Responsive web design

  • Project duration: 1/22 – 2/22
  • This project was conducted as part of the requirements for a Google UX certification program.
  • The learning objective was to get more practice completing different tasks typically performed by various roles involved in the UX design of a responsive website (competitive research, designing and conducting usability studies, synthesizing research data in Excel and Mural for affinity mapping, developing wireframes and prototypes in XD).
  • My performance objective was to dig deeper into how I could better acknowledge and address the needs of different segments of a diverse target audience and incorporate them into more relatable learning experiences.

Target audience

User persona
“As a freelance designer, I work from home but I would love to have a design community I can reach out to for help when needed! “

The problem:

How can freelance designers be a part of a design community that is willing and able to support each other throughout the design process? They find it challenging to connect with other designers that are committed to a user-centered design process. Pain points for participants in the website usability studies included:

  • They struggle to find a work community that understands design challenges.
  • Most online design communities focus on the product not optimizing the design process.
  • It’s often difficult to find participants for usability studies that have the target characteristics.

The solution

  • The goal of this online designer’s networking community is to provide a platform for designers to come together and reach out to each other to give and receive help at each stage of the design process.
  • The objective is for the design community to function as a pool of people with diverse characteristics readily accessible to participate in user-centered research as needed.
  • The ultimate goal is to focus on how the design community can help each other optimize the user-centered design process.

User research goal

  • Determine if the website layout provides a consistent and intuitive user experience and identify any challenges users might face when navigating and completing tasks on the site.
  • Confirm that users recognize and can benefit from the value added by participating in a community in which they are expected to reach out to each other to give and receive help as needed throughout the design process.

Competitive analysis

  • The competitive analysis was based on similar online designer networking communities including Dribbble and Behance.
  • The goals of Dribbble are similar to those of this online design community in that it encourages users to share and get feedback on work in progress.
  • The goals of Behance are similar to those of this online design community in that it encourage users to share background case study details.
  • As a result of the analysis, what clearly differentiates this online design community is centering the experiences around requesting and responding to requests for design help. It is designed to focus on the design process more than on showcasing designs.

The case study

Lessons Learned

Identifying evidence based research that supports the reasoning for why certain design elements are included in a product is a great practice, whether that product is a mobile app, a website, or a learning experience. However, when we are committed to practicing the actions defined by the design thinking methodology, we can avoid relying too heavily on learning theory rather than the practical concerns of people in our target audience.

Every step of the user-centered design process was extremely challenging as the process demands attention to a variety of details. It is not easy to actively listen to users and collaborators providing feedback all while making a consistent effort to recognize the limitations of your own perspective and biases. On the other hand, enabling the design and development to be driven by the voices of real people within a diverse target audience actually makes the process easier. It lessens the burden on the design team to advocate for the needs of the people we are designing for. Let people speak for themselves. I learned that simply listening to the people on the design team and people in the target audience, every step of the way, makes the design process a learning experience for everyone.