Insights

Exploring REO's Methodology for Experience Design

Blog / 14 May 2019

This short article introduces RedEye Optimisation's (REO) Methodology for Experience Design, which is based on years of creating compelling and effective online user experiences for some of the world's largest brands.

For more information on the content of this article I'd encourage you to download our latest whitepaper The Marriage of the Rational and the Emotional. A Methodology for Experience Design.

But first and foremost... why a methodology? Isn't design a creative process?

A methodology is defined as a system of methods which correctly highlights the connected and interdependent nature of every element: the outputs of each part act as the input to the next. Any attempt to skip or minimise part of the process will result, at best, in a sub-optimal outcome and at worst the complete failure of the project.

This is why at REO we believe the design (or redesign) of a digital experience needs to recognise and respect the combination of the rational and the emotional; the creative and the pragmatic.

Critically, our methodology establishes the constraints around an experience design project: from brand guidelines to budget and resource; from existing infrastructure to emotive drivers. In doing so, it provides a framework and direction within which creativity can be freely applied and which allows for maximum experimentation with minimum wasted effort.

We wanted to illustrate the methodology in a simplified form, with the key elements described in some detail. 

 

 

There are five core elements in the REO Methodology for Experience Design, two of which are aligned to designing the right experience, and two to designing the experience right. The fifth element is a period of consultation bridging the two phases where the how to execute is set out.

Each stage is a process of inputs and outputs. Some immediately produce definitive results; some create a number of options for further development, testing and iteration before a final direction becomes clear. All produce critical documentation and specifications for the following step. Each stage is therefore essential to the ultimate success of the project.

 

1 - Research

To create the correct focus for the entire experience design project, a broad-ranging period of research, information gathering and analysis is undertaken. It includes:

Activities: Customer journey mapping, user requirements, analytics, evidence gathering, business objectives and ambitions, brand, technology;

Outputs: Problem statements, ideally grouped and prioritised.

 

2 - Strategy

The strategy will vary in time and effort depending on the type of design project you are undertaking. There are broadly three types of Design Projects - Transformation; Redesign; New feature/product - but nonetheless they all involve:

Activities: Data driven storytelling, problem solving, design sprints, prioritisation of solutions, ideally distilled into one;

Outputs: Future concept.

 

3 - Consult

With the vision for change clear and a consensus reached, a period of consideration as to how the project will be carried out should begin:

Activities: Process design, team alignment, review internal/external resource skills, timeline and project deadlines reviewed. Consider ways of working;

Outputs: Ways of working, shared goals, decision making defined, roles and responsibilities.

 

4 - Design

As said above, the project type changes the approach to the design work. That said there are some core principles to follow:

Activities: Design sprints, wireframing, design systems, design guidelines, rapid testing;

Outputs: Designs ready for build.

 

5 - Experiment

The design project is just the beginning, as once the design has been built and is live an ongoing period of experimentation must be carried out:

Activities: AB Testing, Personalisation, CRO, innovation, test and learn;

Output: Enhanced digital experiences, ongoing improvement.

 

Over the next few weeks I'll write in more depth about each stage of the methodology.