Process & Methodology
Discovery & Ideation
The discovery phase has the greatest impact on conceiving the most successful UX for a product - it brings forth key ideas around core design principles and the experience concept for the project. The discovery report synthesizes business and user research activities performed at the inception of the project into a set of insights and recommendations for effective UX strategy.
I practiced ideation well before the word was invented, regularly planing and facilitating workshops since 1998, with business stakeholders and end users. The workshops typically focus on imagining and exploring targeted solutions to complex challenges, where the outcomes of these workshops feeds measurable, empirical exploration and iterative experiments that validate or disprove the idea. I attended a 3 day workshop with Sandra Bates, the author of "The Social Innovation Imperative - a systematic, need-driven (contextual) approach to creating and managing innovation roadmaps. Since than, I had opportunities to run ideation workshops using highly creative tactical methods for idea generation, while staying true to an overall goal-driven strategy focused on doable outcomes.
Early on in the process, personas help conceptualize the desired state. They are a tool that provides context and grounding to stakeholders. This document was created with Mind Manager, and is interactive - click to explore!
Information Architecture (Taxonomy)
I use mind mapping diagrams extensively to organize information and to communicate complex structures. I found that both business and technical stakeholders respond highly favorably to this type of presentation. It is engaging and easy to modify.
This sample is interactive - click to explore! (If you are using iOS, my apologies, please see the static image below.)
The map above should be familiar, as it brings to mind similar maps of transportation systems worldwide. In one glance stakeholders can get a good and accurate sense of key 'lines' (8 in this map) and 'stations' (39 here) and these translate nicely to web pages. One can also assess the complexity and size of this section of the website, the navigability paths from one station to another, transfer options and so on.
By superimposing familiar models of representation, such as subway maps and others I use, stakeholders are provided with an opportunity to think 'out of the box', to see their property in fresh yet very familiar ways.