THE DESIGN TIMES ARE CHANGING
A few years ago, you wouldn’t have thought that the use of data was necessary in the design industry. Designers always created by uniting their own creativity and the requests of the client. However, these days, it’s impossible to imagine a design proposal that doesn’t include data. Clients expect it. They require it. How else are they going to know the importance of Design A or Design B so they can make a decision?
If data is so important in the design process, how does it look? How does data apply to this world?
GATHERING DATA EARLY IN THE DESIGN PROCESS
Data collection should start with an early user analysis phase. This phase is based on observation and numerical data. It lets us design according to real needs that we determine based on the behavior of the user. These needs can be determined through ethnographic studies which include quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative and qualitative research can come from interviews, surveys, and role-plays that we conduct with final users or people who are similar to the final users. They give us information about the final user that helps us understand them. Your design will be more informed and will have less chance of failure.
After this phase, you move on to data interpretation. This data lets us plan what we need to change or improve and prepares us to take steps towards those goals. It is crucial to determine if our users are receiving information in the way we want them to. We need to know if our design will work for them and if they understand it. This data also tells us if the user flow is correct, which means they understand what they are supposed to do.
Usually a team will interpret the data. This allows designers and other players to make decisions. You can define and develop the concept for the design. And it doesn’t matter what kind of design you are working on. All design can benefit from these data insights. You can now define everything else you need in order for your project to become a reality.
NEVER ENDING PROCESS
After you create your design based on insights from data, you are ready for the next step. You’ll validate it with the client, of course. And then you’re ready for launch. But that’s not the end of the story. You must be persistent in further collection of data to check how the products perform.
This data summary and analysis is fundamental for determining how to optimize your product. It helps you understand why its performance is positive or negative. For this reason, it should be an iterative and infinite process. You will continue brainstorming, collecting data, creating, collecting data, and improving throughout the lifetime of the product. That’s how you ensure continuous success of your products based on design and data analysis.
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