Game • Game set up: how easy or difficult is it? • Can you play with friends or only on your own? • Is it compatible with your console?
  • 6. Let’s say you wanted to order a video game online... All of these factors (and more!) contribute to the user experience of the video game! Interacting with their website Buying the Video Game Playing the Video Game
  • 7. So what is a User Experience Designer? A user experience designer can have many different responsibilities on a team! While their main role has to do with designing the experience of their product or service for their users, they might also be responsible for… User research Content creation Coding User interface (UI) design Competitive analysis
  • 8. An Introduction to User Experience Design A User Experience Designer’s Toolkit
  • 9. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 1 Research techniques Usability testing What it is: The most formal of these three techniques, usability testing is usually used to test an in-progress prototype to see what works well and what can be refined. When to do it: Depending on project timeline and budget, as frequently and as often as you can. Tip: Testing often, making changes based on feedback, and then re- testing is often called “iterative design”. Guerilla research What it is: Guerilla research is where you go out into the “real world” (sidewalks tend to work well) and ask people passing by their opinion on something you’re looking to test or verify. When to do it: At the beginning, so you can use the quick insights to refine your research efforts down the line! Tip: Only ask one quick question and don’t take rejection personally- people are busy and it’s not you! Competitive analysis What it is: Competitive analysis looks at what your competition is doing. What features are they offering? What are they doing well? What are they struggling with that your product or service could improve on? When to do it: A big push at the beginning of the project will help give you context, and ongoing awareness of what’s out in the market will help you stay relevant Tip: Look to other industries for inspiration!
  • 10. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 1 Insightful research starts with asking effective questions. Compare the following questions: what kind of information will each question give you? Do you like this button here? What do you think this button is used for? vs
  • 11. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 1 Do you like this button here? Yes No • Questions that start with “do you…” often just lead to “yes” or “no” answers which, ultimately, don’t provide a lot of information • Also, some people will say “yes” just to avoid hurting your feelings! How to make it better: What does this button placement mean to you? How would you use this button? What is confusing about this button?
  • 12. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 1 • Open-ended questions will often yield better insights • They give your participants the opportunity to expand on their responses What do you think this button is used for? Well, I think… Try starting your questions with the 5 Ws… Who What Where When Why How
  • 13. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 2 Your Persona It is always helpful to keep in mind who you are designing for. One way that you can do this is by creating a persona. A persona is… A persona is not… Based in demographic information and other facts Based in stereotypes One person who might use the end product you’re creating The only person who will use your end product A reality check: consider all features you’re thinking of adding in light of your persona A substitute for actually testing your ideas with potential users Used to build empathy for potential users A bad idea!
  • 14. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 2 https://static.pexels.com/photos/38554/girl-people-landscape-sun-38554.jpeg Megan Rochester 22 years old Student, University of Waterloo, studying Environment and Business Lives in Waterloo, originally from Winnipeg • Loves camping and being outside • Buys “green”, sustainable products • Is saving up for her graduate education • Wants to adopt a dog but can’t right now, because she’s frequently out of the house, due to class Below is an example of a basic persona. Notice how we only need a few lines of information to start empathizing with Megan and making her feel real!
  • 15. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 2 Another way we can make Megan come to life is by creating a Thinks – Feels – Says – Does chart. Based on what we know about Megan, what does she think, feel, say, and do? Megan Rochester Thinks Says Feels Does
  • 16. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 2 Here’s an example of what her chart might look like: Megan Rochester Thinks Says Feels Does “I hope I can afford grad school.” Homesick for family in Winnipeg Volunteers at a local animal shelter to be around dogs Goes camping with friends Sometimes sleeps through her 8:30 class after working on group projects through the night “Do I want to live in Waterloo or Winnipeg? Should I try to get a more permanent apartment?” Determined to graduate with an excellent academic standing “I can’t this weekend, I’ve got to work.” At peace in nature “EV3 is practically my second home at this point.” “I need more plants in my room.”
  • 17. Building Your UX Design Toolkit 3 As a designer, it is important to make sure you understand exactly what the problem is you’re trying to solve with your design. One way of making sure you’re getting to the root cause is by crafting a problem statement. Problem statements As a… I want… So that… Who are you designing for? Consider the persona you’ve created. What are they looking for? What is the underlying problem they’re looking to solve? What is the desired outcome? How will you know if your solution was successful?
