Summary: Travis LaFleur explains how The Understanding Group uses “What Before How” to frame their approach to user experience for website projects.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at UX Camp in Chicago and the Internet User Experience conference in Ann Arbor. I first described The Understanding Group’s “What Before How” framing, which helps keep us from jumping into solution mode before we’ve adequately framed the problem space. From there I introduced four ways we’ve put that framing into practice:
- Page Description Diagrams, an alternative to wireframes that focuses on Jobs-to-be-Done rather than spatial relationships.
- UI Flow Shorthand, an exploratory method for sketching interfaces with words rather than pictures.
- User Context Models, a simple and flexible way to distill and represent user research findings.
- Performance Continuums, a technique for generating healthy discussion with stakeholders and capturing nuanced intent.
These approaches to user experience work help establish goals, priorities, and alignment with stakeholders while leaving the door open to many possible implementations. Their simplicity allows us to iterate through many ideas quickly, while being versatile enough to apply to a wide range of projects.
Thanks to all the organizers who put these events together and to everyone who came out and gave great feedback!