Journey Mapping + Storyboarding
The concept of mapping a journey through a process is not new. The famous retailer Harry Selfridge used diagrams and models to map a customers flow through his ground breaking department store. In kind, storyboarding has been an essential tool of the film making industry since its inception. Disney would famously act out scenes for his films as his animators captured the key moments and placed them up on the wall to refine the moments and key "gags".
In the world of Human experience design we use these tools together to tell the story of the types of people we believe will benefit most from our products. These processes help us define usuablity paths, establish clear information architecture, set a clear path to a customers goals, and much more.
By empathizing with people using our product we are able to walk the path through our products, diagnose potential pit falls and find moments of delight.
Human Experience Testing
At the core, human experience design is about problem solving. We start with assumptions about what we think our customers need. Those assumptions are based upon our experience, our critical thinking, our business goals and our humanity. These assumptions help us create a starting point; from there, we test.
This process begins with testing our assumptions. I have found that breaking our assumptions down into general, and sometimes vague, concepts gives us a set of questions we can ask real people. An example could be a onboading process for an application. Our assumption could be that a person would not like to go through more that three steps to complete the process. Our question could then be constructed as "How many steps would you be willing to go through to start using an app you like, need, or want?" As we synthisize the responses we get a clearer picture of the expected process and potential pain points for the user.
As we begin to design + refine it is good practice to check in with people who may use your app to see if you are on the right track. To accomplish this we create usability plans. These plans require us to constantly consider our flows. By defining Scope, Purpose, Time Frames, Equipment, Scenarios, and roles, we can test and collect metrics and responses to our designs and solutions. In conjunction with rapid prototyping we can clarify our directions quickly and make corrections early.
Put in their hands ASAP. As human experiences with our products become more robust prototyping has become a crucial tool for any design process. Prototypes can be simple or complex and immersive. These tools are constantly adding abilities to allow us to utilize motion, touch, voice and more. This allows us to creative rich experiences quickly and allow us to put those experiences into the hands to the people who will be immersed in them quickly. We can see how they work with the product and, more importantly, how the product works for them. By using various tools to craft these experiences we can find what works and what doesn't long before the steep costs of production.
Although it is a rapidly changing landscape some of the tools of the trade I have come to use most often and realibly are beginning to settle into a personal suite of design tools.
InVision, Sketch, Adobe XD, Adobe After Effects, Flinto, Studio, Framer X, Zeplin, Adobe Comp, Cinema 4D. This list will continue to change.