A day* in my UX life
Every day is kind of different in my life as a UXer. Different projects, different solutions. But, let me tell you about some of the things that I usually am doing.
I have worked on several projects at Cocolab, see here a rough list of some.
For example, one day you can find me on the floor of my living room, making a variety of prototype cardboard brushes to test for an interactive glass canvas.
I love to build this kind of cardboard prototype. Is like thinking outside the box... with boxes.
This is another type of cardboard prototype I made (a long time ago) for an exhibit at the Papalote children's museum. I used materials that I had in my office. The metal clip and wire used to hold the device, is a desk lamp!
Sometimes I have to make prototypes, not only to explain something to the team, or test a specific feature, but to help me understand how an interaction or an experience could work.
This was a prototype for an interactive at the Papalote Museum. This sensor was placed on a stationary bike, so kids could see their heart rate on a screen. I used a piece of a happy meal toy, to make it.
Here I am testing the size of an interactive booth for a Cocolab pro-bono project about water. I'm demonstrating that the booth wasn't tall enough to hold the projector.
This is a paper prototype, that I made for a museum's interactive screen about the atmosphere. I usually make this stuff to explain to the team the animations and the game's functionality.
I even prototype everyday things, this model was for a home improvement, we changed a window for a glass door.
Another important part of my role is to imagine things and conceptualize experiences. And is one of the most fun for me. Is something that I really enjoy.
Perhaps this is due to my personality. I was talking with my partner the other day, about the different types of personalities/energies according to Alejandro Masferrer, and yes, I'm an open triangle < , I love to think of solutions and opportunities.
Here is a concept for an experience for a client, I suggested having a secret chocolate on hidden on the props that were given to the visitors.
I love that I can have meetings online, back in the day, I used to be in meetings ALL THE TIME, I had to go to the client's offices, lost time/money/energy in commuting, being in meeting rooms, taking notes of endless ramblings. But now is SO much better. Long live remote work!
When I was younger (and had fewer responsibilities in my life as a parent). I got invited to some scoutings or field trips. I still go sometimes, depending on the project, but definitely now I require much more logistics to accomplish any trip.
Anyway, another part of my job, that in fact, comes before doing much of these tests is STORY BOARDING!
I usually draw each step of the interaction on my tablet, on Procreate, and then I place them with descriptions and note details (like suggestions for audio, music, or other effects ...if applicable) on a platform called Miro.
This is a screenshot of an interaction storyboard made for Vive Mi Selección, a show about the Mexican Football Team. This experience has an interactive area with different games. I when I storyboard, I represent not only what happens on the devices or screens or projections, but also the environment and the situations where the experience takes place.
A gif of a storyboard made for an interactive installation of Frida. This was never produced.
Almost at the same time, I am doing another of the super deliverables that everyone (especially me) loves. The FLOWCHARTS!
I like to make them with a very simplified and nice design, so everyone can understand the logic of an interaction or an experience. They are not super technical, but sometimes these flow charts are the reference for other diagrams that developers make for the tech documents, that are given to operators after the project is finished.
Our simplified flowcharts are a very good tool to foresee any possible problem, and also to plan different scenarios or options that could happen.
Sometimes the flow charts are quite simple nevertheless, they are useful.
Along that line, I also make WIREFRAMES!, if applicable, when we design apps, screens, or projections. This type of document has information that was shown in the storyboard and the flowchart, but it is more like an outline of where to put each element on a device.
This is an example made for a Cocolab collaboration with Lighthouse Immersive. It is an adaptation of the Fantastic Creatures (Frida) interactive, but with Egyptian Deities, for the King Tut Immersive that is showing in various cities worldwide.
I also work with my team in making digital prototypes. We often use Figma to test and show an app's navigation to stakeholders and testing users.
Here you can see on the left, the some of the first Figma prototypes, and on the right the last test we run with the final graphics.
This example was for the King Tut Exhibit, that was based on the app made for Frida Inmersiva. for which made the wireframe app sketches DIRECTLY on my phone, in a drawing app that i really like, called Procreate Pocket (I even have made some workshops explaining how I use it). For me, was a very good exercise to see the app in the final format, the phone, and also because sometimes I have little time to sit my desk as a mom. (well, now a little more).
Here, drawing sketches for an app in my phone -and unintentionally hurting my back-while my child sees the TV.
An important part of my work is running the USER TESTINGS. We usually test first with our own team and other staff at Cocolab. Mainly because we don't have much budget to pay the users. But we always manage to get some volunteers that test, (we hand out candy, to thank them 🙈)
With the pandemic, we ran online tests, and it worked pretty well!, we sent the link to the Figma Prototype and we recorded the meeting. Later we upload the video as an unlisted YouTube Video, so we can mark every moment where an insight happened.
We upload our video testings to an unlisted video in Youtube, to analyze each moment, and to write down all the insights.
When we test an app, we usually make screen recordings to evaluate the whole experience.
Notes on the phone
I also use my phone (in this case I used instagram 😅) to note the changes that had to be done. Worked well to explain each problem!
At Cocolab we have a space in the office called 'El Foro' (The forum), where we make presentations to the client and also, run user tests.
Is a very important part of our process, because the team puts so much effort into recreating the final scene where the interactive, or experience will take place.
With these settings, we can improve the designs and deliver a better experience once we are on the integration on-site.
In this case the team even put the tiles on the floor, to recreate the site.
After the tests, we usually make a team back where we talk about our findings, and then we categorize the insights on:
1- Urgent changes,
2- Second round,
3- Nice to have.... and lastly
4- Not going to happen (due to time or budget limitations).
We make this document on google sheets, so everyone can easily check the to-do list.
And finally, when the project concludes, we usually do a Post-mortem, a review to determine what went well and what could use some reflection before the next project commences.
Prior to this meeting, we answer a google form, a questionary. And, in the virtual gathering, we use tools such as Kahoot or Aha Slides, so everyone can give their input, to see which could be the next steps. It is important to assign priorities and dates to changes that we want to have in the future.