Friday - 9th of March 2018
Not Thinking Product Strategy, Not Doing Holistic UX Design.
To start this post I share the sentiment of designer Peter Merholtz from a recent podcast (see links below) - User Experience exists because of poor Product Management. Designers shouldn’t look at it as wanting a seat at the table just for the recognition of our work but because we need that seat to help guide the strategy that results in a product that is the best outcome possible for our users.
Much of the design process is the building of evidence to communicate why we have made particular decisions. The same process and evidence can be used to both set a more holistic strategy, as well as test and question that strategy if new findings arise throughout the process of research, prototyping, testing, iteration and so forth.
But as always we need to have empathy, we need to have an understanding of the roles and the hopes and aspirations people have in this roles that form who a business is and what they stand for. What vision they hope to bring to the world.
So as a Junior UX Designer should I be concerned with product strategy? The answer is, of course, yes, and this is because I personally identify myself as a designer first and foremost and product strategy is just another skill that I must refine In order to produce the best solution possible to the problems I’m tackling so both my users and my company can ultimately be successful.
Links: Aurelius Podcast: Episode 6 with Peter Merholz, YouTube - Peter Merholz "Org Design for Design Orgs" at GrowthX Academy, What, exactly, is a Product Manager? by Martin Eriksson

Do a little dance, nail that design, get down with product strategy!
Wednesday - 7th of March 2018
You Down With GDPR?
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are enforceable provisions first published in 1995 with more recent updates being put in place on the 25th of May 2018. They apply to anyone providing product or services to EU citizens.
With new technologies being a large source of data privacy issues and design being so intrinsically tied to such technologies that allow us to deliver innovative, life improving  solutions to our users. It is important for designers to make questions such as the following part of the conversation from the very beginning of our design process as well as throughout as we research, ideate, test and iterate.
What kind of data do we need to collect?
How long are we keeping it for?
Who are we sharing it with?
It's not a complex subject, an example you are most likely aware of is how Apples iOS requires apps to ask permission before using information like a users location to tag a photo being shared or check-in to a place so friends can see where you are.
Data privacy should be a core principle in your user centred design process. You woudnlt create unecessary friction in your checkout flow by adding a form field that asks for unnecessary information. You wouldn't design a service or product that doesn't install trust in the people using it. So make sure data privacy is part of the conversation you are having and the decision you are making from the get go.
Tuesday - 6th of March 2018
Thinking About 3D Touch
A big problem designers face with any gesture is creating signifiers that help people discover, learn and remember them. The inconsistency with which they are currently used mean people end up ignoring them most of the time because they are not a expected behaviour.
Multiple user paths to completing a goal means 3D Touch and other gestures can be used to enhance an experience while not being a required by people with older devices or who have difficulty learning and user the gesture.
Statistics show people use their smartphones in spurts, some as short as a minute. The ability to access quick contextual actions on the desired app to be used can make these kind of micro sessions more efficient for people.
Pogo Sticking is when a person alternates between inspecting a collection of items and looking at each item individually. AN inefficient behaviour that makes people jump back and forth between pages, losing time on page loads and on recovering context. 3D touches ability to peek-and-pop then provide smart actions can allow people to collect the info they need and act on it without this time loss and confusion.

This kid has invented a new gesture while you were sitting here reading this...
Monday - 5th of March 2018
Speed vs Mobile vs Native
50% off peoples first experience with a service is their mobile website and load speeds are a huge factor in wether they will stick around to see what value you provide or just bounce of in look of the next thing. 
The web is where you will reach the most people and build your loyal users while native apps are where you can start to create greater depth for your experience through more interactive and aware solutions. 
Start mobile first, build that core service that serves a need and grow from there.
One great way of speeding up your website is optimising images and not loading a full sized image on mobile when your user is only seeing it shrunk down to a 1/4 of its original size.

Sources: (Luke Wroblewski Conversions @ Google November 2017 Part 1), (Luke Wroblewski Conversions @ Google November 2017 Part 2), (Eimear McCurry Conversions @ Google November 2017), (Free image optimisation tool for Mac)

You don't want your users being all like this right?
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