UX Research Essentials in 4 Minutes | Part 2

Now that you have a good understanding of the phases of the first stage of UX Ideation & Articulation and Mapping, Testing, and Envisioning. It is time to make your idea stand apart, make it more distinct by stating who benefits from our idea setting the audience and the rationale.

Think about the target audience, the people who would like to use our idea. Let’s take an example of an idea for a social network app that helps locals discover new places of the community with people of similar interests. The first thing that pops into the head is Facebook, the most prominent social network. For our idea to stand out, we need to target a specific audience. I know what you are thinking, what good is it if it's not global. Well, our idea is global but not every person from every walk of life will be a user just like how millennials are rarely found on Instagram and even less so on Snapchat. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and our app, all have different target audiences and hence are unique, while serving as social networks.

The first thing when setting the audience, it’s always useful to label in more detailed terms. Label their personalities in four dimensions of political, social, financial, and functional.

Take our social networking app for example. If we were to label our user’s traits in these four dimensions — they would be something like this,

- Political

· Nationalist

· Patriot

· Preservationists

- Financial

· Thrifty

· On a budget

· Do-Gooders

- Social

· Adventurous

· Community Lovers

· Explorers

- Functional

· Save money

· Save time

· Build a network

Once the traits of our users have been sorted it is easier to invent user profiles based on these.

User Profile #1

Ali, Islamabad

22 years old

CS Undergrad

Lives with his parents

Likes going out with friends, meeting new people, and visiting new places.

Let’s invent another user profile which is the same but different at the same time.

User Profile #2

Sara, Lahore

24 years old, Single

Business Grad

Lives in 3rd Floor Apartment with parents

Likes hanging out with colleagues, old friends, and networking at business conventions.

Both of these profiles fit all our four dimensions. One benefit of inventing user profiles is that we learn to create user-centric concerns that help us create user-centered design through design-centered design while keeping the idea client-centered. This management of different design centers is the primary role of UX Designers.

Finally, it is time to state why to use this idea. This involves setting the goals by asking ourselves, “What are my goals?” and trying to answer through different perspectives of a user, designer, and client. What I recommend is using the same four dimensions we talked about previously while stating user traits for our idea; political, financial, social, and financial.

If we look at the idea through these four perspectives, we would be able to work out our target goals and outcomes.

Political — Promote patriotism

Financial — Make money

Social — Build a community

Functional — Provide a useful app

These are the four primary goals for our social networking app. After setting the goals it is essential to prioritize all goals accordingly and sustainably as in the digital world everything is connected. You cannot prioritize in a few dimensions and ignore the rest. Naturally, everyone’s prioritizes would differ, but I would prioritize in this manner,

Political — 20%

Financial — 20%

Social — 30%

Functional — 30%

You may notice how my priorities are almost equivalent. That is because they all are tied to and affect one another. The focus areas of our app are also connected. The app aims to help discover places and people, hence promote love for their country and community while also ensuring that the users have a useful app to make it possible in the first place but we do not need to invest so much into the other factors that our financial standing comes into trouble and we fall into recession. This further goes along to illustrate that all goals are connected to each other, but to some extent.

And that’s it. This was all about Ideation, Articulation, and Development. Woohoo! You can pat yourself and give me a clap now. You’ve covered so much. You are now able to ideate and think of an idea by following the thinking principle and articulating it. Conduct market research to help your idea stand out. Set the target audience by thinking about beneficiaries, labeling user traits, and creating user profiles. And finally, you learned how to set goals and outcomes using the four dimensions of political, financial, social, and functional aspects of your idea and how they are connected.

To learn more about design and tech do checkout The Design and Tech Show on YouTube, where I talk about UX in a visual manner.

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