Huw

Research, Design, Test & Learn

A user-centered design process to assist in building a relevant & effective user-experience.

A user-centered approach to Design

Focusing the design process on the prospective customer results in a more relevant & enjoyable user experience.
Meeting prospective customers at the Visual Impact Trade Show 2015 provided valuable insight into how each market segment perceived the Curator Clip. After talking with each segment we found our price point was too high for one group and too low for another. The segment which saw the product as too expensive had more sales objections than those who saw they product as too cheap. After the show we increased our prices and altered our marketing personas based on this feedback.
Meeting prospective customers at the Visual Impact Trade Show 2015 provided valuable insight into how each market segment perceived the Curator Clip. After talking with each segment we found our price point was too high for one group and too low for another. The segment which saw the product as too expensive had more sales objections than those who saw they product as too cheap. After the show we increased our prices and altered our marketing personas based on this feedback.
After attending markets & trade shows throughout Australia, as well as monitoring web/social traffic & referrals/CRM I was able to generate a valid, well researched marketing persona. Each persona was used to design, write & develop relevant  engaging content with a suitable tone. The marketing persona above was built using the Hubspot persona maker template available via the Hubspot website.
After attending markets & trade shows throughout Australia, as well as monitoring web/social traffic & referrals/CRM I was able to generate a valid, well researched marketing persona. Each persona was used to design, write & develop relevant engaging content with a suitable tone. The marketing persona above was built using the Hubspot persona maker template available via the Hubspot website.
The marketing persona's journey is mapped out.  The map provides a visual narrative of the customer journey. The experience map includes the key building blocks of doing, thinking and feeling. This internal document is built using quantitive & qualitative research to identify the right assets/touch points to develop as well the right tone to use.
The marketing persona's journey is mapped out. The map provides a visual narrative of the customer journey. The experience map includes the key building blocks of doing, thinking and feeling. This internal document is built using quantitive & qualitative research to identify the right assets/touch points to develop as well the right tone to use.
Mapping the persona's journey provides the tone of the website and which social media touch points to focus on. Solving the persona's pain points across their user journey is paramount. In this case we used a styled interiors focus while utilising Instagram & Pinterest social media platforms.
Mapping the persona's journey provides the tone of the website and which social media touch points to focus on. Solving the persona's pain points across their user journey is paramount. In this case we used a styled interiors focus while utilising Instagram & Pinterest social media platforms.

Who is your customer?

Before we can meet and satisfy each prospective customer’s wants & needs, we need to better understand who the prospective customer is, the problems they need solving and the touch points they will be using.

The process of defining the customer is to develop a Marketing Persona. A Marketing Persona is the building of a representation of a particular customer segment through Qualitative & Quantitative Research.

Once the marketing persona/personas have been created their journey and experience across all touchpoints can be mapped.

Focus on the customer

The prospective customer’s experience could begin with an online search or picking up a brochure at a trade show or reading a social media or blog post. This journey can then proceed through to a website, mobile application, purchasing and post sales follow up.

Each of these ‘touch points’ can be mapped across a customer’s journey to help with finding any weak or missing areas which could deter a sale or provide a negative user experience.

Research

Building a dashboard for monitoring different areas of the company's digital footprint provides real time and historical monitoring of various digital channels. The Cyfe dashboard pictured above can link into your social media, CRM, SEO & Advertising campaigns for monitoring trends at a glance.
Building a dashboard for monitoring different areas of the company's digital footprint provides real time and historical monitoring of various digital channels. The Cyfe dashboard pictured above can link into your social media, CRM, SEO & Advertising campaigns for monitoring trends at a glance.
Running daily, weekly and monthly reports using an analytics software like Google Analytics provides more in-depth reporting of key elements such as the bounce rate, website landing pages, CTR, referral and ad traffic
Running daily, weekly and monthly reports using an analytics software like Google Analytics provides more in-depth reporting of key elements such as the bounce rate, website landing pages, CTR, referral and ad traffic
Before investing in major tooling & production expenses before entering a new market we were able to gain feedback on suitable design considerations in the European market at Maison et Objet 2011
Before investing in major tooling & production expenses before entering a new market we were able to gain feedback on suitable design considerations in the European market at Maison et Objet 2011
NYIGF 2010
After opening a new distribution channel in North America I was able to gain valuable feedback to inform iterative design decisions such as packaging & point of sale – New York Gift Fair 2010

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is where you dig into any data you may have on your customers. A good starting point would be your website’s analytics.

