What is Design?
User experience (UX) design is the process of designing a product or service so that it meets user needs while also meeting the goals of a firm's vision. For teachers and students, we create educational tools that are fun and effective. For researchers and school districts, we design a research system that is collaborative and productive in generating exciting new evidence.
How do we use it?
Our entire team of designers, educators, and researchers uses the design process. We talk with users to understand their needs, co-create prototypes of our ideas, iterate and test them with our users, and constantly refine to improve.
The Double Diamond
The Double Diamond is a method developed by the British Design Council to bring the creative process to organizational needs. This four-step process describes how we approach our Playbooks and Research Network.
Great design begins with a deep understanding of real life. The goal is to understand the user's pain points and wishes. At Character Lab, we discover by observing and speaking with teachers, administrators, and students, as well as the researchers that want to serve them. We love to hear users define problems and get excited about solutions. The discover phase also involves a landscape analysis of best practices in the field, current workflows, and existing literature.
Once user needs are understood, viable solutions begin to emerge. In the define phase, we define what metrics for success look like and articulate the assumptions we need to test. By clearly articulating the problem and our hypothesis, we’re positioned to create possible solutions.
The development cycle is a generative process to create lots of different solutions that might tackle our metric. We explore what approach will have the best user experience to solve our user's needs. We then develop the product in iterative versions.
Once the design is released to the world, it’s time to test it, revise it, and repeat the process for the next one. Over time, Playbook and research processes become agreed upon, and we move on to new challenges and needs.