  • 18. An Introduction to User Experience Design Activity: Show What You Know
  • 19. Activity: Show What You Know 1 2 3 Bringing it all together Scenario: Imagine you’re working for a company who is trying to design a revolutionary new way for people to transport liquid when they’re camping. Consider our persona from before and the following problem statement: Megan Rochester 22 years old Student, University of Waterloo, studying Environment and Business Lives in Waterloo, originally from Winnipeg As an… environmentally conscious university student, I want… a sustainable way to carry water with me so that… I always have water when I go camping.
  • 20. Activity: Show What You Know Based on the information we have, what design decisions can we make? We are designing for students. Megan favours sustainable products. The product needs to be durable enough for camping. Megan doesn’t go camping often because of school, so this solution will likely find its way into her “daily life” too.
  • 21. Activity: Show What You Know Based on the information we have, what design decisions can we make? We are designing for students. Though still durable, it needs to be relatively cheap for the student budget. Megan favours sustainable products. We need to create something that can be reused a lot that will still maintain quality. The product needs to be durable enough for camping. We probably can’t make the product out of glass if it’s expected to survive camping, so metal or plastic is a better option. Megan doesn’t go camping often because of school, so this solution will likely find its way into her “daily life” too. The product should be built for “domestic” life: it should be able to go in the dishwasher, hold hot liquids, and even potentially be microwave safe.
  • 22. An Introduction to User Experience Design Conclusion
  • 23. Conclusion • What user experience is • The role(s) of a user experience designer • Some research techniques and how to ask questions that will help you to get information about your design • What a persona is and how to create one • Building empathy through a Thinks – Feels – Says – Does map • How to create a problem statement • How to tie these components together to help inform design decisions Today we learned:
  • 24. Conclusion This was just a very brief introduction to user experience- there’s so much out there to explore and the field is growing by the day! Some great resources for further reading: uxdesign.cc The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman designresources.party
  • 25. Conclusion “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” - Ms. Frizzle Ms. Frizzle was a character created by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen in 1985 for Scholastic for the Magic School Bus series.

Editor's Notes

  1. Today we’re going to go in to a brief introduction to user experience design!
  2. Topics covered will include an explanation of what user experience is, some tools that will help you think like a user experience designer, and an activity to apply what you’ve learned. The conclusion will summarize what we went over and also offer some other resources to consider checking out!
  3. “User experience” is a buzzword that’s getting thrown around a lot, especially in tech. But what does it actually mean?
  4. Don Norman, often called the “father of modern user experience”, says that user experience encompasses all aspects all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. “All aspects” is the important point here: often UX is thought to be limited to mobile apps or websites. However, think about that one time you walked up to a door and you couldn’t figure out how it opened. Push? Pull? Slide?? Or how about when you come across a whole bunch of light switches: which switch controls which light? You end up flipping all of them on before actually finding the one light you were looking for! These are examples of a poor user experience in the “real world”.
  5. Consider all the different aspects of ordering a video game online. You could have a great experience on their website, but, when you actually get the game, maybe it isn’t compatible with the gaming system you have. That would be an example of a poor user experience- and how the company responds to your problem also helps to define your experience as positive or negative. If they take it back, no questions asked, you’ll feel a lot better about the company than if they make returns next to impossible.
  6. In other words, all these factors and more contribute to the user experience of that video game!
  7. So then a user experience designer is someone whose job it is to help design these end-to-end experiences so that they are positive overall. However, user experience designers might also have different responsibilities, depending on the size of the company and how many design resources they have to allocate. For example, a start-up might have a user experience designer who creates content, does research, and designs the UI. A UX designer in a larger corporation might just be focused on the interaction design, while someone else covers research, and yet another person works on the interface design.
  8. These tools are meant to help you start thinking from the perspective of a UX designer. They are not by any means the be-all, end-all skillset, but it is definitely a great place to start!
