The UX Toolbox

Posted on: June 6, 2010

Bicycle tools

In my relatively short time in the field of UX design, I have been exposed to a variety of processes and techniques. I think about process a great deal, and have lately been enamored with agile methodologies, largely due to the team-centric ideals and practices. Having said that, as I become exposed to a greater variety of projects and clients, I realize that no process is a silver bullet, and no single process should guide how we approach our work. If we continually go through the same motions, eventually they become a habit and thinking creatively versus automatically becomes more difficult.

Given that each project, each stakeholder, and each problem is unique – with their own quirks and eccentricities – we should evaluate our approach to each problem on an individual basis. We can look at all of our techniques in the field as tools in our toolbox, and for each project it is our responsibility to choose the appropriate tool and methodology to solve to the problem at hand, rather than continually banging on different problems with the same hammer.

Furthermore, as new challenges arise, if the tools in our toolbox are not doing a sufficient job of helping us solve the problem it is also our duty to modify current techniques and invent new ones to add to our UX toolbox.


2 Responses to "The UX Toolbox"

Wonderful points Alla!

I think we’ve gotten too wrapped up in the “pretty prototype”, arguing over processes, and other conversations that don’t help the industry grow.

More importantly, focusing on these things fail to communicate a greater understanding of the value behind our approaches and deliverable(s).

You summed up this notion beautifully: “…we should evaluate our approach to each problem on an individual basis.”

People are the foundation of every success and failure we have in projects (offline and online).

Be accountable and make choices that clarify the specific field of endeavor at the start of every project (regardless of methodology). This will ensure both the process followed and the final outcome will be understood by everyone on the team.

I like how you’ve made such great points in a bite-sized article! What makes UX design so interesting is because there’s no one size fits all approach. There will always be something new to learn, a new way to go about doing things. You can’t design by rote.

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Alla Zollers

I design products and services that just. make. sense.

When products make sense, customers are happy.

If customer are happy, they sign-up, stay on site, engage, share, and buy your product or service.

Happy customers allow companies to profit in both senses of the word.

I provide the following services:

• Heuristic Evaluations
• Discovery Research
• Strategy and Vision Development
• Information Architecture
• User Experience Design
• Usability Testing

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