The Value of User Testing

When we create projects within a team – especially those that take months to complete – we fall victim to the worst thing imaginable if we don’t user test: failing to actually solve the problem we were supposed to. But how could that be? You’ve worked for hundreds of hours to solve that PARTICULAR issue for your target audience. Your team has gone back and forth with revisions, and leadership approved of the final product. How could you actually fail to produce something that doesn’t yield success?

Ideation Techniques

It has been debunked that creative genius appears in a singular blast of inspiration. Contrary to the belief of many, true creative genius takes time to foster and that there are actually many patterns that can be followed to produce beautiful and functional solutions. To foster creative genius, individuals spend days, months, or even years trying to perfect their product or craft. During this time, they ideate. Ideation is the process in which you concentrate on creating as many ideas as possible in order to come closer to a feasible solution. Although it is meant to be a quick process, ideation can take up long stretches of time depending on the complexity of the problem you are trying to solve for. Be prepared to stretch your mental capacity, have patience, and it is almost guaranteed that you will be able to come up with some great ideas!

A Matrix, A Sitemap, & Wireframes

The City of Calabasas in California recently released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking guidance for its website redesign and content overhaul. Through this extensive project, the city hopes to launch a streamlined, easy to navigate website that can be readily managed by non-technical staff. The City of Calabasas states that their current website was redesigned in 2009 and is in dire need of a refresh – and after trying to navigate it myself, I strongly agree. To hone my skills and practice some of my recent learnings, I’ve created a content report in response to the City’s RFP.  My content report for the City of Calabasas includes a core page matrix, sitemap, and wireframes for some of the high-visibility pages. These three devices will ultimately help to organize and prioritize content while taking into account the front-end design and user experience.