The people behind Perfectial’s most successful projects shed the light on them
In terms of our campaign – UX Matters at Perfectial – we have prepared a story to provide you with insights into why user experience matters. You will learn about Perfectial’s approaches to the digital transformation of the customer experience by means of advanced technologies and data-driven strategies.
What are the UI/UX best practises that make users happy? Does your work make them happy or simply agitate them? What should the user experiences be like to reach the ultimate purpose of a design? Is it all about satisfying users and their needs? All these questions should be properly answered to understand in what way UX changes the way users interact with websites, applications, or other software products, and what is, more importantly, learn how they expect to interact.
Searching for the right answers, we went to Perfectial’s soul and core creative body – our UI/UX team. And as every successful team, it is leaded by an experienced manager. Andriy Vaskiv, Lead UI/UX Engineer at Perfectial, shares the secrets of the UX creation process at Perfectial. Andriy will tell us how the user interface and user experience design helps distinguish your application among that of competitors and determine its success on the market.
How do you foster a user-centered culture in Perfectial’s UI/UX team?
UX utilizes so many disciplines now that it is very easy to go behind the latest trends without outdated approaches, just pick the most rational one. Nevertheless, there are a number of great books and resources which are considered as fundamental works related to the user experience: Cooper, Norman and Nielsen, Raskin, Wroblewski, Tufte and many others. Of course, I am constantly pushing my designers to read them and analyze this collection. Most importantly, they should use this knowledge on real projects and in everyday activities. This approach, as well as everyday collaboration and discussion of each team member’s project details, increases the expertise of the entire team.
Nowadays, the UX designer’s role within a company is a complicated one, isn’t it? One should be partially a marketer, partially a designer and project manager. Is it also that multi-faceted at Perfectial?
Despite a really large variety of disciplines touched by the user experience today, first and the foremost being a UX designer means being focused on users and their needs. Speaking of the mixed competencies within a project, a UX designer at Perfectial should be familiar with the following roles and be able to perform some of them from time to time:
- Business Analyst: to be familiar with the investigating of the requirements, conducting research and clarifying the needs of the end-user, etc.
- Information Architect: to know how a website navigation and information hierarchy is built.
- Interface designer: to draw wireframes and create prototypes of various fidelity, flavouring it with pleasant interactions.
- UI designer: to create a beautiful front face for the particular product to attracting users and form a positive initial impression.
What are the guiding principles of your work at the UI/UX team at Perfectial?
In our opinion, here’s what an efficient UX design process should consist of
Research -> IA -> IxD -> Wireframes -> Prototype -> UI -> Development
Due to the nature of design itself, this process is usually iterative and it is absolutely normal to have a few rounds of wireframing, prototyping and polishing of the visual design.
On top of that, we always strive to perform the usability testing as soon as possible. Usually, it can be conducted during the wireframing or prototyping stages so that we can already deliver something tangible for the audience under the test.
After the majority of UX and UI design activities are done and a project is picked up by front-end and back-end developers, a designer still has to supervise the visual part execution. In such a way, the team is sure that a product will be delivered to a client with the exact visual style that was previously approved and agreed.
How do you cooperate within the company? Software developers, engagers or business development teams – with whom are you mostly working with?
It really depends on the project type. In case of a ‘regular’ one, we mostly communicate with software developers and business analysts. In case of pre-sale activities, we work with engagement managers, business analysts and system architects.
A website is more than a series of pages, it is a part of the customer experience. So, what components do you span to receive a memorable UX?
You’re right. In terms of UX we have to think of a site as a system, not a set of separate pages. Generally accessible structure, navigation, states and interactions are vital components of all the human-computer interaction (HCI) systems so we can’t design them carelessly. At the same time, there is no ‘silver bullet’ applicable for all kinds of projects, so we should take into account the target audience, data they work with and the context of usage as well.
What do you think of a personalization as one of the most promising digital trends? Are there any best practices you usually resort to at Perfectial?
In his About Face book, Alan Cooper says “Design for an average user.” That was in 1995. Now, I see that the current state of the UX expertise all over the world has absorbed the huge mass of experience, best practices and use cases, which is more than enough for providing a more individual approach to each user. Thus, personalization of the experience is a logical evolutionary step which is simply inevitable.
Concerning the best practices, this is rather food for thought and experiments. Currently, our team is working on a R&D project which includes mobile and wearables.
UI Developer or UX designer – what are the roles that prevail in your team?
Historically, the team consisted of multidisciplinary members which usually combined three roles: UX designer, UI designer, and markup developer. However, from our own experience, we have learned that reducing the scope of work for the particular team member has a positive impact on their performance and competence level. I mean each team member should be responsible for a particular expertise. Now, we have managed to separate the UI/UX designer and markup developer roles.
Moreover, we have the fastest growing team in the company and are striving to keep the balance of competencies; so, the team has an equal amount of the UI/UX designers and markup developers at the moment.
That’s easy. As a rule, the UI/UX designer and markup developer work on a project as a mini-team with close and effective collaboration. And their most important task is not to compete with each other on deciding who’s the boss but to find and deliver the best possible solution for a client.
What do you believe the future of UX will look like over the next 5 years?
Let’s discuss IT-related trends with the explosive growth. Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, virtual and augmented reality. All these hyped trends bring more and more form-factors, mediums and ways of interaction in terms of personal gadgets and end users as well as more and more exciting challenges to the UX designers. Let’s mix it up with Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and you’ll get a ready-to-go forecast for User Experience in general. No doubt it will be more and more personalized like, for example, the same service will be ‘skilled and clever enough’ to provide an individual approach while working with a particular user. For example, as you customize your desktop or mobile phone screen, a particular service will adjust itself to your preferences, habits, and even current emotional state. Personally, I am looking forward towards the bigger number of fascinating and challenging projects with R&D elements at Perfectial.