Can you introduce yourself to our audience?
Hi, first of all, thank you for having me and giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts with an awesome audience. So, I am Stavan Himal, User Experience Design Practitioner from India and currently, based in Barcelona and pursuing my masters’ degree in Interaction Design at Harbour Space University.
How many years have you been practising UX?
I have been practising UX for last 5 years. It all started when I was pursuing my bachelors in Information and Communication Technology back home in India. We had a subject for User Centred Design and I found it so interesting I started working towards that field.
So, tell us how interaction design and UX work in conjunction?
I particularly believe that Interaction Design falls under the bigger umbrella of User Experience. To achieve a good user experience, you have to create good interactions. The interactions can be anything from the buttons to motion graphics. If the interaction with the elements is first-class, equally the user experience will be excellent.
We’re entering into the era of ‘Beyond the Screen Interactions’ or ‘Beyond the Screen Experiences’ and I believe that to survive in this era, we must take care of the interactions as much as we take care of the User Experience.
What is your definition of UX?
It is the experience which people have while using any product or service as well as the overall experience when they’ll leave that product or service.’ If they’re not having good experience, it is obvious that the UX is bad.
What is your favourite research method and how has this helped you make business decisions?
I would start by observing people in the desired demographic, I never miss a chance to observe people. I analyse their activity and judge how difficult or easy it was for them to perform a particular task.
If I find any problems I would start asking and observing more people. After doing that, I would carry out suitable user research and analysis to come up with a solution to their problem.
How do you get feedback from your users? How do you conduct your user research?
Ideally, I perform two types of user testing methods; One is task-based where I ask the user to perform some tasks and observe what kind of problems they’re facing to achieve the desired outcome.
Secondly, is to ask them directly for their feedback when they perform and complete their initial interactions with the service I have designed.
My favourite user research method has always been ‘Observation.’ I believe that most of the time people do not know what kind of difficulties they’re facing in performing actions because they’re habituated to do those tasks. So, I ideally analyse them in the initial phase and then I carry out furthermore User Research Methods.
How do you put your ideas together? What are your tools to create?
I would always sketch the concept after the problem-solving sessions. From there, I would create low fidelity wireframes which would lead to high fidelity designs. Then, I would prototype it and test.
I ideally use, Sketch App and Omnigraffle to create the wireframes and for prototypes, I use Framer, Principle or Pixate. The choice of the software depends on the complexity of the prototype. If I am creating a simple prototype which can be done faster, I prefer Pixate whereas, for more complex prototypes, I use Framer.
Stavan’s go-to products for design
Below Stavan shared three items he would recommend to UX designers.