My name is Steve Sutanto, a Product Designer and Team Leader. For almost a decade I've been helping a variety of tech and digital creative companies in Los Angeles, and now in Jakarta, Indonesia, humanizing technology through design.
I love collaborating with people and being part of the Creative problem-solving while also cultivating business value. To me, what makes User Experience Design a lot more interesting is when a like-minded individual, collectively working and challenge each other, crafting & innovating an excellent User Experience.
For the last couple of years, I have had the privilege of holding a leading role. Currently, leading a product team for an up and coming startup in South East Asia, GetCraft.com and prior was leading a team of product designers for one of the top e-Commerce players in Indonesia, blibli.com.
I have discovered the Situational Leadership model to be useful in being able to help the team's morale and velocity, which turn boosting the team's overall performance. If there was a lack of need for improvement, I strive to continually grow and adapt and learn quickly, in design and leadership.
User-Centered Design Process
*Keep in mind, some of these methods can overlap and generally linear, it depends on the scale of the requirements. The explanation below derived from my experiences working for a variety of tech companies and industry, working in conjunction with the product and tech eco-system.
I've always started, typically paired with a product manager, with an understanding of the problems and goals. Then decides which method I need to validate the initial requirement. Do I need to speak with the CX member, talk with the stakeholder to clarify the business value, external survey underlying problems or perhaps three full days of design sprint? Whatever method chosen the goal is to validate the needs to solve a user problem or create new opportunity.
Generally, once you have a pretty good idea of the fundamental problems to solve, then it's all about putting the "user" in the context. Who is our target audience? What persona we're basing our design or voice of customer we refer. With that mindset than the method in defining this will follow, i.e., create affinity mapping or user journey mapping or starting with a persona.
The ideation is the conceptual portion of the design process, in the form of information architecture, task analysis or wireframes concepts. If it's a revamp of navigation structure, then I used information architecture to explore variance of logical grouping.
Otherwise, typically I start with user "task" flow, highlighting the functional aspect and other use cases transpired from it. Does it touch multiple channels, micro-services or what error messages occurred from it?
I would sketch out various iterations of the design and get feedback through design review. Typically this is an excellent opportunity to also collaborate with the engineers closely to see what's feasible.
The prototype portion of the design should generally be the finishing touches of the plan, taken from the ideation. Often, can also be used for usability testing purposes to gain insights from the external users.
During this stage, the visual design craft matter and understanding system design interface is crucial. Am I designing for Android, iOS or dashboard for internal? The goal is to ensure when handing it over to the engineers is complete, that includes the design spec, flow, and interaction model.
When the design already handed over to the engineers, the ball is in the engineer's hand right? Mostly, but not entirely. Sometimes, in the process of development, there'll be a time when potentially the design needs to scope down or revised based on what's possible on a technical level. When that happens, usually pair with the Product Manager, there needs to be a decision either a) keep pushing the feature even if it takes a longer time of development or b) revised the design in a chunk to accommodate the scope. Whatever that may be, as a designer is essential to use the best judgment.
Upon release, with the right tools, the team would monitor the metric using tools like Google Analytics (GA), Crazy Egg or lately I've been immersing using Fullstory to track events recording. Does it convert? Reduced the time spent or increased in sign-ups and hopefully strategically, given the proper working autonomy as a team can decide accordingly.
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