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User Experience Strategy (UXS)

Every product is put up against the ultimate test,

do people want it?

There's two ways you can tackle this. You can:

  1. Have an idea, build a product, and then hope it evolves to the needs and wants of your users, or
  2. Have an idea, talk to potential users, and then build a product.

In the ideal world, #2 is the far better option saving tremendous time and money, because instead of building a risky product built upon assumptions of truths about your users later resulting in major, expensive, and costly changes, you build a cheaper, higher value product built upon truths from your upfront user research and value innovation.

So, option #2 is cheaper, ships quicker, lasts longer, is less stressful, and much more enjoyable for your users, which makes you money.

UXS Process

The first thing we, as a team, will do is look at your value proposition (your idea, what you offer). We will to strive to continuously improve this to serve as a North Star of the project.

Second, we're going to do a little business analysis. Don't worry! I'm not a business mastermind, but two heads are often better than one!

Third, we're going to get to the fun part! Time to cook up some value innovation! Do you know what kind of innovation succeeds? The disruptive kind. In other words, we're going to create value that's different, and better, than your competition.

Fourth, we're going to make sure our newly innovated value is what our users want by talking to them. I prefer direct or online user interviews over any other method of user research as there is only so much you can gain without hearing a real human voice.

You can checkout how and why I prefer user interviews here, My Primary User Research Method.

Lastly, we need to create a killer user experience, or what I call "grandma's cookies." In other words, we have to make sure your users want your grandma's cookies over the poorer quality Chips Ahoy in the huge chain store.

Tools

  1. Google Sheets
  2. Google Keywords
  3. User Research
  4. User Interviews
  5. Competitive Research
  6. Teamwork

Frontend Development

Hopefully, you and I have just finished "grandma's cookies", or maybe you're reaching out only for frontend development, and now we must take that killer user experience, and a design, and put it into reality!

This is where all our hard work comes together. This is where your users interact with your value. This is where your business makes money. This represent you, your company, and your product.

Process

Any type of development is tricky, because there are always a hundred things to keep in mind and only so much a developer can remember at once, but what we aim for is a reliable process built around code reusability, maintainability, test-driven development, continuous integration, and responsiveness.

This process takes the form of something like this:

  1. Planning Phase
  2. Development Phase
  3. Testing Phase
  4. Launching Phase

The Planning Phase

I like to plan. A lot. I like to know what I'm going to need, how I'm going to need it, and when. This allows me to develop quicker, more responsibly, and less stressfully.

For example, I have this little thing that I do to write CSS. I take the wireframes for the design and I highlight them according to what I can develop as modular elements. In other words, before I write any code I know what classes I need, what elements are modular, and what assets will be needed.

The Development Phase

This is the nerd phase. The phase where I'm so hyper-focused I forget to eat, but without empty pizza boxes and soda (stay healthy, folks)!

Here, I'll program the structure, style, and functionality of the site.

My technology stack currently contains HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Vue.js, Grunt, Webpack, Git, and GitLab.

Soon, I'll be adding backend technologies, such as ExpressJS, MongoDB, Passport, and Node.js.

The Testing Phase

Does it work on this or that device? Does this new feature integrate with existing features? Is our code working as expected?

These are all questions developers answer every single time we write code.

There are a two main ways we do so:

  1. Manual testing on devices and different browsers
  2. Testing suites, such as Mocha and Chai

I, personally, use Mocha and Chai to write unit and integration tests for my JavaScript to ensure that new features and changes play nicely with my existing codebase.

Also, I'm very passionate about the mobile experience, so I always test on multiple real devices to ensure the experience is continuative across mobile devices, such as the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung S7, and the Samsung S8.

The Launching Phase

After development and testing, I switch our application to production, ensure upload to a server, and handoff to you!

This is the ideal time to ramp up marketing efforts on new releases or launches!

Tools

Setting aside the technologies I mentioned above, I use these tools on a weekly basis:

  1. Atom
  2. iTerm2 (command line user)
  3. Chrome
  4. Firefox
  5. Safari
  6. Slack
  7. MongoDB Compass
  8. Bear Notes
  9. Photoshop
  10. Mac (OSX)