Outside-In Thinking

Take a Walk on the Customer Side

Author: Graphic Mint Team

Two blank, open sketch applications. Used to represent sketch plugins.
Sketch has become a core tool for User Interface (UI) Design. This is down to its simplicity and range of functionality. Some of this functionality can be greatly extended to improve a designer’s workflow thanks to the countless number of third-party plugins that are available to be installed. In this blog post I will take you through our top five most useful Sketch plugins that we at Graphic Mint use in our day-to-day Design within the Sketch app.
Whitespace, or negative space, is empty space used in Design between the layouts, paragraphs and any other elements presented. Clients usually push and argue that content should be condensed to reduce scrolling in order to present the user with more valuable information at once. This myth of “less scrolling” can have negative impacts on usability. While many consider whitespace to be a waste of Design real-estate, I will explain why it is just as important as any other element.
An ecosystem map featuring a heart in the centre and the following words surrounding it, Product Offering, users, Pains, Business Goals, Gains, Competitors.
As User Experience (UX) Designers we have a myriad of tools in our toolbox to help visualise and understand systems we are designing for. The one that provides the most value is the Ecosystem Map. It helps us to see the bigger picture, providing a great visual overview of the project’s “ecosystem”. For our clients, it helps them think about their role within the landscape of the work they do and the ultimate impact they are trying to have. So what is an Ecosystem Map and how can your business get value from it?
Websites and apps are moving ever more closely to a “Show, Don’t Tell” model. The era of getting large User manuals or long instructions with technology is coming to an end. Instead, Users expect to be introduced and taught about what they are using inline and in context. Furthermore, visualisations are being used to provide context and meaning to the User. One method of doing this is to use illustrations.  To use illustrations correctly within User Interface (UI) Design, certain rules must be followed.
As we move further into the 21st Century, our thinking about how we interact with computers and our understanding of interfaces is evolving at a rapid pace. Despite the proliferation of electronic visual displays, there are other compelling emerging forms of engaging with technology that fall under the umbrella of Natural User Interfaces (NUI). NUI technologies like Voice, Gaze and Gesture are transforming our interactions with technology. Access to it can be done by going beyond the screen. This new found agency to interact has great potential to empower us, and it’s not as far away as we may think.
User Experience (UX) Design is a term that has become more and more common over the last two decades. Yet, some people are still questioning what exactly are the benefits of UX Design? UX is not just a bunch of rules and a trend to follow. Rather it is the entire experience a User gets while using a product. Perfecting this experience is the critical key to success for a product.
There is a lot of discussion about why you should do Usability Testing and how to run the actual test itself. However, what do you do with all of this data once you have gathered it? How do you analyse it and what does it mean for you as a business, and as a Design process? Here we discuss the next steps you should take in order to get the most from your testing.
How do you know if your customers are satisfied with your product or service? How do you know what you are offering is meeting your customer needs? Businesses need to know which channels to use in order to gain valuable customer feedback. The insight gained will inform the decisions you make going forward. How valuable is your product or service if it doesn’t meet your customer needs?

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