At the Curator Company we use Google Analytics as well as Cyfe data dashboards to best monitor all your channels for trends which could indicate whether a design decision has been successfully implemented or requires more immediate attention

Qualitative Research

By surveying your customers or prospects as well as other members of your team you will uncover key information about your customers.

During this process you will want to uncover some basic demographics, common sales objections they may have, their role in the company they work for, their challenges, pain points, primary goals & aspirations.

Competitor Research

Before we start on the process of designing any digital content, websites or applications we investigate which other businesses are competing directly against our client’s value proposition.

By building a spreadsheet matrix of our clients direct & indirect competitors, we investigate what they are doing right, what they are doing wrong, the purpose of their site/app, how much traffic they are getting, is it transactional, what social networks they are using and what is their competitive advantage.

It is our ultimate goal to evaluate our client’s competitors and in doing so, create a competitive advantage.

Competitor analysis can be achieved more easily by storing gathered information into a spreadsheet. I use the Competitive Analysis Matrix from Jaime Levy's 'UX Strategy' for this purpose. The image above has had the data removed.
Competitor analysis can be achieved more easily by storing gathered information into a spreadsheet. I use the Competitive Analysis Matrix from Jaime Levy's 'UX Strategy' for this purpose. The image above has had the data removed.
Fan selection at Bunnings
Researching the competitor landscape offline as well as online - such as this image from Bunnings as part of the Aeratron re-brand.
How big are your competitors? How visible are they online? Where are they getting all their traffic from? Using the online application SemRush I was able to gain insight into our competitors online visibility, what keywords they were using, what backlinks they had, which delivered the most traffic and how much money was being spent on online advertising.
How big are your competitors? How visible are they online? Where are they getting all their traffic from? Using the online application SemRush I was able to gain insight into our competitors online visibility, what keywords they were using, what backlinks they had, which delivered the most traffic and how much money was being spent on online advertising.

Touch Points, Flow Maps & Wireframes

The Creative Brief should always be grounded in Research, Analysis & Strategy
Auditing a brand's channels & touch points can reveal inconsistencies within the UI, brand message and UX - Working drawings from The Star brand audit 2015
Auditing a brand's channels & touch points can reveal inconsistencies within the UI, brand message and UX - Working drawings from The Star brand audit 2015
Mapping the information and user flows provide an overview of the digital asset being created. Whether it is a website, social page or app the information & user flow diagram presents a bigger picture view for easy reference.
Mapping the information and user flows provide an overview of the digital asset being created. Whether it is a website, social page or app the information & user flow diagram presents a bigger picture view for easy reference.
Presenting concepts, designs and strategy to key stakeholders through mockups and pdf presentations.
Presenting concepts, designs and strategy to key stakeholders through mockups and pdf presentations.
Building into the screen design using a 12 column responsive wireframe based on the bootstrap framework provides a rough structure and layout without committing to any visual design elements such as colour and typeface.
Building into the screen design using a 12 column responsive wireframe based on the bootstrap framework provides a rough structure and layout without committing to any visual design elements such as colour and typeface.

Create engaging & relevant touch points throughout the user journey

Depending on the analysis and strategy throughout the research phase, multiple touch points throughout various channels will need to be developed or audited to best engage with prospective & existing customers.

Ranging from email templates to social media channels to website landing pages and mobile applications each touch point needs to have a defined consistent tone and voice built specifically to engage with the marketing persona across their user journey.

Architecture & Wireframes

All new digital assets built within the marketing persona’s journey map needs to be presented as an information architecture flowchart.

This flowchart provides clarity to key stakeholders & team members as well as confirming the scope of the project and user interactions throughout each asset.

On confirmation of the architecture a basic sketch outlining the actions and content blocks are presented in a responsive 12 column wireframe.

Prototypes & Production

By focusing the design process on the user/customer we are able to provide a more tailored and frictionless brand experience.
Building working prototypes directly onto a staging server provides us with a fast way to test, receive & respond to client/customer feedback. By setting up the staging server identically to production we are able to minimise risk and provide the customer with an area to test any changes post launch.
Building working prototypes directly onto a staging server provides us with a fast way to test, receive & respond to client/customer feedback. By setting up the staging server identically to production we are able to minimise risk and provide the customer with an area to test any changes post launch.
While consulting for the University of Technology, Sydney I was able to prototype and test their new iOS and Android application using Mosaic.
While consulting for the University of Technology, Sydney I was able to prototype and test their new iOS and Android application using Mosaic.
In 2014 I was contracted to assist in prototyping and testing the UTS application on both iOS and Android devices. I was also contracted to build support and information webpages to assist end users and administrators with updating content within the application.
In 2014 I was contracted to assist in prototyping and testing the UTS application on both iOS and Android devices. I was also contracted to build support and information webpages to assist end users and administrators with updating content within the application.
The new ecommerce shop and brochure site had to break down across mobile and desktop.
The new ecommerce shop and brochure site had to break down across mobile and desktop.

