In November 2020, I received my UX Certification from the Nielsen Norman Group. I attended courses and passed exams on five great design topics:
I would recommend that anyone looking to upskill in UX design should consider upcoming NN/g courses & events.
Practice the Design Thinking process at different scales. Sample DT problems are a great way to test out new methods and bring new people into the process. Consider if hackdays, internal projects or small design briefs could be the right opportunities to hone your DT tactics.
Don't underestimate the value of collaborating on a good customer-focused needs statement. A good needs statement sets the framework to generate a higher quantity of new ideas, by allowing participants to explore further without losing the context of the workshop's goal.
Avoid this common pitfall when collaborating: a group is presented with a problem space, and they start brainstorming solutions. This approach often leads to issues like group thinking and the HiPPO effect, which severely limit the creative potential of a group.
Early in the design process, it’s important to push far past rationality into the absurd. It’s much easier to tame a wild idea into something more feasible, than to push tame idea into exciting, uncharted territory.
A pen and a practiced hand are the best tools for creating big ideas. Whatever tools you use, coming up with new ideas is like any skill or craft, and it takes practice to be kept in shape.
A successful ideation phase should yield a large number of diverse ideas. There are SO many ways to frame a problem to keep generating ideas. Using a structured approach and anchoring in user research will produce a larger range of ideas.
Inspiration can come from seemingly irrelevant fields, so look in unexpected places. I loved the case study about NASA engineers grappling with how to transport large cargo on a spacecraft, eventually finding a solution inspired by origami.
I see lots of synchronous ideation sessions, but asynchronous sessions can be a better approach for some problems. If the group needs time to process a problem, taking a break (even a day or two) to consider solutions individually and regroup can be the best way forward.
Content that matches customers' expectations is the best way to establish credibility. By anticipating customers’ expectations, we can design to ease cognitive strain and promote trust.
Humans usually don’t behave logically. Our decision making is influenced by many emotions, cognitive biases, and heuristics. We tend to make decisions based on what seems to be the least-wrong choice with the least effort.
Persuasive tactics can easily backfire and erode trust. Many people can identify common tactics designed to influence their decision making.
When asking customers to make decisions, consider their core motivations. Customers’ motivations and emotional states should determine when & how we ask them to make decisions.
People tend to use a series of devices and tools in their everyday lives. Consider the transition points between devices, and remember that digital can only solve so many customer problems.
Customers should be able to interact with your product or service on any combination of channels, so aim to keep core functionality consistent across channels. Optimize designs for a specific channel depending on the context.
Customers deal with many issues caused by how businesses are organized, specifically how internal teams communicate with each other to create a holistic experience... (ie. separated teams responsible for marketing, support, product & design).
Customer Experience covers many levels of how people interact with a business. It's not one person's or team's responsibility for how an experience is designed.
There are many different types of workshops. Set clear expectations within your organization about the types of workshops you can run, the role of different types of workshops, and the intended goals for each type.
Start a toolbox with the materials, props and activities you might need to facilitate. Over time, this will seriously reduce the effort it takes to run a great workshop.
Setting the right constraints tends to increase group productivity. Clear boundaries, rules and expectations can keep everyone on track to reach a workshop goal.
Be prepared for conflict. Dominating personalities, disengaged or distracting participants, opposing viewpoints... be prepared to help the group move forward, instead of getting stuck in a conflict that can derail collaboration.