My day can be filled with various meetings and they tend to change based on the phase of the project. If it’s the beginning of a project, I spend a good amount of time on research activities. This could include going over analytics, literature review, meeting with the developers to discuss technology limitations, defining what features need to be included with Jose, our Product Manager, establishing what metrics we will need to track to determine when the project is successful, creating a survey to send to users, scheduling interviews with users.
For large features or new products, I create a user journey map to detail the different parts, how users flow from one step to the next, and how it all connects in a way that is easy for users. The upfront work helps us set expectations and create goals to ensure we see the expected results.
I create the rough sketches, or mockups, of the idea on paper at first. This makes it quick and easy to try different things before we are too invested in a solution. I share the mockups with the development team in a weekly meeting. This gives them the chance to bring up any technical issues that I’m not aware of and helps to get everyone on the same page. I need to be aware of existing design patterns and keep an eye on how other companies solve similar problems. This makes it easier for users to understand our experience and increases our chances of success.
When we have a concept that we feel good about, I create a prototype using design tools like Sketch and InVision. The prototype is an interactive version of the design that shows how the feature or idea works. This makes it easy to share and test with users. This part of the process is where a lot of iteration comes in. Sometimes I create a dozen versions of a feature before we settle on what to build.
It can be challenging to have so much of my work “thrown away.” Sometimes I have to remind myself to fall in love with the problem we are trying to solve and not the solution. This helps me to stay open to other ideas and the possibility that there are better ways to do things. Fresh eyes really help find the cracks in a design. As we discover and learn things, we change our design to reflect that.
When I’m creating a design, there are a lot of things I need to think about. Accessibility is core to our mission at Poodle Jumper, so being intentional about how a user with impairments will use the feature is important. How the design leverages size, color, spacing, and contrast can have big impacts on accessibility.
Working through how a design will look on different devices can be a challenge. The size, ratio, resolution, and measurements vary between computers, phones, and tablets. My job is to keep the look and feel of the design consistent no matter what device a user is on. When the layout or design of a page changes based on the device or window size, that's known as responsive design. This can be tricky because it requires you to understand what content is critical and what is secondary.
My work isn’t finished when the design is complete; I also collaborate with the team to make sure it works as expected. Once a feature is released, Jose (Product Manager) and I regularly look at analytics and feedback to measure the impact and results of the change. We measure the conversion rates, monthly active users, the number of sessions, and the number of times users took a particular action or used a specific feature. I like to keep an eye on the support issues coming in to know where the issues are happening.