There's a Method to Our Madness
Every business has a different challenge for marketing its projects or services. Some may be straightforward and others highly complex. Not only are brands unique, but their customers have specific needs and desires to factor in. The experience depends on whether you are trying to make users more productive, inspire an audience, and connect with customers or all of the above. Therefore, it’s crucial to tailor your design efforts appropriately to yield the best results. That is why we rely on several methodologies and tactics when designing for an audience, user or consumer’s experiences.
Through research, strategy, design, implementation and analytics, we discover how to deliver memorable and satisfying experiences. Why? Because experience happens regardless. Designing for them gives you the best chance at providing the ultimate experiences that build memories and affect behaviors.
The first step is to determine the methodology that best fits the challenge. Which one applies to your business?
SERVICE DESIGN (SD)
Service Design is a design methodology based on how to provide the best service around the interactions between customers, touchpoints, employees, and backstage actors (e.g., partners/vendors, technology, policies, systems). You scrutinize all aspects of your service (e.g., people, infrastructure, communication, environments) that affect customer experiences and then design for the best outcomes.
EXPERIENCE DESIGN (XD)
Unlike Service Design, this method is focused just on touchpoint interactions rather than the broader service. It focuses on the quality of the consumer experience when dealing with a business wherever that may occur (e.g., social media, in the store, at a trade show, on the phone)
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (UX)
This method designs for the quality of experience a user has when interacting with a company’s product or service, focusing on the human to machine interaction. Its goals are to create better product and software solutions that improve efficiency, increase satisfaction, retain customers and drive business growth. It achieves this through research, strategy, prototyping, testing, and other tactics.
USER INTERFACE DESIGN (UI)
User Interface Design is commonly mistaken for User Experience Design. UX Design focuses on how something works, whereas UI Design focuses on how it looks and feels. It focuses on ensuring the product or service’s interactions are easy-to-use, efficient and pleasing to the eye. It incorporates layout and design, responsive design, interactivity, usability, typography, and color schemes. Proper UI Design forms the personality and associates it with the brand to connect the product to the user, building trust.
We apply our methodologies through a combination of a couple of approaches.
Design Thinking is a highly collaborative, human-centered, iterative approach to creative problem-solving that employs processes and tools to help navigate the thinking process to develop innovative ideas. It relies heavily on empathy, ideation and experimentation to drive innovative solutions that people love.
A Systems Thinking approach complements Design Thinking by analyzing an issue and the inter-relationships of various factors to understand the bigger picture. The goal is to improve the whole system internally within the organization and externally across the value chain to ensure success. The solution must meet people’s needs and desires while ensuring it is both technologically feasible and strategically viable.
We employ many tactics throughout the process based on the methodology and budget of each project. In short, the process allows us to discover and understand the real human needs required to be solved, that would result in a well-designed experience. Balancing user needs, business goals and technology along the way. The following is an overview of each phase throughout a project:
Discover Phase – In the phase, we learn as much about the market, competitors, users/customers/audience, business goals and requirements, systems and technology, and any possible metrics or data that may be available.
Define Phase – The next step is to synthesize the information that was collected and then start planning and brainstorming to define what the product, service or experience will be and how we will design it. We utilize an iterative process as we pose hypotheses and test them by persona.
Design Phase – Once we know what we are creating, we can design it. We may utilize mood boards, visual and interaction design or establish a design language system. This phase is also an iterative process as we may hold co-design sessions, validate wireframes, high fidelity mockups and prototypes.
Develop Phase – This is the construction phase where all digital and physical tools and materials are built and tested to gain user and stakeholder acceptance.
Evaluate Phase – Once all components are launched based on the strategic plan, tracking how well they are performing will help determine if you need to make improvements.