Having created Digital Health tools with the likes of Kings College London, Warwick University & University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, we know that the people using the tool are the most important factor to your products success.
So how do you make the product that your users actually need?
The answer can only come from the users themselves. That's why it is vital to put them at the heart of the design process. Through a series of workshops with users and stakeholders and extensive research, prototyping and testing in house, we get to the bottom of the problems that your users are facing and create solutions that solve those problems.
Our design process follows the ‘Double Diamond’ model.
In all creative processes, several ideas are created; this is called ‘divergent thinking’; these are then narrowed down to the best concept or solution; ‘convergent thinking’.
In the Double Diamond approach, this occurs twice; once to define the problem and once to create the solution.
Our approach is split into four phases;
‘Identify possibilities and gather insights. Understand and question the problem and the audience’s needs.’
Initial meetings with stakeholders will be used to gather insights and knowledge of the project; the design team will then undertake their own information gathering and market research to determine how best to tackle the project.
In terms of our own research, we will need to gather insights into user’s experiences, behaviours and needs. Activities we conduct to get to this stage can include;
- User Diaries: Users are given documents containing a set of questions to answer around the services they use and the activities they undertake in an average day.
- Day in the life: The design team map the potential user’s typical day, observing and recording events to build up a realistic picture of what happens.
- User Shadowing: The design team will ask users to think out loud whilst performing a given set of tasks, observing how they react to obstacles.
- Focus groups: An interactive session between designers and users where all attendees contribute to the dialogue and express their opinions
‘Make sense of what was discovered, identify what is feasible and develop a clear creative brief by defining and interpreting the problem.’
Our second design stage involves collating the data we found in stage one and refining it. From the information gathered we will aim to create the following:
- User Personas: Profiles which have been created to represent user research in an easily understandable way. Each persona should bring together information about similar people into one character, representing a group of users.
- User stories: Used to describe a feature from an end-user perspective.
‘Ideas are created, prototyped, tested and iterated.’
Design-led solutions are developed, iterated and tested during the development phase. The brief should be properly addressed, and ideas will be generated and prototyped.
Concepts will be created and discussed within the design team before the most relevant concept/s are presented to stakeholders. During this process the design team may work with user focus groups to gain feedback on concepts.
The concepts presented will be discussed with stakeholders and revised. When all parties are happy with a concept and it is signed off, we can move forward to the next stage.
‘This is when the features are defined and developed, the Development team will become involved at this stage and at the end of this stage Development work will begin.’
During the delivery phase everything we need to start the physical development of the product (writing the code) will be created. This can include wireframes, style guides, prototypes, proof of concept and full designs for initial features.
- Wireframes: Wireframing is a way to design a product at a structural level, laying out content and functionality. They are used to describe the user journey and layout before visual designs and content are added.
- Style Guides: A style guide is a document containing the visual rules for the product, such as fonts, colours and general design rules. Your brand guidelines will be included in the style guide and will be referred to along with any other design rules, so that our design team can ensure consistency throughout your app.
- Prototypes: It is sometimes necessary to create a prototype which represents enough of the appearance and functionality of the product that it can be used for user research. This prototype can be shared with user focus groups, stakeholders and the project teams. It will take the form of a series of images with clickable hot spots which mimic functionality.
At the end of this process you will have a clear idea of how your product will look and function and a plan of how it will be built.
After the double diamond process is complete, we will begin with the development of you Digital Health tool, using our Agile approach to development.