User Experience Design study | General Assembly | June 2017

General Assembly has become the cornerstone go-to institution of digital communications learning.

I just completed their User Experience Circuit Design online course June 2017.

> A mobile app still in development:

> Development work & notes:

Design is not just perfected mobile panels. It is the overall feel and experience for the reader/subscriber/learner.

Clearly, the designer is not statically positioned in design programs anymore. The designer is essential to the structure of the whole project. From constructing the user profiles (personas) that define the target audience for any experience, to directing the look and feel of the presentation, designers have an expanded role in content development.

There are now many standardized apps (particularly for mobile interaction) that facilitate the work of the designer - and support the success of holistically designed editorial projects - from inception to experimentation to prototype to finish.

Designers get to talk to people, document user behaviors and analyze data early in the project timeline, rather than waiting to step in at the end of the development process.

This all directly informs user presentations - preserving the information gathered - guiding the project based on the realtime functionality of the digital presentation.

Designers are solution experts. There is an efficiency in having them participate as guides during project development - because they are ultimately responsible for synthesizing a variety content types and constructing the final user presentations.

This path for designers also supports the lean development of content - small staff numbers plus rapid deployment of news products equal the need for designers to weigh in on many phases of content development.

The final designed presentation is the window that the reader/user looks through and judges the story team's success. If we structure our workflow with design as a guide, we sharpen our ability to produce more and produce rapidly.

Digital first will inform print. What works in digital, sets the tone for content types - like fact boxes, lists and A vs. B comparisons, to name a few - that often accompany the main text and photo formula.

Ultimately, usability (as in engaging readability) is the greatest success for our editorial products.

The path to establishing product usability and subscriber satisfaction is well designed product development with design thinking as a guide.


(Written Oct. 5 2017)