  9. Even if your job title isn’t “user experience researcher”, it’s always helpful to have a bit of background on how to conduct research that’ll give you useful information. Here are three different styles of research to help you get started: Competitive analysis What is the competition offering? What are they doing well? What are they struggling with? Where is the opportunity for our company to enter the market? Based on the market, what are the conventions that users would expect from your product? Guerilla research Good if you have one question you are looking to have answered Should be quick: people are busy and won’t want to stay for longer than a minute or two! Tell them in advance you just have one question you want to ask- setting the expectations from the get-go means they might be more likely to answer Usability testing Have a task for your user to complete Don’t step in and show them what you want them to do: seeing where users struggle and what they have problems with is really valuable so you know where you have to “fix” your design
  10. When you are doing research, you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions for the answers you need. For example, if you have a button and you’re not sure if its function is clear, asking “do you like this button here?” will not give you the information to know if the button’s function is clear or not. You’ll just learn whether or not the user likes the button placement.
  11. Additionally, binary (yes/ no) questions will only give you yes/ no answers, so be very purposeful about when you ask them.
  12. Open-ended questions usually encourage expansion on an idea, and yield better insights. Try to start your questions with the five 5 Ws (and an H): who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  13. A persona is a great way to guide your designs. If done right, a persona even becomes part of the team… You consider their needs and wants as if they were a real person and one of your team members to boot! One of your greatest tools as a user experience designer is empathy for others. Creating a persona is a fantastic way to build empathy.
  14. Megan is a 22-year-old student from UW, who’s studying Environment and Business. She lives in Waterloo and is originally from Winnipeg. She almost sounds like someone you know, doesn’t she? From this basic description, she’s already starting to take shape! From her additional information, her hopes (grad school), likes (dogs, nature), and struggles (wants a dog but can’t have one, needs money for school), we’ve built a complex person.
  15. To fully round her out, we’ll do a Thinks – Feels – Says – Does map. Think about what we know about her: what kind of things would she think about? What would she worry about? What makes her happy? Is what she does aligned with what she says? (For most people, it’s not!)
  16. Here’s an example of the filled in chart.
  17. One of the biggest challenges as a designer is to make sure you’re solving the problem, and not slapping a Band-aid solution on the symptoms! Using the As a… I want… So that… structure can help you better get inside of the problem you’re trying to solve, for the person you’re trying to solve for.
  18. Let’s put together all the techniques we’ve learned!
  19. Imagine you’re working for a company who is trying to design a revolutionary new way for people to transport liquid when they’re camping. Consider our persona from before and the following problem statement: As an… environmentally conscious university student, I want… a sustainable way to carry water with me so that… I always have water when I go camping. Based on this information, we can make some design decisions for our solution. (Also, notice we’re saying “solution” and not “water bottle”: the solution doesn’t necessarily have to be a water bottle! Specifying an exact solution too early limits what our designs could be.)
  20. Take the four points on the side. Where did we get this information? Our persona and the problem statement! Notice that not everything was explicitly outlined: for example, because we know that Megan is really busy with school, we know that she doesn’t have a lot of time. Camping can take a lot of time, so we can make the connection that she probably doesn’t go camping often, and the solution would likely make it into “regular” rotation.
  21. To design our ultimate solution, we’d have to distill these findings into the relevant information and include that in our designs. For example, we need a solution that’s: Durable Not glass Cheap enough for students Reusable Dishwasher safe Able to hold hot liquids Microwave safe?
  22. In conclusion…
  23. Today we learned what user experience is and the role(s) of a UX designer. We learned that their responsibilities can be very specific or very far reaching, depending on the resources the company has to allocate to UX. We learned about techniques for research, when to use which research style, and how to ask the real questions to get the information we need. We learned about personas and how to build empathy, and how to spin that information into a comprehensive problem statement. Finally, we learned how to tie all these components together to help inform our design decisions.
  24. Here are a few more resources if you’re interested in learning more about user experience! This presentation really just scratched the surface: there is so much out there to learn…
  25. And as Ms. Frizzle would say, the best way to learn is to “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” Practice analyzing the experience of waiting at the doctor’s office, trying to find the perfect pair of jeans, or opening an umbrella in the rain… Try to notice when you have a great experience, as well as when you have a difficult experience. What went well? What could go better? Get out there and explore!! And always stay curious!!!