My design and research skills can bring profits and reduce costs. I look at this through the pieces of design work: understanding people and situations; defining the constraints and expectations guiding the design; ideation and idea workshops; prototyping; testing, and documenting the planned product and the design process.
Understanding People and Situations
It's important to be empathetic and understand the needs, desires, and ambitions of users. It's also important to prioritize the user. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn can increase sales and profits. By understanding the real needs of customers, I can also help avoid costly redesigns and product failures in the market.
To understand people and situations, I interview users and understand their world, and then go back to interviewing them with ideas and prototypes. As a doctoral researcher, I learned to conduct high-level user interviews and survey research. I learned what questions are good questions and how to construct research. I also learned how to qualitatively analyze what people want from designs, how they talk about them, and what affects that; and I learned how to statistically analyze, for example, which design is considered the best by many.
Defining the Constraints and Expectations Guiding the Design
By clearly defining the constraints and expectations of the design, me and other designers can focus on creating good and excellent products that are feasible within the given resources. Well-communicated design constraints and expectations can also reduce the risk of misunderstandings and save time in different phases of the project.
Design constraints and expectations can be divided into, for example:
- Users' requirements and desires.
- Case studies used in design.
- Design areas (e.g., purpose, targeted experiences, accessibility, colors, smart features). Good design is characterized by not forgetting any area, such as accessibility, in the design.
- Design choices within areas and dimensions. Excellent design is characterized by attention to all details. A winning product is often not revolutionary in its areas, but the choices within them are made more carefully and precisely.
- Usability and information architecture principles.
- Visual design principles.
- Functions that promote the ethics of designs (e.g., how designs strive to increase users' activity, responsibility, understanding, and decision-making ability). I am familiar with this through my doctoral research.
Ideation and Idea Workshops
Through the creative ideation process, I can develop innovative solutions that stand out from competitors and create new market opportunities. I have a very wide range of ideation skills as well as experience in organizing idea workshops. I can quickly sketch ideas and wireframes on paper and ideate openly with others. Additionally, I can utilize critical and speculative design tactics in ideation, such as aiming for a dystopian idea. This helps break boundaries and, on the other hand, consider ethical questions of design. In 2024, I led idea workshops on artificial intelligence for future media consumption.
Prototyping and Testing
By developing prototypes and testing them with real users, I ensure that the product is user-friendly and meets user expectations before larger investments. This can also reduce post-market entry correction costs and product failure risks.
In practice, I build prototypes using Balsamiq, Gimp/Photoshop, AdobeXD, Figma, and HTML. I also master responsive, i.e., device-adaptable web design.
Once the usability and clarity are at an appropriate level in the early prototype, I can make a final-looking prototype that communicates the product idea even more clearly. I achieve this with my visual design skills and by following visual design principles. I have also lectured on these to master's students.
Documenting the Planned and the Design Process
By making careful documentation, I help ensure the continuity and efficiency of the design process, which can reduce future project costs and time. This also allows for the rapid iteration and scaling of design solutions in different projects or product versions, which can increase the organization's ability to respond to market changes and leverage new business opportunities. Additionally, when the design process is well documented, it facilitates the induction of new team members and reduces dependence on individuals, which improves project management and reduces the risk of errors. I know what all needs to be captured from the design, but I will not list it here now.