Design Process at Highradius
Design process is crucial for designing products that stand the test of users and market both. It helps to find a sweet spot ensuring both customer and business needs are fulfilled.
Before we dive into the design process we designers use in Highradius, its crucial to know what Highradius stands for?
So, What is Highradius?
HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that leverages Artificial Intelligence-based Autonomous Systems to help companies automate Accounts Receivable and Treasury processes.
Now I know the above statement is pretty heavy. Think about the responsibility designers have to create products that fit this very definition.
Being a rapidly growing company, the designers at Highradius encounter many case studies everyday ranging from adding new features to a product, redesigning the current look or working completely on a brand new product. Due to these divergent and challenging tasks, following a well defined design process is the elixir for a designer’s life.
Now that you know what Highradius is and why we need a design process to makes high end products. Lets dive into the process…
Highradius Design Process
- Meet the user
- Be the user
- Make it simple
- Design and Prototype
- Test and Understand
The design process is divided into five steps. Each step compliments each other so the outcome in the end is a well furnished, easy to use product. These steps can be followed in a loop ensuring better understanding while designing.
Lets see what we designers do in each phase…
Meet the user
In this phase the designers try to understand user needs and demographics. They try to define product goals and challenges. The need of the hour is the consequence due to a pain point that either our research team found or something we understood from users feedback, therefore understanding the pain point is the key in this step.
Now every business thrives if its products satisfy both the users and its stakeholders. As designers we are responsible for finding that sweet spot and start stacking from there. UX designers also need to look at technical constraints that might arise when they are defining the product goals.
There points taken together makes a good day for this phase.
2. Be the User
Now once we have a good understanding of our users and we have found the sweet spot, its time to give a face to the user we are designing for.
User personas is a method where designers try to-
- Narrow down the user base and define a specific user base they are designing for
- Define the traits of the user at hand and specify need and pain point of the user
Its best to define atleast two user personas.
In some cases their maybe more than two user personas. Just make sure the number of user personas is not the problem however you must have a thorough knowledge of all the crucial aspects of the user you are defining.
User scenarios are stories or visualizations which designers create to show how users might act to achieve a goal in a system or environment.
Think about it, whenever we try to explain a problem to our friends we usually do so by stories. We start from the very beginning and slowly become a story teller with our friends asking questions and giving reactions XD. Yes we are story tellers by nature and that’s why we use it to design our products.
A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal.
A proper journey map helps designers cut through non useful steps and shorten users path to accomplish the task at hand.
An empathy map is a collaborative visualization used to articulate what we know about a particular type of user. It externalizes knowledge about users in order to 1) create a shared understanding of user needs, and 2) aid in decision making.
A designer without empathy for a user is no designer. Understanding the user is crucial as a designer and empathy map is one great way to do it.
It’s defined as separating parts of a list of items into ‘taxons’ which further have parents and below that, children. Taxons can be taken as organized lists of items which in the case of UX, are often contextual in nature.
Taxonomies helps to segregate data into collections. Its helps to priorities data, sequence them in the best suitable way thus getting rid of irrelevant data points.
UX Collective has a great blog about Taxonomies. Find it here.
An important task of a UX designer is to map things together in a product or application. Sitemaps are one way to do this.
A sitemap is a hierarchical diagram of a website or application, that shows how pages are prioritized, linked, and labeled. If a user flow is like the street view details, the sitemap is like the bird’s eye view.
I hope you are not overwhelmed. Design process is a team task so it helps :D
Lets move to the next step…
3. Make it Simple
Now we have arrived at the stage where you need to sharpen your pencil and start putting your thoughts out. Which by now will be overflowing with ideas of how the product should look like.
This step is my favorite step because here we will create as many iterations as we like. Modify them according to our understanding and come up with the best solution by discussing with the team.
Ideation, Feedbacks and Iterations
Let your ideas flow in this phase. No idea is a waste. The more ideas you have the better.
In this process each team member comes up with his own set of ideas. The ideas and the approach is discussed within the team and every team member share their views. Then the team narrows down ideas as group to a single, well-articulated Solution Sketch per person.
Feedback and Iterations are key to good design.
Low fidelity design
Each individual creates a low fidelity design of their ideas. It depends on the individual if they want to come up with low fidelity version of all their ideas or the more considered version decided by the team. Its a good process to see your idea taking shape.
By the end of this process. The team collectively decides with which idea they want to move forward . It may be one or more than one or a combination of different ideas. The important thing is that the best solution is chosen here.
4. Design and Prototype
Now take a deep breath because you have finally reached the phase of giving life to your product. I know you are excited ;)
In this phase the design team start working on the mid and high fidelity design of the product.
The goal is to create a workable prototype of the product or a mock up that will be used in the later phase for testing with the users, stakeholders and sometimes for sales demo.
Here we create a end to end experience for the user. The product is a mock up of the real product.
We at Highradius follow the Trifecta design system while creating these high-fidelity prototypes. Following a design system is crucial as its a visual language of your company or organization.
5. Test and Understand
Its time to celebrate, you made it to the last phase.
Lets first test our product with users and stakeholders to see if we as designers succeeded in designing the best possible solution of the problem.
This phase is highly crucial.
- Getting feedback from users.
- Observing how they are interacting with the product(a prototype or mockup at this phase)
- Listening to stakeholders viewpoints on the provided solution
- Collecting survey to note down users reaction while and after using the product etc.
The result of this phase helps designer to make meaningful and user centric changes to the design before the final hand off to the developers. The design process is used as a loop so if you find that our users are not so happy with one aspect of the design we quickly go to the iteration and ideation mode to figure out what went wrong and improve on it.
This approach of testing and taking feedback from users enables us to emphasize with our user base and make products that fit them like a custom tailored suit.
NOW YOU CAN FINALLY CELEBRATE :D
Thanks to Anil Kumar Macherla and Ravin Kumar for helping me write this blog. Hope it will help the curious.
Thank you for reading till the end!!!
Claps are appreciated and comments are most welcome :)