Using IDEO’s Methods Card to Understand People in Designing UX

The first important step in designing a good User Experience is to understand the people you’re designing the app for. Easier said than done, because many people thought they understand the people, yet they don’t really do anything to help them understanding people.

‘Intuitive’ interfaces are easier to build when designers have a deep understanding of the users.
Jared M. Spool

If you’ve been wondering where to start, then using IDEO’s Method Cards might be a good start point for your design team.

From the site: “IDEO Method Cards is a collection of 51 cards representing diverse ways that design teams can understand the people they are designing for.”

The cards are divided into four categories representing ways to empathize with people: Learn, Look, Ask, and Try.

Learn – Analyze the information you’ve collected to identify patterns and insights.
Look – Observe people to discover what they do rather than what they say they do.
Ask – Enlist people’s participation to elicit information relevant to your project.
Try – Create simulations to help empathize with people and to evaluate proposed designs.

Here are the methods that I use in one of my project:

Learn: Competitive Product Survey
How Collect, compare, and conduct evaluations of the products competition.
Why This is a useful way to establish functional requirements, performance standards, and other benchmarks.

Look: Fly on the Wall
How Observe and record behavior within its context, without interfering with people’s activities.
Why It’s useful to see what people actually do within real contexts and time frames, rather than accept what they say they did after the fact.

Ask: Narration
How As they perform a process or execute a specific task, ask participants to describe aloud what they are thinking.
Why This is useful way to reach users’ motivations, concerns, perceptions, and reasoning.

Try: Try It Yourself
How Use the product or prototype you are designing.
Why Trying the product being designed prompts the team to appreciate the experience the actual users might have.

Those methods can be used for (almost) anything: explore new ways to solve problems, find new insights/perspectives, and to inspire the team.
Using these methods, your team would know the people they’re designing the app for, and on the right path in designing a good User Experience.

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