Outside-In Thinking

Take a Walk on the Customer Side

Category: Design

We have analysed and worked on numerous software projects in our role as UX Designers at Graphic Mint. At the beginning of any project and continuing through to completion we regularly ask who is the User, what problem are we trying to solve for the User and is there any clear purpose as to why this product was created in the first place. These questions provide constraints to the project so that designers don’t lose track of what the product needs to ultimately be. In this article we are going to give you an overview of these questions and the processes necessary to follow when creating a new product.
A picture of a person designing a paper prototype
I recall sitting in an interview for a large software company running through one of my project processes. Unexpectedly, the interviewer stopped me to ask why I had “wasted time making a paper prototype” as if it was some form of kindergarten style process that held no benefits to software development. As I began explaining the advantages of using paper prototyping, I could see he had already drifted away. I knew then that this was not a company focused on its Users.
When you think about how far user interface design has come since computers became ubiquitous in our homes it is truly amazing. The days of old blue screen monitors with pixelated text is gone, thankfully. And yet there is still a lot of confusion about its true function in our industry.
Differentiating User Experience (UX) design, User Interface (UI) design, Interaction Design (IxD) and User-centered Design (UCD) can be hard. With different design approaches being used interchangeably, the understanding of them all tends to get diluted. This blog post focuses on Interaction Design (IxD), explaining what it is, examples of Interaction Design and the principles of the practice.
A picture a Condensor Microphone used to represent podcasts
Thanks to technology, the ways in which people access content to further their knowledge has changed, namely through How-To videos, Webinars and Podcasts. At Graphic Mint we love getting our hands on a great Podcast that is both interesting and offbeat. We went around the office, asking everyone about their favourite UX Podcasts to help you choose your next show to listen to.
Jon Innes has argued that User Experience (UX) Design is not a fad but a “new world order”. It has become ingrained in our everyday lives through our use of websites, apps and software as a service. It can influence our habits and our choices. A bad experience in a shop would put you off returning and a bad User Experience online can have the same result. This is why third-level UX courses have increased in number and importance.
Ever heard of Dieter Rams? He’s an Industrial Designer whose ideas have rightly shaped the way we approach product design. Ever heard of the iPhone 6? Of course you have. Let’s have a look at Rams’ principles and see how it fares.

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