• Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

UX Ideation 101: Suggestions & instruments for laying the proper design foundations

Read Time:10 Minute, 42 Second

Each sensible design begins with an incredible concept, in addition to lots of of not-so-amazing ones. To the consumer’s eye, these rejected ideas aren’t in any respect seen, nonetheless, their expertise can be nowhere close to as pleasant if errors, iterations, and learnings didn’t occur through the design course of.

Within the Double Diamond, a well-known framework and shut pal to the design group, the third stage is the place the brainstorming and ideating actually kick off.

“Ideation is the mode of the design course of during which you focus on concept technology. Mentally, it represents a means of “going huge” by way of ideas and outcomes. Ideation supplies each the gasoline and likewise the supply materials for constructing prototypes and getting modern options into the arms of your customers.” — d.faculty, An Introduction to Design Pondering PROCESS GUIDE

This section harnesses creativity and innovation to develop options in your customers. On this article, we are going to talk about some ideas, tips, and instruments that can allow you to in getting the proper foundations in your product.

✏️ Due to our mates at Uncooked.Studio for sponsoring this weblog put up!

Why ideation is so vital

Whether or not doing so deliberately or not, we undergo a large number of ideation processes every day. What takeaway ought to we get? What prepare ought to I catch? What ought to we do on the weekend? 

In design, the solutions are a bit extra difficult than pizza, the 8:35 AM prepare, or a bush stroll. The ideation course of permits designers to keep away from early summations and encourages you to delve deeper and deeper to uncover thought-out ideas.

The ideation section is uber-important because it:

💭 Helps you ask the proper questions. Why are we designing this? Who’re we designing it for? Is that this characteristic totally important? What do we have to do to create an amazing expertise for our consumer? All of those questions can come up through the ideation course of, permitting you to align on priorities and work towards a purpose.

💡 Get all of the concepts on the desk, good or dangerous, and filter from there. It is very important get out dangerous concepts because it makes room for the nice ones. It simply means you’ve mentioned and explored a number of avenues (a superb factor in design!)

💥 Discover thrilling new ideas you’ll have not thought of earlier than. That is significantly true in a collaborative atmosphere, as among the greatest concepts can come from group brainstorming with a number of minds bouncing ideas off one another and constructing from there.

📦 Assume exterior the field. Equally to the purpose above, this section can actually take a look at the creativeness and may construct on artistic, important and conceptual pondering expertise in each a workforce and particular person atmosphere.

💸 Saves money and time in the long term. This is because of intentional, user-centric design and choosing up on points earlier on.

1. Problem your assumptions and biases

In scientific apply, you might be informed to not imagine assumptions till the experiment uncovers the reality. The identical goes for design. Difficult your assumptions within the design course of means that you can be artistic and use your creativeness by questioning the established order.

Design apply is intrinsically about change and altering the world, and one thing that was assumed a 12 months in the past will not be true to today, so it’s crucial to all the time be questioning, not bounce to conclusions or put up any partitions through the ideation course of. Difficult assumptions if you end up caught in present pondering paradigms or if you end up missing within the concept division is especially useful.

We will problem assumptions in three steps:

1. Record out your assumptions ✍🏻

I do know it appears like stating the plain, however writing them down really helps in speaking them to the broader workforce, or to only allow you to articulate them to your self.

Some assumption examples that may get introduced up through the ideation section embrace:

  • The consumer wants X characteristic
  • It will likely be unimaginable to implement X characteristic within the given timeframe and price range
  • A specific design structure or circulation is the one method to go
  • This new strategy will improve conversion price

2. Problem them 🤔

It’s then time to problem, query and negotiate these statements, even dig a bit deeper as to why the individual/s who wrote the idea feels this explicit method. You’ll be able to then transfer into whether or not this assumption is definitely legitimate or recognized, or whether it is merely a speculation that may should be validated additional.

3. Translate this to actuality 🗺

A typical method to flesh out assumptions and categorize them after difficult them is thru the idea mapping technique, as seen beneath.

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This facilitates a collaborative and definitive supply of reality going ahead. it means that you can align with the workforce on the place every assumption stands, what to progress with, and what to research additional.

It may be really easy to get caught up in deadlines, stakeholder administration, a number of sources of suggestions and enter, out-of-scope requests, and funky visible ideas, however on the finish of the day, you are attempting to design a related, intuitive, and pleasant product in your consumer, and making assumptions on this can be a harmful recreation. Assumption testing of your chosen evaluation means that you can decide whether or not you might be on the proper path and should you can accurately draw conclusions from the outcomes of your evaluation.

2. Embrace consumer flows

Consumer flows are sometimes created within the ideation section after consumer analysis has been performed. They kind an vital a part of the muse on which your product is constructed. After you have gathered your knowledge from consumer testing, consumer flows assist decide what number of screens are wanted, what order they need to seem, and what parts should be current.

Consumer flows are nice to make use of within the ideation section as they:

💡 Make issues intuitive. Generally, what is smart in our thoughts or as we design screens doesn’t actually make sense as a completely fleshed-out circulation.

