What are the most effective mental and methodological processes that UX designers use to convert analytical data to UI?

What cognitive tools are used?

While planning an "Introduction to UI" course in the company I work for, I came across an interesting question. After we have done all the analysis we need (Task, users, environment, competitive and so on), we need to convert this data into a conceptual model or simply said - a UI solution. In order to do so - each one of us has a method in place. Some have a very abstract "Black box" which they never tried to explain. Others have well structured steps and methodologies. Some may have tools they use.

I will be glad to discuss these, as this is a very important skill to teach.

closed as not a real question by ChrisF, Roger Attrill, Alex Feinman, Patrick McElhaney Dec 13 '11 at 16:05

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  • This is an interesting post, and I guess the varience of humans and their process style govern. Have you conducted any research within your company? – user10188 Dec 13 '11 at 9:52
  • I didn't do any research of this nature. If I try to define a research question for this issue, I would say: What are the most effective mental and methodological processes that UI designers use to convert Analysis to UI. What cognitive tools do they use? – Yair Dec 13 '11 at 10:43
  • I don't see a question here. Please understand, this site is for specific questions, not general discussions. – Patrick McElhaney Dec 13 '11 at 12:10
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    The question is "What are the most effective mental and methodological processes that UI designers use to convert Analysis to UI. What cognitive tools do they use?" I edited the question to make that clear. – Yair Dec 13 '11 at 13:09
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    This is a huge question. Might as well ask, "So, how do I make my designs usable?" For UX.SE, you probably need to break it down into smaller chunks. – Alex Feinman Dec 13 '11 at 15:50

Probably not what you want to hear, but I'd say it's all work experience. The process is quite simple:

Analysis/concept -> UI -> test -> refine UI -> re-test etc.

And the more experience you have under your belt, the better the chance you don't encounter any major problems on the first test.

  • The experience is exactly what non-HFEs do not have. They see few systems and design even less. All the analysis you have won't give them the right anwser to: What are the interaction areas? how do I navigate between them? what compoenents to use? A thousand experience based decisions that I'm trying to give a name to and convey as methodology/tool. My method is: after analysis, I must make a workflow in Visio, consider main scenarios to pull out actions and actors, create very high level interaction areas, test them against scenarios and tasks, put details in. Check navigation. what's yours? – Yair Dec 13 '11 at 17:39
  • A method that might help you is called "Cores and Paths". After the structure is defined, ask yourself 3 questions for every page: 1. What's the main content of the whole website and this specific page (=core)? 2. What are the mains paths in? (Navigation, Google, some process etc.) and finally 3. What are the main paths out? In my experience this really helps to keep the focus on what's important. Here some slides about the method: slideshare.net/aregh/… – Phil Dec 13 '11 at 18:44

Tasks - know what they need to accomplish

Relevance - what context will they be expected to do these tasks in (type of site, application, mobile, etc)

Visceral - aesthetically pleasing design, layout, and flow.

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