The Terminology Series
This post is the second part in the series Terminology of a UX/UI designer and you can find the previous article here.
The series aims to explain the basics of key concepts and discuss the differences and in what situations each concept is most useful. Thus it might be useful if you're just starting out in the field of UX/UI or if you have a client role and want to get a better understanding of what to expect as part of the process and delivery.
A wide term that may be applied within many fields of work. Workshops come in many forms depending on the purpose. For the purpose of this article I’d like to divide the workshops we conduct in two types; A) data collection and user needs and B) ideation and creative thinking.
Data collection and user needs
In order to build something that provides value, we need to understand the business and the users. We conduct workshops to ask questions that trigger discussions and then listen and learn. A few examples of relevant workshops;
- Discovery workshops: gather existing knowledge from clients or stakeholders, understand business requirements and align expectations
- Empathy workshops: shift perspective from features-first to users-first and explore motivations and behaviors of users to understand the user needs
- Prioritization workshops: prioritize features to shape the product roadmap
Ideation and creative thinking
There are no wrong ways of generating ideas, though a common and simple method to start out is the How Might We (HMW) technique. We've previously written more about HMW if you're interested to learn more. It was first introduced by Procter & Gamble in the 1970s and it has since become popular and used by design teams worldwide. The idea is to phrase a question to a challenge in a way that explicitly avoids hinting towards a solution.
When we have set our HMWs we can start the ideation. It can be collective brainstorming, workshop where we write notes and then discuss or even making smaller proof of concepts to demonstrate different solutions.
After conducting workshops and researching needs we start to get a sense of what should be done. Then we need to define each task to complete our overall goal. This is the backlog. The list is prioritized and ideally the tasks will be completed in the order listed or in slight parallel.
Researching the users and their needs is of paramount importance in order to satisfy their needs. Conducting that research can be done in countless ways. It can be surveys, interviews, workshops, analysis of use of an existing or similar product or service or data collection to assess patterns. Which method to use is situational, but as a general guideline interviews and workshops ca be done in a more qualitative manner while surveys and data collection is better suited as quantitative
User Journey Mapping
A user journey is a chain of steps where users engage with the website or app. By mapping out the different user journeys we get a proper overview of the tasks and can further analyze what we can do to improve each through user emotions and product opportunities. The maps help us visualize the process of users accomplishing their goals.
Impact Mapping is a graphic strategy planning method to decide which features to build into a product. As it begins with the intended goal and extends out from there, all identified features have a direct impact on achieving that goal and a clear rationale for how they will do so.
We create personas as representations of our target audience. By giving ourselves profiles to work from, we get an idea of what the audience wants instead of designing for a generic audience. Personas can include information such as as user’s goals, behavior patterns, background information, attitude, skills, and product usage environment.
The end users are simply those who will use the product or service, usually your or the client’s customers.
Pain points & Gain points
An important part of the UX process is identifying the users pain and gain points. Everything that creates friction for the user we’ll account for as a pain point. It can be steps of the process, certain elements, animations or many other things that the users feel are of hindrance, annoying or simply hard to perform. Gain points are rather the opposite; what in this type of product or service is important to them and what would make them use the product or service even more?
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
A minimum viable product, abbreviated MVP, is a product with enough features to cover the basic needs of the users and act as a validator for further product development. Designing and releasing an MVP means that we potentially avoid lengthy and (ultimately) unnecessary work. Instead, we can iterate on working versions and respond to feedback, challenge and validate our previous assumptions about the requirements and user needs.
Interested in more UX/UI terminology?
In case you missed our previous article in this series, you can learn more about the UX/UI deliverables.
Need any help or want to discuss UX/UI with us?
If you're interested to hear more about us, want to work with us or just want to have a conversation about UX/UI or any of our other fields, feel free to reach out to me or my colleagues.