Week Notes, May 3

A written accounting of the week’s activities. (Or in my case, about a month.) These are my week notes for the final week in April, plus May 1.

Work

  • Work on new features related to product detail pages (PDP) and finishing work from profile pages
  • Held a retro with team members
  • Had check-in with clients on new work for PDP
  • Welcomed a new member to the team; I will be rolling off soon ūüôĀ
  • Large amount of work scheduled, so team coordinated who would do what
  • Presented my wireframes to client – we have been working on these concepts since the beginning of the sprints
  • Discussed review wireframes with client in the same meeting
  • We discussed a¬†tricky problem, requested on¬†the product pages with new members of the client team
  • Provided feedback to supervisor/team members on work to be presented at a client meeting
  • Cleaned up some files on computer, using an Automator workflow

 

Personal


Image credit: The Letter Writer, Frans van Mieris (I), 1680, oil on panel, h 25cm × w 20cm РView original at Rijksmuseum.nl

Week Notes: April 2020

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

Work

  • 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

 

Personal


Week ending April 19

Work

  • 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

Personal


Week ending April 12

Work

  • Updated wireframes for massive review session
  • Created¬†new walk-through flow for different stages¬†a workflow
  • Attended a meeting to walk-through new product requirements (4/6)
  • Presented wireframes reflecting new requirements (4/8)
  • Attended an internal presentation, where other team members presented their work on the discussion of development of a design system
  • Created new reference material of newsletter sign-up by taking screenshots of competitor websites (see below)
  • Reviewed new product requirements against existing designs
  • Worked one-on-one with manager on a client presentation to help her get caught up with work new and existing work needed for an upcoming sprint
  • Found new list of competitor websites, including Dune London , Clarks, Reebok, Timberland, Country Attire, Adidas
Screenshot from Dune London account sign up
Dune London account sign up

Clark’s Newsletter modal

Personal

 


Week ending April 5

Work

  • 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.

Personal

  • 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

Personal (undated)

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 Р1937, brush, h 321mm × w 248mm РView at rijksmuseum.nl

“Month” notes: March 2020

Written documentation of a week’s activities.

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. ūüôā

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.

Context

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.

Work

  • 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

 

Personal

I think this is a good practice. Let’s see where it goes.


Image credit: Old, Bearded Man Writing, Rembrandt van Rijn (school of), c. 1640 Рc. 1650, pen and brown ink; framing line in brown ink, h 88mm × w 80mm РView on Rijksmuseum.nl

Impressions: World Information Day 2017 and Meetup

Several weeks ago, I attended World Information Architecture Day, held at Bloomberg. In case you’re wondering what World Information Architecture Day¬†is, here is an explanation from their website:

“World Information Architecture Day is a one-day annual celebration hosted by the Information Architecture Institute and held in dozens of locations across the globe.”

It takes place in 58 locations, across 24 countries, on 5 continents on one day. Pretty neat. As it was one day long so there weren’t that many presenters. Two presentations stuck out for me.

Favorite World IA Day Speaker Presentations

The first presentation was about team building and team dynamics. It was called Designing Teams for Emerging Challenges Рavailable on SlideShare.

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. ūüôā

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.

I liked slide 36 because it was easy to see the relationship between the different research techniques in one view. The slide comes from an article from Nielson-Norman Group, called When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods:

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.


A dark brown chess piece with a gold crown sitting on top, resembling a queen.

Finding Solutions

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.


Old tube-style TV

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.