Entering the world of UXD

It’s been a long time since I have had the opportunity to write on my blog, so now is as good a time as any as I embark in to the world of UX Design. I’ve just kicked off a Professional Diploma with the UX Design Institute which will occupy a lot of my free time and mind for the six months.

I’m venturing in to the world of UX as a compliment to the course I did in April 2018 on Design Thinking but also to broaden my skillset as a designer and hopefully offer up more variety and opportunities in my future career. Up until now I have been very focused on the traditional side of graphic design but since completing the Diploma in Design Thinking I have become more interested in the ‘5xWs’ side of design as a practice.

As part of my course I have decided to keep track of my progress in a few blog posts and to showcase some of my findings on the projects I have been assigned.

There are two paths you can take with this course; structured and self-directed. I am taking the structured path which means I have to work to timelines and deadlines over a six month period. If I was doing the self-directed path then I would have until September 2020 to complete the course and all the projects.

Over the next six months I will cover ten modules that are on UX subjects such as user research, interactions, design principles and wire-framing. During that time I also have to complete an over-arching project which is broken down in to 11 mini-projects. To pass the Diploma, I have to have completed 90% of all the web-based learning as well as submitted the 11 mini-projects and complete a 2 hour online exam. I will be focusing my efforts on a web project but there is a mobile option as well. I would like to complete the mobile version as well but would prefer to do this post the exam. Only one path is required to complete the Diploma.

The brief is to create a new online booking system for Fly UX.

September - October 2019

Since September I have covered off the first two modules; Introduction to UX Design and User Research as well as attended a half day workshop in Dublin. I have also submitted the first four stages of the project; usability testing, in-depth interviews, online survey and competitive benchmarking.

Time wise I am spending 6-8 hours per week on the web based learning plus projects and have found myself ahead of the schedule as a result. I found from doing my previous course that unless I have a structured study plan / schedule then I will go off course easily but this course - so far - has been easy to fit around everyday life, work and weekends. I guess the more time you put in the more you get out of it but I like how its been easy to manage the schedule - although this could change as I get in to the nitty gritty of the problem solving.

I got a great response to my survey - generating at last count today - 42 responses. I pushed this out through work colleagues as well as through my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. I also got great support in doing my in-depth interview and the two usability tests. I would like to recommend using Quicktime (Mac) as a method for recording both interviews but also for usability testing. You can find how to do it from this YouTube video. I also got recommended HandBrake as a tool to compress the .mov files down to .mp4. We have to submit our video evidence on to Dropbox so I thought it was best to make sure that the file sizes were manageable. Last but not least is the competitive benchmarking. I really enjoyed this project as it gave me a chance to deep dive in to other websites, how they function and the positives and negatives of them in terms of their online booking systems. I chose four airlines across the globe and across the affordability spectrum to see do more upmarket airlines have more upmarket (and better) booking systems.

All of the above will be digested and used as references for the next stage of the course; user goals.

I’ll be touching back in again towards the end of November so until then here a few snapshots of some of the content I have submitted for the above.

Survey Screens Mockup.jpg