Design thinking isn’t just about the visual outcome of a product. Rather, it’s a method of creatively and practically solving problems that keeps the user top of mind. Understanding the user’s wants and needs allows us to make more accurate decisions during the inspiration, production, and iteration phases of building a product. The outcome, hopefully, is intuitive products and services that actually improve users’ lives.
Design thinking has existed in some form for the past 20 years. What makes IBM Design Thinking unique is scale. IBM is a massive company and this is the first time design thinking is being implemented at a company of this size with this degree of training. We have an entire division, the IBM Design Education, whose sole focus is to train the entirety of IBM on the practice of Design Thinking. By training engineers, product managers, marketers, and executives on how to think like a designer, we are able to bring design thinking to a mass corporate level. This is design thinking in a company at scale.
If you have ever done a quick job search for “user experience design,” chances are you’ve seen a number of titles and descriptions that aren’t always as simple as “UX designer.”
User experience has a variety of specializations, and as a job seeker and practitioner, you should know the skills and applications that come with each. Understanding these differences will help you decide which area of UX is right for you and help you find the appropriate job to fit your interests and skill set.
A vital part of creating a great user experience (UX) is thinking about what we call the “customer journey.” The customer journey is exactly what it sounds like: the journey your customer makes. For instance, if your product is a toothbrush, you would typically look at the customer journey as buying and using the toothbrush. You then design the experience to match up perfectly with that journey, solving each problem along the way, and the end result feels like magic!
Craft beer rating app, Barly, recently released new features that shift the focus from simple ratings to smart recommendations that learn your taste in beer over time. The founding team at Barly started as a group of musicians who appreciate a frosty beverage, but after one fateful round of drinks, they realized that most beer menus are hard to decipher for the casual beer drinker. Nick Norton, Craig Vermeyen, Mike Weil, and Hunter Knight moved quickly to create an app, sourcing expertise to get their idea off the ground, including help from UXDI students at General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus.
Students in the User Experience Design Immersive work on client projects as part of the curriculum to gain real world experience using their new skills. Aaron Barnes, Samantha Burke, and Ken Sugai were assigned to work with the app.
For Barly CEO Nick Norton, it was an easy decision to go with the students at General Assembly. “They were great. Sam, Aaron, and Ken put in so much work over a short period, and were clearly excited to be working on this project,” he said.
Members of the Buster team mapping out their redesign. Photo by Adam Brodowski.
We recently completely redesigned Buster, our online booking site for buses, limos, and vans, after the first version (v1) of our website had been live for about a year. It was our first big review of what had worked in our early product, and what hadn’t, and our biggest chance so far to refresh our thinking about the business we’re growing. Rethinking our product was both cathartic and grueling. Here are the hardest things we had to do to make it happen.
Every day, more CEOs and business leaders are realizing the importance of a product’s design and user experience. UX is no longer an ambiguous acronym or secondary business concern, but a key piece of a product’s success. With so many useful apps and products on the market, companies can no longer risk having a poor user experience or uninspiring design. Users demand great experiences, and it’s user experience designers who help products meet these high expectations.
User experience designers are positioned for success in today’s job market. They get to work in a growing and intellectually stimulating field, playing a key part in shaping a product’s success across a variety of industries — from finance to education to to e-commerce and more. Read below to explore why UX design may just be the perfect career for you.
The ‘lean’ movement espouses shorter iteration cycles for generating user insight. And while running experiments by rapid prototyping is, of course, instrumental, your product team shouldn’t be the only source of actionable customer feedback.
Getting out of the office is great—but sometimes the only trip you need to make is down the hall. There’s a number of often overlooked channels for user insight that can be tapped into from within your office. Continue reading →
Evelyn Kim was fresh out of college when a Facebook ad enticed her to apply for the UX Design Immersive program here at GA. Now, after completing the 10-week, full-time program, she has just started an internship on our very own Instructional Development team, and she is ready to take her UX career to new heights.
Although UX designers and developers may bring different skill sets to the table, at the end of the day, we are all trying to create the best experience for the user— and it’s when we put our creative minds together that we can achieve the most remarkable outcomes.
While at some companies the role of designer and developer are one in the same, at many others, the two roles must work both simultaneous and congruently.
The relationship between designer and developer can thrive if you remember to focus on the following: