10 Steps in the Design Process

IEOR 170: Interaction and Experience Design for Engineers
Professor: Ken Goldberg, University of California at Berkeley
Web Page: www.ieor.berkeley.edu/~goldberg/

1: Define Define the problem in terms of user experience. Think as broadly and creatively as possible: don't accept the assignment as given. For example, if the assignment is to design a new Alarm Clock, you might define the problem as "Design A New Way to Wake Up". Or better: "Design a New Approach to Discipline about Time". Characterize the user types/categories: what are their needs and goals? What do you want these users to experience? Identify your design constraints and objectives. Assess the Status Quo. Set up an initial schedule for the other steps below.
2: Research Gather information from available sources: online, libraries, interviews with sample users and experts in the field (ethnography). Consider how others solved similar problems previously. Find related images, texts, that might help inspire the team.
3: Brainstorm Bring the team together for a brainstorming session to generate 100 creative design ideas. During this stage don't worry if your ideas are unrealistic: Remember the IDEO dictum: "Fail often to succeed sooner."
4: Vote Eliminate very unrealistic ideas in terms of constraints. Summarize Top 10 design ideas on blackboard. Then allow members of the team to vote and comment on these ideas, perhaps using colored Post-It notes. Narrow down the initial set of design ideas.
5: Focus Bring in one or two advisors from outside your team. Ask them to honestly evaluate the top 10 design ideas resulting from Step 4. Use this feedback to focus and refine the best design ideas.
6: Delegate Break the team into sub-teams and agree on responsibilities for refining/developing. Sub-teams should provide ongoing feedback to other sub-teams.
7: Prototype To convey how your best design ideas will be experienced, build a model or working prototype. Use sketches and diagrams, simulations, and/or physical demonstrations.
8: Test Design a User Test. This is not to verify what you know, but to really help you gain insight and refine your design. Design 10 Questions that will give you insight. Bring in 5-10 representative users to test the prototype. Record responses from each user: Be careful not to influence responses. Try to solicit negative input: don't look for compliments! Compile User Test results, including Questions, User Profiles, Data, and Conclusions. Honestly evaluate the User Tests with the team. If results are negative, go back to Step 3. If positive, go on to Step 9.
9: Refine Incorporate insights and suggestions obtained by User Testing. Update your prototype accordingly.
10: Present Prepare a detailed presentation on your design, show how it emerged from Steps 1-9.
If approved, then Development begins..!

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