Sprint Lead: Laura

Our project problem statement

In this project we are looking to solve the problem of:

How might we… create practical content to help those delivering user-centred design under real-world constraints.

Why is this a challenge?

Working on user centered design projects is complicated.

Much of the available knowledge is scattered in articles, forums and other places, if it exists at all. It would be nice if there was somewhere people could go to find content that helps them in their job and addresses the myriad of different topics and questions they will run up against.

We think that there is a gap in knowledge for UX practitioners just starting out that bridges the gap between UX theory and UX reality.

How did we start?

We had a kick off meeting with the mentors, then it was time for us to set up team discussions about our approach to the project.

The first thing we did was create a Google Drive folder, a place that would allow us to share our files and create collaborative documents.

We had key questions we needed to answer about the challenge before we could get started. They were:

  • why we are doing this?
  • who do we do it for?
  • the problem
  • expected outcomes
  • key metrics

This allowed us as well to share with each other our strengths and weakness as we come from different professional backgrounds.

“I love the fact that all of us are coming from different background. Even those of us in the same country are bringing something different.”

Audra C

How are we solving the problem?

Working as a team, we created a research plan where we define:

  • the background
  • the objectives
  • the assumptions
  • the research questions
  • the methodology
  • the analysis plan
  • the participants
  • how we are going to manage the data
  • the timings for the whole project
  • other considerations such as the screener we will use in our interviews
  • the discussion guide.

The key objective of our research is to understand what topics people need help on and how they get help at the moment.

Tools and processes
Our tools and processes

And the methodologies we will use to cover this points are:

  • Check Frequently Asked Questions: where we will mine questions from UX Communities in order to make an analysis of existing patterns in questions asked by UX professionals.
  • Competitive audit: to know who are our competitors and their features and topics.
  • Survey: to get a better understanding of the demographics of the UX professionals and understand where people currently go for information and when and what topics they are searching for.
  • User interviews: that will allow us to dive deeper into the patterns and data we collected in the earlier research phases.

How are we tracking tasks?

We collaborate remotely so tools are very important to us. Slack is great for general discussions and Zoom in this case for team calls and catch ups.

To share findings and ideas we relied on Trello, which is as well a good place to assign tasks.

As you can see in the picture, we organized the boards with these sections:

  • Things to do
  • Doing
  • Waiting for feedback
  • Done

In each list we added several cards, depending on the task, so for example our research plan has 10 sections, so we added 10 cards in the “to do” list, and assigned the cards between the members of the group.

When a member started to work on that particular task, she moved it to “on going” and when completed to “waiting for feedback” and when mentors provide feedback the tasks are moved to the “done” section

What problems did we face?

It is very important to take into account that we faced and will face some problems in our journey.

Curveballs

Along the whole project we will have curveballs.

These are designed to train our ability to adapt ourselves in problems that we will face in real life. In this case, we had a timeline curveball, where we had to face a shorter timing for the research plan, 2 days, which in a sprint is a lot.

In this case we discussed as a team how we thought we should handle this curveball, and we decided to say yes straight away, but the best decision in this scenario it was to push back.

The mentors gave us some tips on this, and we pushed back to send a draft on Monday and a final document on Wednesday, instead of a final document on Monday.

Timezones

Another problem we faced and we will face is timezones. We are from extremely different places and time zones, 8 hours difference is the average, and the best time for me probably is 4am in the night for another person.

In this case the task assignments are helping us a lot as everyone can work in their own space. Everyone of us work as well full time so that means that we don’t have all the time that we would like and we have to make a big effort.

Also we agreed that if we can get more than 2 people to agree a time that is enough, and anyone not on the call will have to accept that tasks will be assigned to them.

But we try to keep track of everything on Slack more than with calls, actually in this particular sprint we had the kick off call, and another call at the beginning of the second week.

We are very happy with the work we have done and we are excited to continue with this learning process.


Want to join our next project?

Get involved with UX projects that fill the gap between courses and the world of work.

Learn more



Chris Mears

Chris is co-founder of UXmentor.me. He has worked with clients such as the UK government, Just Eat & Which? with a focus on service design and transformation.