We are passionate about understanding your users to create better performing digital experiences.
Good User Experience (UX) is all about creating an experience that delights the user. User expectations are constantly changing as technology evolves, and as a business you need the insights to keep you ahead of your competition. At DotLabel, the discipline of being user-centred runs through our entire project process and so we use a wide variety of UX techniques to help inform the digital solutions we create.
How could your business benefit from UX and insight? Contact us, we'd love to chat about it!
Our in-house experts have carefully selected the most effective and results-focused elements of existing UX methodologies to craft our own adaptable approach. Within each phase we have a series of UX tools and techniques available which can be tailored to your needs and budget.
Below is an outline some of the tools and techniques we use as part of digital projects at DotLabel.
In the initial Discovery phase it is important to explore the goals of stakeholders. Once we define the role of the digital experience within your organisation we then identify knowledge gaps and establish a research plan.
At DotLabel, we use the Four Pillars of Research to guide each project: Stakeholder Research, User Research, Raw Data & Analytics and Expert Review & Competitor Benchmarking.
Below are some of the popular techniques we use in the Discovery research phase of a project.
All projects begin with a Stakeholder workshop. A working group of between 2 and 6 participants with the aim of identifying and recording the business goals, project ambitions, brand aspirations and the digital roadmap. Perceived user needs and frustrations can also be explored with customer-facing staff from sales or customer service. Setting clear objectives at the start ensures the project stays on track to meet your goals.
With the same aim of stakeholder workshops, the individual interviews ensure a single minded opinion which is unbiased from the views or influence of others.
These are focus groups consisting of 5- 10 participants to identify and record user attitudes, experiences, pain points and frustrations of existing solutions and suggestions for improvements on design, functionality and content.
A similar objective to user workshops however 4 - 6 users are given 45 minute individual interviews to provide insight and / or feedback which hasn’t been influenced by others. The insight from this can also be used to create personas.
We also undertake Contextual or Observational-based interviews where the feedback is taken in-situ e.g. staff at their workplace, rather than in a separate room away from the real content in which the solution is used.
A User Survey is ideal way to validate other research findings. This is a mass participant online questionnaire targeting 50-100 pre-identified user respondents (usually existing customers). Usually an incentive is required and users expect to see the results in some form.
An alternative is a True Intent Survey, an anonymous, mass participant, approach to user-research is perfect for gaining quick, snapshot feedback on user experiences of an aspect/page/component of the digital solution. The existence of the study is usually introduced to the user shortly after visiting, and the questionnaire, succinct in nature, is presented as the user leaves the digital space.
Card sorting workshop
A workshop made up of between 2 and 6 participants with the aim of defining content hierarchy, groupings and label terminology. This activity can help with Menu development and defining key tasks and scenarios. It can also enhance online processes such as registrations and online purchases.
RAW DATA & ANALYTICS
There is so much data available regarding online behaviour which can highlight key actions users take online. Usage patterns, navigation pathways, pain points and drop outs can all be identified using raw data and analytics.
Google Analytics, heat maps, click trails and eye tracking can provide useful insight into what your users are doing online. Although it is vital that raw data is not used in isolation, as whilst it analytics can tell you what is happening, it doesn't explain why, and so it is essential that this type of research is combined with other sources to achieve balanced research and analysis.
EXPERT REVIEW & COMPETITOR BENCHMARKING
As UX professionals, we live and breathe User Experience techniques and best practice every single day.
Our user-centric mindset unapologetically challenges how things are done, as we know that to get the best online results you need develop a solution that meets or even exceeds user expectations.
Our UX experts will assess your digital presence against best practice and current trends and will usually encompass a review of usability, accessibility, navigation, content, design and user experience.
Your business doesn't operate in isolation and your customers will interact with your competitors. As part of a competitor benchmarking exercise we will assess your position against direct and indirect competitors in order to identify strengths and opportunities for your digital solution. There may be relevant organisations with similar objectives that sit outside your industry, we would review these as part of our assessment to give the most insightful results.
Once Discovery has been undertaken, analysis can be done to turn the research into actionable insight. Some techniques we use include:
Usually 4 to 6 descriptive profiles of key customer types. The persona includes the mind-set, attitudes and behavioural traits of interacting users.
We consider personas to be a vital tool when developing a digital experience. By understanding and identifying between 4 and 6 different user types, it enables everyone within the project team to step into the different users’ shoes. The personas ensure that the needs of the ‘individual’ audiences are met and tests can be focused during development such as mapping tasks and defining scenarios. More information on Personas
Task mapping and analysis
This is an essential step in the UX process that involves defining the primary, secondary and tertiary tasks, i.e. what is the user trying to do. A primary task might be an online purchase, secondary being a newsletter sign up and tertiary be searching for a particular product. It is vital that these tasks are identified at the outset so that the user journeys can be carefully constructed and optimised, and experience modelling can be applied.
This analysis plots the levels of user engagement and experience at each touchpoint stage. Identifying what the user is thinking, feeling and doing at each stage of a journey helps identify UX deficiencies in the important primary user task journeys.
User scenario development
Scenarios are the context in which users are completing tasks. By having these scenarios defined it ensures that all digital interfaces and journeys can be tested in as realistic setting as possible. For example a user scenarios might involve someone purchasing an expensive piece of jewellery for themselves versus buying as a gift.
Touch point analysis
This is presented as a detailed chart which maps important user tasks against touchpoints in and out of the digital sphere with the aim of identifying levels of user engagement through their journey. The insight can highlight where certain online and/offline touchpoints are underperforming and negatively affecting the customer experience.
Taking a user-centred approach to defining and organising the structure and content
This is the mapping of the hierarchical structure of the content/ pages. It can be simple page structuring with next step flows indicated, to more detailed annotated plans with page layouts and calls to action. Interaction maps go one step further by charting all possible interactions from source to goal.
Within Information Architecture is Navigation development. This can include a ‘Click strategy’ where the number of clicks are deemed crucial to success and a ‘terminology strategy’ to ensure naming of menus is consistent and as the user understand and would expect.
Process flow mapping
This is a visual document which helps to map out a particular online tasks such as sign up registrations, e-commerce purchases and complex multi-part forms. Dedicating time to important processes like these will ensure they retain priority when planning the user experience.
Customer journey testing
Testing carried out to ensure the structure and content perform as expected before moving on to the next stage. Ideally undertaken with users and stakeholders. If it is isn’t possible to involve users, this is one of the areas where investment in personas shows its value.
Idea and design development from concept to prototype stage
Concept Design - Based on the user insight, idea development is undertaken to explore what the digital experience might look like and how it might work.
Types of concept design:
Simply raw pen and paper ideas to initiate the creative process.
A more structured paper based approach which might include navigation menus and calls to actions.
Skeletal design - Developing wireframes and prototypes for cost effective, easily adaptable previews before full development.
Types of skeletal design:
The blueprints of key identified pages that help to determine basic layout and functionality. Wireframes, usually produced as PDFs, can be annotated describing the interactions. They can be produced in low-fidelity or high-fidelity depending on the level of detail required.
Wireframes can be developed into usable prototypes which can give a realistic representation and interactive demonstration of the design and functionality of the finished product. This is a quick and cost effective way to make rapid iterations before full development begins. Wireframe prototypes can be developed in high-fidelity or low- fidelity depending on the detail required.
It is UX best practice to do user testing throughout each stage of the digital project and beyond launch.
Expert and User Testing
Testing can be done by us as the UX experts, you/your stakeholders and ideally should always include the end users. All of the research and analysis work undertaken feeds into this testing and refinement activity, keeping focus on the users and the desired goals to ensure the best possible user experience.
Engaging users either individually in interviews or in a group workshop setting to review the experience. Often this is undertaken once the visual design is completed but before the actual developed site is pushed live. The functionality, journeys and design will all be reviewed to provide feedback on the overall experience.
Remote user testing
A low cost, mass user testing method, designed to validate feedback from user interviews or workshop findings. Specific tasks are briefed to selected participants who then record their feedback electronically, usually via video.
If there are two variations of a design, page layout or call to action to be tested, this maybe undertaken via interviews, workshops or remote testing.
This is a study which uses special technology to track the user’s eye movements as they observe the pages, identifying hotspots and gaze trails. This information helps to determine how users are digesting content.
Contact us for expert advice on selecting the most relevant insight tools to help improve your online results.