For our interaction design project we explore how we could improve the online user experience for leisure users of the Irishrail.ie desktop website. Through user research we gain insights in the main frustrations & goals, top tasks and behavior’s of the users of irishrail.ie. After our research phase, we then defined who it is we are designing for and identify their main issues with the currently offering. When used various ideation technique to come up with creative ideas that were later prototyped and tested in an iterative manor. The following series of blog posts I will outline in detail how we carried out this project, and produced a solution that meets our users’ needs.
We kicked off our first meeting by getting an idea of each-other backgrounds and areas that we might want focus on for this project.
Since Alan and Rachael come from development backgrounds and I come from a design background we agreed that it would be a good opportunity to get hands on with some design work. With this, I took it upon myself to be the project manager of the group and would oversee the work needed to complete the project and mark out milestones for us to work to.
We used trello help keep track of milestones throughout the project. trello.com/b/ypV69Jfo/irish-rail-project
Choosing Irish Rail
Individually we look at many different website and apps before settling on Irishrail.ie. Apps such as National Organ Donor e-Card App, Irish Give Blood App, NDLS (National Driver’s License Service), Aer Lingus App, One4all Gift Card App, Omniplex App and CreditUnion.ie.
We came close to choosing project management software, JIRA but decided it would have been to difficult to define a scope that would suit this project and that also, two of us use the software in our jobs.
We each had experience of using Irishrail.ie in the past an we had shared our own frustrations and the existing website so we decided to explore it further to uncover if there were major usability issues that we could address in the project.
After completing a quick ux review of the existing website it was clear that it had a number if UI, information architecture and user flow issues.
Setting off on a good start with a Human centered design approach
Too often in design projects we dive into to designing solution. This often leads to wrong products getting made and ultimately businesses failing. User experience is keeping the user at the forefront of everything you do from Day 1. To ensure that we that we start real people in mind for every phase of the project, we adopted a human centered design (HCD) approach. IDEO, a top creative design consultancy suggests in the Field Guide to Human-Centered Design “When you understand the people you’re trying to reach—and then design from their perspective—not only will you arrive at unexpected answers, but you’ll come up with ideas that they’ll embrace.”
“ Being a human-centered designer is about believing that as long as you stay grounded in what you’ve learned from people, your team can arrive at new solutions that the world needs.”
Deciding a process to guide us
No that we decided that we were going to be the user in the forefront of the design process, it was time to decided on the design process that was most suitable for this project. Again, we looked to the work of IDEO and adopted their design thinking process to guide through the project and to help us to come up with innovative and effective solutions for the right problems.
By adopting this process, it also helped us look at the project in phases of the process that we could then align deliverables that were asked for in this project.Below you will see and illustration that I created to demonstrate how the process was used to help create the various deliverables needed for this project:
In the next post
In the follow post, I will explain how we gained empathy for our users research and talk about some of our goals and methods used in doing so.