The Digital Experience team (Product team) at Finish Line needed a comprehensive, intentional method to approach UX research and testing to better align designs with the needs of users, as well as to accommodate for evolving types of projects and organizational changes.
As an intern, I created this framework to catalyze our research and design work. Our team has implemented these methods across work for websites, apps, and in-store technology.
Develop a strategy that enables the team to increase the relevance, usability, and delight of products, as well as to better understand the ROI of specific projects and initiatives.
Improve the inter-team and intra-team experiences throughout the research and testing workflow, and ensure that the workflow integrates well with the digital experience team's current product development process.
Effectively communicate the benefits and importance of user research and testing as well as the specific workflow for the team.
design thinking methodology
user interviews and insights
technical and informal writing
UNDERSTAND CHALLENGES AND OBJECTIVES
hands-on product management work
Before any ideation could occur, I needed an in-depth understanding of the current product development process the team uses in order to determine what potential methods and techniques of research and testing would be most beneficial for the team. This step was also crucial for understanding how to integrate these techniques into the existing workflow.
To gain this understanding, I took time to immerse myself in the team's process - observing meetings that occurred at each step of the process, conducting interviews with product owners and managers, taking on other tasks to gain hands-on experience, reading through artifacts from past projects, and familiarizing myself with the company's main products and features.
competitive analysis, design thinking, experimentation
What additional techniques and tools could the team be using? How are other effective organizations approaching research and testing? I looked into potentially useful methods and conducted research on organizations that have robust user research and testing programs that result in useful, delightful, intuitive products and services.
analysis of research findings,
SYNTHESIZE UNDERSTANDING OF TEAM AND EXTERNAL FINDINGS WITH THEORIES OF DESIGN RESEARCH. FORM A STRATEGY.
I matched particular research and testing methods with various scopes, phases, and goals for projects, identifying opportunities where these methods could benefit the team's process as well as the final product.
project definition and plan
CREATE AN EXAMPLE PLAN BY APPLYING THE STRATEGY TO AN UPCOMING PROJECT
Once this plan was detailed, a specific project was chosen to create a helpful example of how to smoothly integrate a research and testing plan into the current development process.
COMMUNICATE PLAN TO TEAM
I presented the plan to the team and leadership, explaining not only the workflow itself, but also the overall strategy and importance of research and testing, particularly in the Finish Line context.
ENABLE EXECUTION OF IDEAS
I created a visual guide to serve as a roadmap, as well as an internal website with resources for reference. These methods and toolsets are increasingly being used by the team to help guide current projects and the roadmap for the future.