Skip to content

UCD process: introducing some of the pieces to new people

At the end of every term at codeX, we do a week long hackathon-like thing. It includes some aspects of an Agile-flavoured User-Centered Design process, and I was thinking about how we might iterate on the process for next term. In particular, I was thinking about how to provide a clearer introduction to some of the ideas and how to use them, providing examples where they would be helpful.


Although some of the coders have seen an example or two of personas, they aren’t very familiar with them, and personas can seem a bit odd the first team you encounter them. My thinking is that we could provide an annotated example for them as a reference point. Here’s my suggestion for an example (to be printed at A4 and a copy given to each coder):

Persona example

Journey Maps

At the moment, we do a journey map-like exercise: we ask them to write out a screen flow. My thinking is that we should start a bit earlier, and break it down more. First, we do a high-level, lo-fi, journey map using the personas. Then we move into how this make translate into screens of User Interface. Something like this:

A lo-fi Journey Map example


Once we have these ideas, it makes sense to move into interface: what might these things look like to the user? First of all, we go wide and generate lots of ideas. Crazy 8s is a fun way to do this: either use a template (pictured below) or fold a piece of A4 three times to make 8 sections. scribble different ideas, explore different directions. We use tall, thin, screens to remind everyone that Mobile First is a great way to approach a problem, especially for a South African market.

Template for crazy 8s sketching

Then, we review the crazy 8s (I like using dot voting or something like it to narrow down ideas) to get an idea of the best direction. We decide on which ones we want to expand on, then we sketch them out in more detail, and annotate the sketches a lot to communicate the detail of the ideas. Something like this:

Template for careful 4 sketching

Your turn

What do you think about this? Does the order and detail sound good? Would spend more or less time on a particular step? Tell me. Please! :)