UX Design Journal Maha Ali

This is my Adobe UX course learning journal, where I will keep track of the weekly assignments and my thoughts on the learning process over the duration of the course.

This is me and what I think UX design is really about.

Class 1 Personas: For the first class we were made to understand about developing empathy for the potential users of the UX problem we plan to solve. We were asked to create 2-3 personas and presenting them with appropriate information.

MY UX PROBLEM: I am a freelance graphic designer and I am exploring my way into web designing and now UX design. I recently created my own website but there are certain elements to it that I find visually unappealing and non-user friendly. Hence, I am trying to improve this experience for all the various clients that may approach me in the near future.

What is there on the website:

  • Services are listed in bullets in plain unappealing manner
  • Portfolio is displayed in a haphazard layout which does not provide justice to the content
  • the navigation bar starts from the left side, pops up on the right side which the users might not appreciate

Improvement Ideas:

  • The services offered are merely, just listed in bullets and the layout looks off putting visually so I propose a visual representation which would be more interactive and to the point for all kinds of users
  • The portfolio structure requires too much effort on the user’s part to find what they are looking for, once again the layout needs to be thought over and could represent something similar to that of behance's which allows us to see multiple projects in grid form.

Creating Personas:

Since there are plenty of design and multimedia related services being offered, the type of clients are not just limited to any specific industry. It could be people from vast backgrounds, with bigger budgets or smaller budgets.

  • It could be a local small-scale house renovation business owner looking to brand his identity and expand his business to the next level.
  • a woman who wants to create a functional website and use it as a blog and a forum to share her travel experiences with the world.
  • a corporate company looking to outsource branding/campaigning projects for their identity and functionality.
It could be a local small-scale house renovation business owner looking to brand his identity and expand his business to the next level.
a woman who wants to create a functional website and use it as a blog and a forum to share her travel experiences with the world
a corporate company looking to outsource branding/campaigning projects for their identity and functionality.

Class 2: Creating a site map

For this class, we were required to create a structural representation of our project and how it would be navigated. When we create websites, we don't generally use written words on post it notes to allow us to think of navigation. My usual stance would be to play with a prototype digitally or to look at examples as to how I would like to begin and navigate. Through the use of this exercise, I was able to think much more about the navigation process and how making other people think about it on paper brings about different answers all together.

This is the final navigation piece that my niece deduced from the sticky notes I provided to her. The video will show her putting it all together.
This is the correct site map and how I would like the navigation system to look and work on the portfolio website.

Class 3 : Creating a Wireframe

For class 3, we were asked to create wireframes on paper and using those designs to give users a real experience of the product. For my project, I tested my portfolio website app and navigated the users to find the services they were looking for.

Creating a wireframe was an interesting exercise because while you understand what you are interested in creating for the user's out there, it becomes difficult to execute the project on paper. Through the use of designing it on paper, the designer follow through the user's experience on your own as well, understanding how the user would navigate through the app. The hard part was to pretend like the user yourself and the creator and designing something which would be easy to navigate through and give the results that you expect them to find. Such practices really bring out clarity in your mind regarding the product that you are creating. Along with how the user's may react to it in different ways. It allows for testing out dead ends, glitches and product success which is very essential for the design.

Class 4 : Styling and designing

For this week's assignment we were required to create a mood board, style tile and mockups for the actual working design. This exercise was much more exciting and enjoyable compared to previous week's.

The exercise provided room to take colours and images into perspective in relation to the actual website project. It became helpful in understanding the colours and images which would work well with the theme of the interface. It was a great way to research images, colours and typeface which would highlight the aesthetic of the project and how to re-work the structure and layout, making it more user friendly for the audience.

Class 5 : Testing the project

In the final process, we were to bring the designed interface and test the project to see the navigation and the working ability of it.

This exercise was fairly simple to work through, after creating the prototypes to work with. I created my app interface and tested to see the navigation possibility of it and how I would like for user's to see it and use it accordingly.

Final Reflection

This course provided a way to actively think about your work/projects in a manner that would not only be about yourself but how it would affect another human being. It was not limited to using tools and learning those but going back to the basics and using those methods to figure out another person’s perspective on the similar idea.I am a graphic designer so for me this course adds immense value towards my designing process. It allows me to think much more about what I am creating, for whom I am creating and how it would affect them. How I can make my designs more friendly for them to understand or experience. I realize that as a designer I tend to deviate from the actual point of communicating and instead put a lot of energy towards only the visual appeal of the project. This course helps me realize that understanding every individual aspect of the design is necessary for successful design. Whether its colour, typeface, layout or the content, they all have equal importance towards the project and what they reveal to their audience. Each element requires how it would be experienced by those reading or visualizing it. The good thing about the course was that it allowed breaking of various stages of designing a project, which gives plenty time and focus towards individual elements and how to solve those problems and to understand other's perception of the problem. What I did not like about the course was that the theme of the projects were way to open ended. I would have appreciated a set theme/idea/exercise which everyone could do at the same time, this way it could show how one idea was solved or designed in billion ways. However over all the course was engaging and thought provoking. With few more trial and errors I believe it will be very beneficial towards my design career.

Created By
Maha Ali


Created with images by Unsplash - "typewriter book notebook"

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