I wrote last month about Week Notes, and in the following weeks I forgot to share what I’d been noting. So here are some week notes, work and personal, from the past few weeks: April 5, April 12, April 19, and April 24.
Week ending April 24
Another client meeting that reviewed work and ended on-time with no outstanding feedback
Redesigned mobile wireframes for a section of account preferences, presented updates, and created desktop versions after receiving feedback
Presented desktop wireframes for mobile wireframes from previous sprints
Incorporated client feedback into wires and sent updates
Included a table within the wireframes to map processes between systems, for better messaging for the customer
Added arrows between wireframes that are part of workflows
Took notes from a final client meeting to document decisions and status
Had a very successful client presentation of overflow work from a previous sprint – (4/13)
Reflections on why the meeting had such a good outcome
My thoughts: We had at least 3 requirements meetings for our sprint, and we really got into the detail of the features. We also reviewed workflows and made adjustments in real-time. I think all of that helped create accurate designs, which led to few/no questions
Another team member: Everyone was on the same page because the client team finished up their requirements and walked everyone through them. The client team knew exactly what they were looking for from the creative team.
Virtually met new team members located in Minneapolis and Dallas, (4/14)
Presented additional wireframes and workflows to client but wasn’t able to present all work during the meeting
Took screenshots from GAP account pages to explore messaging, and noticed extra options
Opened the radiator, again (and now dealing with the unfortunate rattle, again).
Week ending April 5
Reviewed requirements for payment method sections of account profile, for in-scope and out of scope functionality
Updated workflows for payment method sections of account profile, to accommodate removal of out of scope functionality
Collaborated with internal project team on which updates and recommendations to share with client
Held a design share with client and presented workflows on order tracking
Presented workflows on how to reset password, for different user flows
Updated shared notes regarding changes to previously approved designs
Uploaded screenshots taken with Simulator to inform discussion of designs using 3rd-party, plug-in, for address completion.
Wrote a blog post on last month
In-between books…started one, but didn’t finish
Created a spreadsheet to help track my deliveries and shopping lists
I can’t remember when it was, but I rearranged my furniture in April. My desk is now in the living room, behind the couch. The TV is back in the living room. The sofa is angled to face the living room and divide the desk area from the TV area. And the bedroom now has a little reading nook. Although, most of the books I read are audiobooks and I listen them all over my apartment.
Image credit: Schrijvende vrouw, Willem Wenckebach, 1870 – 1937, brush, h 321mm × w 248mm – View at rijksmuseum.nl
Just finished reading about “week notes”, here and here. It looks like a really helpful productivity and project retrospective tool, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The examples I’ve seen are based on weeks, but this is my first time and March recently ended so I’m going to write my first “week” note for an entire month. Please forgive if there are any inaccuracies, or if it’s super long. 🙂
A note: If for some reason you’re not aware of current events, March 2020 has been one of the most volatile periods of time since WWII, or the civil movements of the 1960s. For most people, anywhere in the world, there’s been a lot going on. These are my small notes, on the work I’ve been doing, in my own little corner of the world.
I am currently engaged on an e-commerce redesign and platforming project for a retail client. The client and internal teams are based in NYC and NJ, with a tech team in India. I work closely with an experience associate manager, a visual design lead, two visual designers, and project manager. I work semi-closely with the client (product) team. And the executive director of experience remains involved, here and there.
Created wireframe desktop layout options for account profile dashboards in Sketch
Followed e-commerce project’s shift from wireframes to workflows – we got ahead of the requirements
Created workflows to map potential e-commerce interactions for requirements for track order and favorites lists
Created workflows that mapped product requirements, for reset password as a guest/non-credentialed user and from account profile
Created workflows to map proposed account profile functionality, including update address, communication preferences, and expired cards/payment methods
Attended a product requirements meeting
Attended at least 2 product meetings to discuss requirements for profile pages
Discussed workflows on track order and favorites with a tech lead, before presenting to the client
Presented workflows on track order and favorites to client
Attended an informal session with the visual design team on their progress on a design system
Prepped with 2 others for a client presentation on wireframes and visual design of requirements
Revisited the requirements for account profile requirements, to make sure they were reflected in the wireframes
Uploaded screenshot examples of account profile pages for e-commerce sites for desktop and mobile, to help the design teams make decisions on the UI
Attended a global experience townhall (on Zoom)
Had a virtual check-in with the larger experience teams
Attended daily morning check-ins with the internal project team
Finally got Acrobat Pro installed on my work computer
Had several collaborative sessions with colleagues using InVision’s Freehand
Attended an online presentation of an internal collaborative tool
Checked out a website on design system repositories
The speaker had a friendly demeanor and it’s easy to feel an emotional connection to the topic of team dynamics. I felt an easy connection to this presentation. On slide 24, the speaker talked about helping people feel comfortable being themselves. He warned that this is not the same as fitting in. He made the observation that sometimes team members can end up forming little cliques, because people like hanging out with others who are like them.
The other presentation was called Beyond User Research. It promotes using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to continuously improve a user interface. This presentation got me thinking about the field of User Experience and remembering that it’s not all about making things look pretty. The speaker made a well-observed comment about introverts, which I connected with, too. 🙂
The presentation showed that in order to provide real value, UX designers and architects should regularly incorporate a wide variety of research into their practice. UX architects should be open to using web analytics research, in addition to traditional UX research.
Summary: Modern day UX research methods answer a wide range of questions. To know when to use which user research method, each of 20 methods is mapped across 3 dimensions and over time within a typical product-development process.
Another Speaker Event, Meetup
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to get out more and attend more Meetups. Shortly after the World IA Day event, I attended a Digital Product Design Meetup for the first time. The speaker for this event gave a presentation called Evolving the Design Game. There is a link to a video of the presentation. (This is video is expertly produced. Very well done.) There is no link to the slides themselves.
I didn’t have the same takeaways with this presentation as I did with the other presentations. However, the presenter did get across that he felt his work was misunderstood and under appreciated, and he felt that was true across the industry.
At one point in the presentation, he asked the audience about their experience with a CEO making a color change request. He said that he did not have a solution to stop that type of behavior.
At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession. – Queen Elizabeth II (http://Read more at: BrainyQuote)
What popped into my head as a solution to this problem was slide 26 from the Beyond User Research presentation. I was thinking about research, not design.
I’ve observed a growing emphasis on the visual design skill of UX designers, including mandates for specific wireframe software. In contrast, I observe very little emphasis on research methods. My conclusion is that non-UX designers, coming into contact with the field, end up doing the same thing: overemphasizing looks and under-appreciating research.
The solution could be as simple as getting back to basics. A long-term commitment to research, treating every aspect of the work thoughtfully and deliberately, might help designers earn greater respect and appreciation for their work from their clients and co-workers. In an upcoming blog post, I’ll write about using the UX audit as a part of a UX research plan.
Or…maybe the answer is to watch more videos from World IA Day! In an upcoming post, or on my Tumblr, I’ll post videos or links. Or you can search on Twitter at #WIAD17 or #wiad17.