Diane Cronenwett explains the role of structure in setting up your UX project. Discover how to create the big picture of the design experience.
- [Instructor] UX projects are rarely as simple as just moving things around on a page, or just a redesign. Although sometimes projects are framed that way because there isn't always a good understanding of what UX is or how designers work. For example, in one project, I was asked to move a form field up to the top of the page so people could fill out the form faster and eliminate drop-offs in the signup flow. Sure, I could've just moved the form field as requested, but that wouldn't have solved the larger problem of why there were form drop-offs. Structure is thinking holistically from the top down of how the system works together, how pages are connected, all the way down to each element laid out on the page. Understanding how all these page little pieces fit into the larger system of the product experience is called structure. As designers, we have to have a good understanding of how the design fits together at the system level to make sure the whole experience works together with ease. We can start to understand the system by defining an information architecture. This includes defining a sitemap, a content inventory, and establishing basic navigational structure. Once the experience has been structured, we can move into the flow level. The flow describes how users will navigate through your site. Flows are defined by a set of pages and conditional states. Flows with conditions and decisions also need to be accounted for and are represented slightly differently with decision points. Some experiences aren't necessarily a flow, but more of a state change, and we'll also need to account for this. Once we've defined the pages we need to design and all their conditional states, we can start to wire-frame and define composition and layouts of elements of the interface. This is the area that people typically associate with UX design, because this is what the user can see and interact with. Defining the structure of your project is the best place to start in order to make sure all pages, states, conditions and interface elements are taken into account to create cohesive product experience.
- The role of information architecture in UX design
- Navigation labels and content inventory
- Information density in interface design
- Setting up and using a grid system
- Establishing the goals of a site
- Creating flow diagrams
- Iterating through multiple layouts