Designers are like tigers: along with extraordinary power (creativity), they use some strategies to hunt down their prey (idea). Therefore, a great designer job is not only about flying fantasy, but also following some steps that will provide predictably great results. I, the Wisest Tiger, will tell you below about what the approarches are and the steps they include below.

Design Thinking Process: Best Choice for Tigers-Innovators

The well-known web resource Interaction Design Foundation argues that design thinking is an approarch aimed at understanding user problems and finding solutions to them that are fundamentally different from existing ones.

The concept of design thinking has been around since the release of Herbert Simon's book "The Sciences of the Artificial" in 1969, and is now widely used by corporations such as Google, Apple, and Airbnb. Indeed, all the solutions from these companies can be called much more than intuitive - rather revolutionary. Thus, the value of design thinking lies in creating innovations and simplifying the familiar, but rather complex scenarios of manipulating the UI.

Design Thinking Steps

Basic Steps in the Design Thinking Process

Empathize with users

This is where you need to identify the problem that most users face. It is very important to perceive the product from their point of view, and not from the point of view of the creator (who is naturally familiar with the interface).

Determine user needs

At this stage, you need to analyze the problems of users and formulate specific tasks from them. Here, you may need to draw up portraits of clients to understand whose needs need to be met.

Go to idea generation

The knowledge collected in the previous two stages will serve as a basis for generating non-standard ideas. Tiger brainstorming works well at this stage.

Build a prototype

After identifying the most viable ideas, you need to build several prototypes from them (for example, they can be drawn on paper).

Test the generated solutions

Finally, you need to present all of these prototypes to the testing team so that they can make an objective assessment of the solution's performance. If they find something that doesn't meet their expectations, you will have to iterate through the previous points until you get approval.

As for the advantages of this approarch, here I can highlight the following:

  • constant interaction with end users, which helps to achieve full satisfaction of their needs;
  • an iterative approarch that reduces the cost of edits;
  • forming an image of innovators for the company itself.

Along with this, this approarch also has disadvantages:

  • not the best choice for projects with tight deadlines;
  • the need to ensure the participation of end users at all stages of development;
  • possible technological limitations associated with incompatibility or high cost of implementation.

Thus, if the tiger is working on a high-budget project and has the opportunity to constantly collaborate with end users, this approarch is definitely worth paying attention to.

User-Centered Design: Win-Win Solution for Indulging Tigers

The UCD approarch implies an iterative construction of systems taking into account the opinion of the end users. You can use questionnaires and brainstorming sessions to find out the true needs of the consumer.

The history of UCD begins in the 70s of the last century. This approarch played a special role in the work of Don Norman "Design of Everyday Things", where he analyzed the psychological aspects of the usability of objects that we all use in everyday life.

Four Stages of UCD approach

Four Stages of UCD

#1 – Define the main task of the product from the point of view of the user

This step requires considering the product "through the eyes of the end users" – what pain points is it intended to eliminate, what goals to achieve?

#2 – Consider possible user requirements

At this stage, you have to understand what the target audience requirements are that affect the usability and justify the cost of the product.

#3 – Create a prototype

Based on the findings, you should now create some prototypes. Since the process involves many iterations, prototypes should be as budgetary as possible and easy to implement.

#4 – Evaluate the results

Finally, you have to present the created prototypes to the focus group and evaluate how satisfied they are with the results according to the list of predefined specifications. After that, the tigers take the prototype for processing, repeating the iterative steps until the focus group members are completely satisfied with the result.

This approarch has all the same advantages and disadvantages as the previous one. But you don't need to create something innovative here. Thus, the implementation process will be much cheaper. As for the UCD challenges, it may be difficult to recruit focus groups. This is where solutions that simulate the behavior of the target audience are able to help you.

Service-Oriented Design: Holy Grail for the Material Tigers

This approarch implies the creation of a standardized structure of autonomous functions (services) that do not depend on software tools and technologies. It helps developers implement scalable solutions that need regular updates at minimal cost.

The emergence of SOA can be associated with the migration of monolithic software (which began to lose its relevance about 20 years ago) to a web service architecture, which is characterized by a minimum number of dependencies between functions and the ability to constantly add something new with minimal risk of bugs.

Service-Oriented Design standart

Steps to Follow to Implement the SOA Methodology

List the specifications

At this stage, you have to draw up an accurate list of product requirements, taking into account the long-term business goals of the customer.

Think about how the product can be separated into functions

Here, of course, you can gnaw the application into "bones and cartilages", just remember that the redundancy of these blocks will increase the cost of the project. For this reason, you should interact with developers to avoid separating components that use the same technologies.

Build several prototypes

Depending on the structure you choose, make some prototypes.

Test prototypes for upgradability

In addition to evaluating usability, at this stage you have to evaluate how convenient it will be for developers to update an existing version of the product. If you find any shortcomings, you will need to repeat all the steps again.

In terms of benefits, this approarch can meet the long-term business goals of the software owner, as the architecture is designed from the ground up for constant change. It also has disadvantages: in the absence of a detailed list of specifications (which is typical for startups), you can choose the wrong scheme for dividing software into functions, which in the future will entail expensive updates.

Traditional Design Process: Ineffective Method for Conservative Tigers

Traditional design is considered obsolete today, so modern tigers do not like it. According to its rules, the product design process is separate from the development and testing processes, which means that these two phases cannot start before the design is complete.

Traditional product lifecycle

This is typical for the waterfall software development methodology and entails a large number of errors and inconsistencies with the expectations of both the product owner and the target audience (even in the case of deep market research). At the same time, all alterations are very expensive.

Final Worrrds

In conclusion, I would like to say that before choosing any of the approarches, correctly assess the project budget, deadlines and the opportunity to contact the target audience. That's all. Your servant - the Wisest Tiger - is tired and goes to rrrest.