ORCA: Enhancing User Experience Research

Collaborating with your team, you are evaluating the current progress. The project is functioning as planned, with all features successfully incorporated and only a few minor aspects that need polishing before pre-release. However, there is a lingering sense that something is amiss.

It is feasible that you are encountering challenges while navigating the website which could arise from the user interface or colour scheme, or perhaps both. Ultimately, the final creation of the user experience designer will differ considerably from your original idea.

The iterative design methodology is a common procedure that entails continuous communication among the development team and other pertinent stakeholders. This enables the input of the product owner, user or decision maker to be taken into account at each phase of the project, resulting in a more inclusive final outcome.

While it is anticipated that things will function in a specific way, comprehending human communication can prove to be challenging in actuality. Following a meeting with crucial stakeholders, the development team may become unsure of how to proceed due to the instructions provided, which may seem contradictory to earlier conversations.

When a UX designer or developer develops a creative solution to a problem but encounters difficulty conveying it effectively to other stakeholders, this can be a discouraging experience. Likewise, if a stakeholder knows what they want but finds it challenging to express their thoughts, it may indicate a breakdown in communication.

Defining User Experience Research

User Experience (UX) Research refers to the process of collecting and assessing user behaviour and responses to gain a deeper insight into the requirements of the end-user. This information is subsequently utilised to refine and augment products and services. UX designers or analysts obtain feedback and input from users and stakeholders to optimise the user interface and usability of the project.

Essentially, UX researchers directly communicate with clients, serving as facilitators who pose insightful questions to encourage further dialogue and reveal underlying insights. They also introduce initial prototypes and track feedback and areas for improvement.

It is crucial to acknowledge that our perceived requirements may not always align with our genuine needs. While our perspective can be advantageous in shaping our goals and preferences, it can also be limiting in certain situations.

The ideal user experience designers possess comprehensive knowledge in areas such as aesthetics, usability, accessibility, contemporary trends, and technological advancements. Adopting a user-centred approach to design can uncover areas where our personal standpoint may be restricted, and also generate fresh ideas to enhance the software-user interface.

In my opinion, UX research can be likened to a philosophical debate between two opposing groups, where both strive to reach a common ground. However, without direction, even dialogue can prove to be less effective than silence.

From my perspective, when discussing UX, there are two essential questions that should be posed:

  1. Could you provide a description of the items?
  2. I am interested in understanding the relationship between the items.

The Influence of OOUX on User Experience

Object-Oriented User Experience (OOUX) is an approach to designing your website, app, or digital tool, that prioritises the use of object/noun first perspective.

When applied properly, OOUX facilitates a web-like system structure rather than the conventional hierarchical tree structure. This is what separates a website that navigates smoothly, like Wikipedia, from one that necessitates multiple clicks on hyperlinks to reach the intended destination.

Envision your project as a coffee shop. To establish a prosperous business, it is essential to have all the essential elements, such as coffee, tables, chairs, mugs, and a counter. Each of these components serves a unique function in the coffee shop and should be considered carefully.

For a considerable duration, UX designers employed an “action-first” strategy, where designs were developed around the actions they expected users to perform. To return to the aforementioned comparison, this would be akin to hoping for a cafe to succeed.

This tactic may seem innovative, but is it a viable approach? It is doubtful that it will align with the desired user experience, and as a result, success is not assured. Conversely, investing in a high-quality coffee shop is potentially a more prosperous choice.

When planning projects, it is crucial to ascertain a thorough comprehension of how they are visually represented. To accomplish this, extensive research should be undertaken to reveal the significance behind these images. What measures can be taken to achieve this goal?

Tips from ORCA

ORCA, an abbreviation for Objects, Relationships, Calls-to-Action and Attributes, is a valuable framework to develop high quality Object-Oriented User Interfaces (OO UIs). It involves a comprehensive and efficient fifteen-step process.

The reality is that not all of these subjects need to be tackled, particularly for UX research. Only the first two – object discovery and connection discovery – should be focused on.

As mentioned before, objects are the fundamental constituents of your project. We identify them in your user stories and product description. For instance, let’s take a look at…

Our current project is to create a resource that provides individuals with guided meditations they can practice at home when they are experiencing stress.

The UX researcher has three nouns to use as a foundation for the investigation. Providing more information about these nouns is essential; for example, people experiencing stress may have names, email addresses, usernames, gender, body weight, and other relevant details.

After identifying and classifying the items, we can begin to map out their interconnections. By comprehending the relationships between them, we can predict how they might interact with one another and determine each item’s intended function.

When examining the link between user exercise activity and their performance, it makes sense to create a user interface that can track and log the exercises they have done and their duration. To ascertain the next course of action, it is crucial to identify the correlation between the two variables.

Breaking the process down into smaller components helps manage the workload and prevents information overload. We can avoid spending excess time discussing unrelated subjects or attempting to include irrelevant items in our plan.

Incorporating Planning, Objectives, and Aspirations

The success of a project is heavily influenced by the quality of User Experience (UX), making it critical to optimize UX to achieve your desired results. ORCA and similar approaches are grounded on the principle that successful projects are the product of a balance between the product owner’s vision, the user’s needs, and the developer’s expertise.

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