🏠  Offer you a little bit of construction. It may be fairly overwhelming going into designs, whether or not low or excessive constancy. Having some pointers and flows set beforehand actually helps present a basis and make sure you don’t miss any key steps, screens, or CTAs.

❤️  Permit different individuals out of your firm to empathize and perceive the customers. For others, significantly those that are a bit extra faraway from the venture, it may be onerous to get a grasp of a venture from some analysis slides and a few display screen designs. Strolling by way of the consumer flows will enable others to immerse themselves within the consumer’s expertise.

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Form definitions and consumer circulation instance from Profession Foundry.

Some nice instruments for creating consumer flows are:

Remember to do not forget that consumer flows are sometimes revisited and edited so you’ll all the time be updating them and maintaining them present, it’s all a part of the iterative course of! These iterations and the apply of making consumer flows assist designers determine any attainable issues earlier than tackling display screen design. They’re additionally wonderful catalysts for simplified UX, forcing you to ideate the best method for a consumer to finish a job and to contemplate alternate flows, resulting in a really thought of, intuitive design.

3. Get impressed

Everyone knows what it’s wish to stare at your laptop display screen or a clean sketchbook for hours on finish. It’s in our most impressed states the place the perfect work is created, however it may be onerous to succeed in that time generally. Whereas it may be straightforward to fall right into a artistic droop, there are a loopy quantity of assets on the market, and different artistic people that may assist encourage a designer’s work.

Leaping into inspiration too early nonetheless can restrict your pondering by way of options, main you down a rabbit gap that may be tough to get out of. I for one am a repeat offender of latching onto a selected concept or design I see on-line, and having it subconsciously influence the extent of exploration I do in my designs.

Nonetheless, if I may advocate some nice sources of inspiration, they would come with:

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Inspiration: High left: Abdur rafi Pleasure High proper: Liza Hops Backside left: Muhammad Jumayev, Farukh Nurmatov & Aziza Israilova Backside proper: Mahmudul Hasan Manik

Getting inspiration early isn’t essentially a foul factor, it’s a signal of curiosity and pleasure, however it is very important be aware of this as you undergo the design course of, and verify in on your self occasionally to see. Am I narrowing my concepts too early? Is that one design on Pinterest actually the one path I ought to discover? What different layouts or flows are on the market that I may attempt as a substitute?

4. Begin in low constancy

Low-fidelity design is an affordable, comparatively quick strategy that means that you can translate high-level design ideas into tangible and testable artifacts. It’s a superb place to begin that means that you can discover a couple of ideas to check first earlier than committing to larger fidelities. They can be utilized after or along side consumer flows so you may see how the journey with some visible construction.

Low-fidelity design helps to:

  • Detect and repair main issues early
  • Give attention to high-level ideas earlier than delving deeper in later phases
  • Iterate sooner and cheaper

There are a large number of the way to get began on low-fidelity designs, however some favorites embrace:

📝 Pen and paper. Basic and accessible. Regardless of having plenty of instruments on the market which might be completely superb, I nonetheless discover myself drawn again to pen and paper, even when it’s only for a small a part of a venture.

💻 Wireframy. For the Figma lovers, Wireframy has 2,300+ parts and 170+ purpose-built layouts to mess around with.

👀 Whimsical. One other nice on-line device accessed by your browser, with an easy-to-access library.

Beneath is an instance of beginning out with pen and paper, which Uncooked.Studio’s UX strategy embraced for his or her consumer 1Bill.

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And right here we have now a few of Wireframy’s parts, permitting you to construct out sound buildings in Figma with out worrying (simply but) about the entire nitty-gritty visible particulars.

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One of these constancy means that you can deal with the ideas and construction and whether or not they make sense or not. It builds a strong base for the longer term when including branding, colours, interactions, and imagery to additional delight the shopper.

5. Don’t be afraid to tweak or begin once more

“Good design isn’t the results of a single stroke of genius. Trial and error is a crucial a part of the method. — Michael J. Fordham, EditorX

Designers can typically get fixated on a selected design or strategy, whether or not that is because of biases or if it was confirmed to be probably the most appropriate strategy resulting from consumer insights. However, issues can change, and what was as soon as the go-to idea is now underneath interrogation, whether or not by the workforce, stakeholders or customers.

It may be tough to return to the drafting board generally, whether or not it’s simply to tweak a small part or all the pieces, nevertheless it is much better to tinker within the early phases of the ideation course of than afterward when designs are being developed.


iterative web design
Picture Credit score: Editor X

It will possibly even really feel like you might be losing time, cash, and assets, nonetheless, it’s actually the exact opposite. Suspending the inevitable will solely construct up design debt, so make sure to preserve an open thoughts and iterate shortly and early.

Wrap up

Simply to reiterate what we have now coated:

  • 💪  Problem your assumptions and biases
  • ❤️  Embrace consumer flows & journey mapping
  • ✨  Get impressed
  • ☝️ Begin in low constancy
  • 🔁  Don’t be afraid to tweak or begin once more

Whereas this text solely covers 5 factors to contemplate through the ideation section, there are loads extra approaches and an abundance of assets on the market that can assist you develop your apply. This section permits for a strong transition between understanding the issues that customers have and producing some groundbreaking options, so embrace it!


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