IXD302 Design Task Preparation

How to ace the design task to get an interview

A great resource was provided in this weeks lecture on how to ace the design task to get an interview

This is a great article as it breaks the design task down into manageable chunks.

The first step is to define the user and why the problem needs to be solved.

The second step is two write down the problem from a personal point of view. This basically just means assessing the problem yourself. In the example provided the following points are highlighted:

  • A car is a symbol of status, a dirty car can impact don’t the image of the driver
  • Car cleaning staff are lacking a way to connect to their customers
  • Car cleaning staff do not have a way of letting people know when they are working
  • Difficult for customers to source independent car cleaners and difficult for car cleaners to source customers

The third step is some quick user research, it is advised that you find actual people to talk to here though depending on the user base you may have to rely on online forums or reviews. here you should focus on two or three user groups. Highlight the problems faces by these groups

Fourth step. Here an experience map has been created I have included an example below however this has been done for both users. This is completed to help you to find insights to build a later solution from. They are each followed with pain points and opportunities.

example experience map

The fifth step starts looking at solutions. Here you should define a basic follow on how the solution should work considering all of the problems previously identified. This does not need to be fully-fledged solution therefore if you are unaware of how the interface will work or look, that’s ok. Again a basic flow should be created for each user.

Again a basic flow is provided for each

The final step in our design tasks will be wireframes (I am applying for UX roles, not UI so the tasks generally suggest that wireframes are enough). The wireframing process will follow the same stages we have been brought through i.e star on paper and then move to high fidelity digital wireframes. It also suggests creating a form of content wireframe before starting your actual wireframes. This means listing the information on the screen and prioritising for the user. This will you to establish a clear information hierarchy when creating your wireframe, an excellent addition to the process in my opinion.

How to solve a design task, step by step

Another approach that I thought was particularly interesting was the by the UX Collective on how to solve a design task, step by step. What was good about this post was that it outlined how to present the task as well. This approach is slightly more in-depth than what I would be doing however many of the steps are still very helpful.

Some great tips included:

  • Read the entire task
  • Ask questions
  • Beware of spelling mistakes
  • Give 100%

1.In your presentation begin with a cover slide that included the position and design task as a title your name and the company logo, also include an image of your final mockup if your creating a full UI.

2. In the second slide outline the design task.

3. In the third slide outline, the process you’re about to follow.

4. If you are completing context research put that in the fourth slide. (this will be useful if you’re completing a design task on a product you know nothing about)

5. Competition research- Here you can present other products that are tackling the same issues

6. User research- This can be completed using online forums, in-person interviews etc.

7. Personas- use the information you have gathered in your user research to create some personas. This will represent a group of users and should help the interviewer to understand how you visualise and create solutions.

8. List of user problems- Once you understand the context of the product and the user create a list of problems these can be narrowed down by the problems the product can actually solve. You should then prioritise that list of problems considering the following:

  • How much value will the user get from solving the problem?
  • How easy would it be to implement a solution to this problem?
  • How much is the Daily Active User going to increase?

9. Create a list of solutions- once you have chosen the problems you are going to focus on you should then create a list of solutions and select the top solutions.

10. Journey map UX Flow- this is about capturing the users experience while using the product. The example provided in this post is included below:

Journey map UX Flow

11. Wireframes- again start on paper and then move to digital – it is also suggested you consider user follows and site maps at this stage as well.

While there are a number of other points included throughout the process I have only highlighted the points I felt were most relevant to the process I feel is achievable for me as a student. Having guides such as the above are very reassuring when entering the design task process and I am excited to get some experience of using these in my upcoming interview processes.

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