By Adam Hollier, Senior Consultant
Embarking on a UI/UX design project can be an exciting journey, but it’s crucial to lay a solid foundation by understanding the project’s goals and user needs. In this webinar linked below, we walk you through the essential stages of this foundational process.
Step 1 – Discovery: Unveiling Project Objectives
At the heart of any successful project lies a comprehensive discovery phase. We emphasise the significance of conducting one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, including managers and decision-makers. This stage involves unravelling the project’s high-level goals, understanding business objectives, and identifying pain points. It is imperative to delve into stakeholders’ data hypotheses at this point to ensure you understand what the dashboard is intended to accomplish.
Step 2 – Define Data Stories: From Recon to Workshops
Having completed the initial reconnaissance, the next step is to engage stakeholders in workshops. We stress the importance of involving all stakeholders, including those on the ground, to gather diverse perspectives. During these sessions you will revisit the problem statements identified during discovery and delve into the specifics. Here you want to understand the who, what, when, where and why of how data is used in the resolution of each specific problem.
Post-workshop, the challenge is managing the influx of ideas, requirements, and insights. We illustrate the importance of organising this information and extracting tangible visualisation requirements. This involves categorising requests, questions, facts, and dimensions to define what needs to be visualised and how.
Importantly, we emphasise storytelling when framing feature requests or data insights. By presenting these as user stories, the team gains a clearer understanding of the purpose and context of each element.
Step 3 – Prototyping
With the requirements outlined in Step 2, the next phase is developing your prototype. This includes translating your now logically grouped requirements into a high level dashboard structure (i.e. separating dashboards by subject area or user group). It also involves using your detailed level requirements to brainstorm specific ideas for visualisations. During this phase we recommend you develop wireframes of your intended design and collaborate closely with key stakeholders whilst designing the dashboard to ensure it meets their expectations.
Step 4 – Feedback and Review
As we progress in our journey of data visualisation and UX design, the spotlight now turns to the crucial aspect of obtaining meaningful feedback. We generally recommend that feedback sessions be conducted in a UAT style format rather than having a ‘show and tell’.
During the feedback session, introduce 2-3 basic tasks and have stakeholders log into the dashboard to complete them. Prior discussion and practice runs are essential. If stakeholders encounter difficulties, it’s a signal that the dashboard may need refinement. Observing individuals with limited prior knowledge provides valuable insights, revealing nuances and potential usability issues.
At the end of the session, use the insights gained from UAT to further refine and polish your dashboard.
In conclusion, effective requirements gathering is the cornerstone of successful data visualisation and UX design projects. Through meticulous discovery, engaging workshops, and thoughtful organisation, teams can transition from zero to one with a clear roadmap for creating user-centric and impactful solutions.
Join Adam as he discusses the requirements gathering for Data Vis and UX Design Projects: