Working with Vincent Boon at Giants Technology has challenged some assumptions about user experience, which in the end has afforded us some fresh insight. Our prime goal has been to innovate and develop UX/UI experiences to increase engagement with online community users. The process required close collaboration, bringing together our passion for digital design and Giants Technology’s deep knowledge on online communities.
We’d like to share our biggest takeaways from the innovation journey.
1. Start with ideas.
This sounds obvious, right? But in practice, there is a natural tendency to talk about details early on, fixating on functions and features, layout and proportions, buttons and tabs, look and feel, and so on. While it’s tempting to gravitate towards details, it’s better to start with a focus on the big ideas at the formative stages.
The value of exploring ideas fully at the start is so that we direct the collective mind towards a breadth of conceptual possibilities. This streamlines the process to achieve truly innovative solutions. If ideas are rigorously explored, debated and improved, innovative solutions can be confidently applied. More importantly, the value of each idea, and the subsequent work involved in bringing them to life, can be properly understood by all. This ultimately results in a productive, applicable innovation process.
2. Active users are key.
Effective communities rely on the growth and development of active participants, this in turn translates to added value to all community members. Any innovation work in building online communities needs to bear this in mind: Serve, encourage and elevate the active member when conceptualising for user experience, and community innovation. This is not about excluding the browser, or passive user; rather, it’s more about breaking down barriers to contribution by heroing the contributors.
3. See the idea through.
In UX/UI innovation work, it is crucial to follow through on the idea to the end of the process. Everyone working on the project should be vested in the idea and become guardians of the concept.
It is easy to reach for off-the-shelf solutions when quick solutions are needed for common problems. Sometimes this is justified, and can lead to good solutions. But it could work against the original intent behind the concept, so vigilance is required when pushing an idea through to its conclusion. It is better to go back to the original concept and to solve the problem through the lens of the big idea. This consistency and perseverance will work to elevate the idea, rather than dilute it.
To summarise, innovation in any field requires strong ideas. This is just as true in UX/UI design for online communities. True UX/UI design innovation, now more than ever, will rely on the quality of the idea, and key stakeholders seeing the idea through.
Want to learn more? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how we elevate brands through user centred design.