Designing for a world
Role: UX Designer
NOTE: This is an active project that is currently in development.
After being introduced to an industry leading expert, the project was developed as a self-directed study. Whilst being inspired by many of the challenges facing the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, the question that this project aimed to answer was; ‘how can technology help to tackle some of the problems that have arose during these unprecedented times?’
One particular controversial issue that surrounded the UK government, was the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that front line workers had access to. This was made more frustrating when UK companies offered their capabilities but were not taken up on their propositions.
The aforementioned problem helped to position a perfect starting point for the project.
Understanding the problem through the user’s journey.
Having identified a key stakeholder from a number of possible options, this gave me a good starting point. I started by putting myself in the position of the stakeholder and discovering the surprise of the ‘shortage in PPE’. From then I was able to map out the complete journey and connect with the emotional experiences that the stakeholder would feel. Following this – I was lucky to be able to confirm and refine these experiences with a live stakeholder.
By mapping out the journey and linking it to the emotional experiences, it enabled me to quickly come up with potential opportunities. Admittedly, some of the ideas were outside of the box, but I found the method to be a valuable way to generate a large amount of ideas and capturing every notion.
Following the practice of mapping out the user’s journey – I was able to share with the findings with a group of stakeholders. I asked them to the follow the procedure of ‘heat mapping’ against the ‘opportunities’ which had been generated. I asked them to indicate in red, opportunities which they thought were exceptional, and orange for opportunities which they recognised as being moderate. I found this to be an excellent way of letting the stakeholders rationalise the ideas independently.
Assessing the impact of each stakeholder.
To fully understand the engagement that each stakeholder would potentially have with the design – an impact map was drawn up. This was a process that I had never been exposed to before but it quickly became clear how easy it was to examine the knock on effect of each action. It also became evident which of the stakeholders would be the primary user.
Clarifying the personas.
Often in the design process – it can be good practice to analyse whether your design solution is in line with the intended audience. To help this stage further into the process, a set of persona’s were mapped out and created. To summarise, one primary persona was invented with a further two secondary personas which would act outside influences when designing the product.
Stepping into the primary persona’s shoes.
Now that the key personas had been formulated and visualised – it was decided that comprehending the primary personas journey would be the next stage in the design process. It was here that the earlier ‘journey mapping’ studies were recycled and scrutinised to add real value and validity.
At this stage – the ‘key area for opportunity’ was identified and the design direction for the digital offering was decided upon. Having evaluated all of the opportunities, a sign-up service/dashboard feature was decided as being the best option that offered most value and answered the project aim that was defined at the start of the project.
The user journey map was refined further by analysing the user’s emotional experience throughout the process but also identifying where they may encounter a digital product at various stages.
The method was finished off by adding a series of ‘how might we’ statements which surfaced as the map was being built.
Following on from this stage of research, I learnt that it was important to consider how the key stakeholders may interact with a digital offering. This helped me in making a decision on what the product would be.
Stay tuned for more work on this project!