Prototyping

By building the wireframe sketch directly onto our staging servers we are able to prototype across multiple platforms & interactions.

Early stage prototypes will contain dummy text & images providing context & specifications for content developers such as photographers, illustrators and copywriters.

By prototyping live we are able to produce an interactive prototype that works directly in the web browser so the client can provide feedback and understand content production decisions.

Production

Prior to launching, secondary versions of key pages are set up for A/B testing on content, calls to action, click through & conversion rates.

As the prototypes are built directly onto a staging server, we are able to transfer the finalised asset to an identical live production server with minimal risk, disturbance & downtime.

Measure & Learn

After launch fast 2-3 week iterative design sprints continue to improve the asset utilising data & user feedback
I was brought into the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to assist in extracting tool-usage data within their e-learning platform using the Splunk data mining tool. Working every browser action by over 30,000 students over 12 months I was able to provide detailed reports on the tool usage within their massive online learning platform.
I was brought into the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to assist in extracting tool-usage data within their e-learning platform using the Splunk data mining tool. Working every browser action by over 30,000 students over 12 months I was able to provide detailed reports on the tool usage within their massive online learning platform.
Many small changes should be made & tested. Fast design iterations should be pushed through regularly and quickly. Testing for each change, update can last 2-3 weeks before any reasonable data can be gathered - depending on the traffic of the digital asset.
Many small changes should be made & tested. Fast design iterations should be pushed through regularly and quickly. Testing for each change, update can last 2-3 weeks before any reasonable data can be gathered - depending on the traffic of the digital asset.
Building a dashboard for monitoring different areas of the company's digital footprint provides real time and historical monitoring of various digital channels. The Cyfe dashboard pictured above can link into your social media, CRM, SEO & Advertising campaigns for monitoring trends at a glance.
Building a dashboard for monitoring different areas of the company's digital footprint provides real time and historical monitoring of various digital channels. The Cyfe dashboard pictured above can link into your social media, CRM, SEO & Advertising campaigns for monitoring trends at a glance.
Running daily, weekly and monthly reports using an analytics software like Google Analytics provides more in-depth reporting of key elements such as the bounce rate, website landing pages, CTR, referral and ad traffic
Running daily, weekly and monthly reports using an analytics software like Google Analytics provides more in-depth reporting of key elements such as the bounce rate, website landing pages, CTR, referral and ad traffic

Measuring Interaction

The key to a positive user experience/journey is to realise that your market/persona and it’s relationship to your product is in constant flux.

After launching or after making any changes to the digital asset it is imperative to monitor usage to make sure the change was a positive one.

Using A/B testing software it is possible to test and tweak small changes such as a call-to-action button size/colour/copy/placement.

Other key areas for testing are landing pages, bounce rates, sign ups and sales. Working with other team members you are able to monitor whether other touch points are delivering and working together.

Learn & Change

As the prototype has been built live onto the staging server we are able to transfer the finalised asset to the live production server with minimal disturbance & downtime.

Prior to moving we set up secondary versions of key pages for A/B testing on content, calls to action, click through & conversion rates.

Projects Mentioned Above

Photocurator

2008-

Giftware product for displaying photographic prints.

More information on the project can be found here: http://www.curator.com.au/portfolio-item/portfoliophotocurator/

University of Technology, Sydney

2002-2008 and 2014-

Online Learning Application and consulting.

More information on the project can be found here: http://www.curator.com.au/learningapp/

The Star

2015

Brand audit

Aeratron

2014

Re-brand, packaging, catalogue and transactional responsive website design.

More information on the project can be found here: http://www.curator.com.au/portfolio-item/aeratron/

Curator Clip

2013-

Innovative new product design.

More information on the project can be found here: http://www.curator.com.au/portfolio-item/curatorclip/

Iconic Fans

2015

Competitor analysis and website design