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Design Strategy

As a design strategist and UX architect, I use design thinking and business strategy to develop innovative solutions that deliver value to both users and businesses. By leveraging design thinking and business strategy, I analyze user behavior, market trends, and competition to develop solutions that deliver significant value to end-users. My diverse background in design, front-end development, and business enables me to seamlessly integrate design, technology, and business, which strengthens my process.

At Sage, I have taken on the responsibility of bridging the gap between design, technology, and business by empowering my colleagues to think creatively and strategically about the features we need to deliver. To achieve this, I have provided mentorship and guidance to the designers, content writers, and researchers on my team, helping them become successful facilitators in design thinking workshops and user studies. By fostering a culture of collaboration and user-centricity, we have been able to create solutions that not only delight our users but also drive business success.

Through my efforts, I have fostered a more collaborative and user-centric approach to our projects, allowing us to work more effectively as a team. As a result, the solutions we have developed reflect our dedication to creating experiences that meet the needs of our users while delivering value to the business. With my contributions, my team is well-equipped to tackle any business and design challenges.

Strategic Planning

As an innovation strategist, my strategic planning process involves facilitating insights workshops that encourage open discussions, utilize visual aids, and provide a conducive environment for brainstorming and problem-solving. Strategic thinking is essential to create meaningful design strategies and solutions that align with business objectives and user goals.

During the insights workshops, I work with stakeholders to build upon challenges and ideas, while also ensuring that there is a clear plan for moving forward. By utilizing brainstorming techniques such as sketching, prototyping, and the “worst possible idea” exercise, we generate a wealth of ideas that help us create innovative solutions. I always encourage diverse perspectives and ensure effective brainstorming by creating groups of 3-10 people who know users, are generative, and have a mix of optimism and realism.

To create an effective strategic plan, I break it down into five key steps.

  1. define the vision for the organization or project. assess the current situation and understand where the organization stands in relation to the vision.
  2. determine the priorities and objectives that will help achieve the vision.
  3. define the responsibilities of each team member to ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives.
  4. measure and evaluate the results of our efforts to ensure that we are making progress towards our vision.

Creating sitemaps, flow diagrams, or architectural diagrams can aid in reviewing the current product and assessing the current situation. By comprehending the problem and the vision, the team can determine the best approach to achieve the vision and resolve the issue. Defining the responsibilities of each team member is crucial to ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives in strategic planning.

By incorporating these techniques, I have been able to generate innovative ideas that have led to successful solutions for my clients. Strategic thinking and planning enable businesses to achieve their goals, create value, and stay competitive in their respective markets. Ultimately, strategic planning allows organizations to make well-informed decisions and collaborate towards a shared goal, leading to increased success and efficiency.

Persona Development

I have long recognized the importance of personas in creating successful strategies. Personas help identify customers by representing a group of users based on shared behavior, motivations, goals, pain points, or other characteristics derived from real, aggregated data. By crafting an effective persona, we can personalize the target user and create a more empathetic connection, leading to a more personalized and effective product design.

In my experience, incorporating a representative image that embodies the persona can further strengthen this connection. It allows the team to visualize and humanize the user, gaining a better understanding of their pain points and creating solutions that meet their specific needs. By putting ourselves in the shoes of our target audience, we can create solutions that are truly user-centered.

Overall, by incorporating personas in our design process, we can ensure that our solutions are not only functional and aesthetically pleasing but also tailored to the needs and preferences of our users. This approach has been instrumental in driving the success of our products and services.





Research

Research is an essential component of the design process as it allows designers to gain a deep understanding of users’ needs and context. Research can be utilized for various purposes, such as sparking innovative ideas, refining design solutions, and validating assumptions. Quantitative methods are useful for numerical data, while qualitative methods are better for understanding user behavior, preferences, and emotions. Seven primary research methods include interviews, observations, group conversations, diary/journal studies, co-design/participatory design sessions, surveys, and analogous research.

Design research ethics are critical to ensure the safety, privacy, and wellbeing of research participants. Best practices include seeking permission to record, respecting participants’ expertise, paying them fairly, listening without leading, limiting access to identifiable data, observing regulations, and ensuring representation. Research allows designers to take advantage of expert perspectives and build confidence that they are solving the right problems in the right way. It also includes ongoing assessment and customer listening to ensure solutions continue to meet users’ needs over time.

Discovery workshop

Understanding the challenge is critical in discovery workshops, where the needs of users are considered in terms of their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Challenge framing inspires problem-solving, but scoping is equally important as it provides a logistical plan for structuring the project. The scoping process should facilitate both discovery and exploration, and intentional design is required to manage the time, people, and resources needed to solve the framed challenge. The process involves outlining the work to be done, how it will be completed, who will be involved, and the expected outcomes. To scope the process effectively, it is essential to consider key elements such as understanding the need, articulating the design opportunity, establishing the problem-solving approach, creating a project plan, and identifying measures of success and potential risks.

In a discovery workshop, I lead a design thinking session, user journey mapping, empathy mapping, and customer journey mapping to gain a deeper understanding of the user’s needs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These mapping techniques provide a holistic view of the user’s experience, allowing us to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement. Additionally, we run usability testing to gather feedback and validate our design decisions.

Overall, the combination of discovery workshops and mapping techniques, as well as usability testing, helps us create a more user-centric and impactful product that meets the needs of its users.

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Design Thinking

Design thinking process typically includes five stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. By applying design thinking principles to the scrum team I work with, the teams can gain a deeper understanding of the users they’re designing for, identify unmet needs, and create innovative solutions that meet those needs.

Overall, the design thinking process can help teams create products and services that are not only functional and user-friendly, but also emotionally resonant and impactful.​

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Mapping Techniques

To gain a deeper understanding of the user’s mindset and interaction with the product or service, I employ various mapping techniques such as empathy mapping, customer journey mapping, and experience mapping. Empathy mapping helps the team to understand the user’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, while customer journey mapping focuses on a specific customer’s end-to-end experience with a product or service. Experience mapping takes a broader view and generalizes the customer journey maps across different user types and products.

These mapping techniques provide invaluable insights into the user’s pain points, motivations, and overall experience with the product or service. By leveraging this information, we can make informed design decisions and create a more impactful and user-centric product. Our ultimate goal is to exceed our user’s expectations by prioritizing their needs and feedback throughout the development process.

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Testing

User testing is a crucial step in the product design process that enables teams to identify usability issues, gather feedback on user perception, and gain valuable insights to improve the product or service. By conducting user testing, teams can make informed decisions and prioritize improvements based on the feedback received, resulting in a product that better meets the needs of its users.

To conduct user testing, our team employs a variety of methods, including surveys, in-person meetings, and virtual meetings. A user researcher leads the session, with the product owner, content writer, and UX designer attending to assist in note-taking and observing the user’s expressions and feedback. Sometimes, the engineering team requests to attend to listen in to the problem. This approach allows us to gather qualitative and quantitative data, which we then use to make data-driven decisions that improve the user experience.

From my Design Workshops

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