Often attributed to startups and app development, it may seem surprising that a marketing agency would want to attend. However, exploring the user experience is an important part of market research.

User Experience is the interaction between customer and product.

When you call it UX, it sounds super techy and a little intimidating. User Experience, however, is simply how we interact with something or someone. Exploring the way our users interact is not so different than the customer journey or sales funnel design.

It is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the ease of use and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.

Wikipedia

In this one-day workshop from Canada Learning Code, held in honour of National Ladies Learning Code Day, we learned the difference between user experience and user interface, as well as how to develop a wireframe for a mobile application and test it with audience members.

User Experience is made up of:

Strategy

  • competitor and product analysis
  • user personas
  • Product structure
  • content writing

Prototyping

  • Wireframing
  • Testing and Iteration
  • Planning
  • Desktop and Mobile

Execution

  • Working with UI Design
    • Fonts
    • Interactions
    • Graphics and Colours
  • Tracking Goals
  • Development

The design process for the user experience is similar to what many entrepreneurs and small businesses use to validate their own service offerings. The considerations of strategy, testing and building can be applied on both small- and large-scale

For the purposes of the day’s activities, we created a storyboard for an app in small teams. In our design sprint, we created a virtual librarian for the local craft college who have recently opened their doors for public usage. We also created a potential persona, someone who would benefit from the app. 

Once complete, we photographed our images with the Pop By Marvel app and began automating our process into a low-fidelity prototype. We then invited members of other design teams in the workshop to test it out.

Our user experience testing benefited from these tips, provided by our instructor:

  • Assume a beginner’s mindset
  • Use the existing product
  • Ask the 5 Whys
  • Conduct 1-1 interviews with empathy in mind
  • Build empathy with analogies
  • Use photo and video user-based journals
  • Engage with extreme users
  • Storytelling
  • Roleplay
  • Create journey and affinity maps

Each design team developed a test plan and script prior to sitting down with potential users. As we walked each tester through the app, we learned how important it was to set the scene for the user and how quick they were to assume they knew how to use the app.

User Experience fail: many testers skipped the tutorial button in favour of getting started!

Wrapping up the day, each team discussed their findings and received feedback from the larger group. The prototypes we built may not go into production, but the day itself was an inspiration. It provided a new perspective into market research, demonstrated the importance of both empathy and storytelling, and introduced us to new friends AND new concepts.

Thank you to Kolton and Olga, instructor and facilitator, for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us.


Canada Learning Code is a champion for coding education in Canada, driving results through program design and delivery, strategic industry and public partnerships, research and advocacy. Learn more about their programs and services at canadalearningcode.ca