Each process in the Product Design Journey is an opportunity for improving the Artifacts and thus, improving the design of the Product.
- Design Sessions
- Feedback Evaluation
- Design Improvement
The Improvement Loop Design Process involves conducting Design Sessions wherein the Artifacts—in the form of Prototypes—would be presented and tested with a relevant audience. The expected output of such sessions are Feedback that will then be evaluated to be useful for Design Improvement.
The process go in sequence—working within the team of stakeholders and designers—and towards users.
|Design Sessions||Presentation||Collaboration (Design Critique, Heuristic Evaluation)||Presentation||Usability Testing||Presentation|
The key points in this suggested sequence are:
- Constant touch base with Stakeholders
- Collaboration with Designers
- Testing with Users
The Design Sessions go back and forth between presenting and testing. Both are for the purpose of gathering feedback to improve the Design of the Product. The former’s other purpose is to enable the Project to move forward by gathering buy-ins from Stakeholders.
Design Roles across the board ideally have Presentation Skills to conduct this particular Design Session—from making storyboards to designing the slide deck to effectively communicating the Design Decisions thru the Prototypes.
Design Critique and Heuristic Evaluation are activities to make the collaboration between Designers formal in the sense that the Feedback is structured and actionable as compared to informal conversations and show-and-tells.
Testing, on the other hand, involves a series of activities—selection of test participants, preparation of the test materials, conduction of the test, gathering the feedback for evaluation, and overseeing the implementation of the improvement—ultimately to be compared and measured against the previous iteration.
The aspect of effectivity and efficiency of Testing is in the hands of the User Researcher Role. On the other hand, the Observation and Evaluation Skills of a Designer—whose designs are being tested, whose questions are being explored, whose objectives are being discussed—are invaluable.
The Stakeholders have a substantial voice in the forward movement of the project because ultimately they will approve the project if it will move towards the next stage of the process. Stakeholders are Business Managers, Product Developers, Project Managers, and Tech Leads.
Collaboration with fellow Designers is a must to be able to fine-tune the Prototype as it moves along the process.
Testing with Users could answer significant design questions in the context of actual usage.
Depending on the type of Testing that was conducted, the Feedback could be as straightforward as a Designer could properly evaluate and implement or it could be as complex as datasets that need to be analyzed by User Researchers.
The Improvement Loop Design Process is a tool that leverages on the power of Feedback of a relevant audience. Also in this iterative process that User Researchers wield their expertise in moving Design forward for the benefit of the business and its customers.