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Design Thinking during the COVID-19 crisis

Design Thinking is a methodology that provides a solution-based approach to complex problems – especially if the problems are ill-defined. It is an iterative approach that allows our designers to identify alternative strategies and designs that lead to discovering new ways of resolving stakeholder pain points and challenges. We reframe the problem by understanding the end-user’s tasks so that we can generate different ideas that solve problems in a creative and innovative ways. The phases of our Design Thinking approach include Empathy to understand stakeholders’ needs and motivations, brainstorming sessions to promote innovative ideas, ideation of multiple design concepts, and performing usability tests to assess strengths and weaknesses of the design. All phases of Design Thinking work in unison in an iterative process that facilitates quick and continuous concept reviews and revisions, until an inspiring and intuitive user experience is achieved.

Understanding end-users’ perspectives allows our UX designers to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and motivations, which is critical in discovering the “hidden nuggets” that differentiate our UX solutions from the competition. Due to the current health crisis, however, classical “User Research” may not always be possible. Our research specialists can perform in-person interviews and observations in a safe and efficient manner adhering to recommended health protocols, as well as conduct remote user research and workflow reviews via online tools. Further, with our extensive knowledge and experience in both the healthcare and commercial industries, our experts can analyze and leverage any pre-existing marketing, QC and secondary data to help save on both time and budget.

Areteworks uses at least two UX designers on average (depending on the scale of the project) to begin the ideation design. Through brainstorming sessions we continuously test our concepts internally and externally, making quick iterations based on stakeholders’ feedback to make sure end-user perspectives are always an important part of the design direction. In addition, Areteworks’ establishes internal reviews for every stage of the concept design to assure the fidelity of the design remains consistent even if our design team is working remotely.

Formative Usability Tests
Areteworks has extensive experience conducting remote formative usability tests across a wide variety of platforms. Our Usability experts use low & high fidelity simulators or paper prototypes, making the interactive prototypes accessible to testing participants either online or in-person at a test facility with COVID-19 CDC practices in place. Utilizing remote testing methods such as streaming video and audio connected to the test participants, our UX team captures important observational data including participant behaviors, body language, and verbal insights from users. The testing results are a critical guide for revisions to the workflow design.

Visual Design
Visual design should not only provide an appealing contemporary aesthetic to your user interface but also convey critical information quickly and accurately. Areteworks’ expert Visual Design team considers how layouts, color schemes, typography, and iconography improve the user experience. We consider a variety of design principles and issues when designing the visual aspect of the user interface, assuring your product will be used in a manner that is easy, safe, and minimizes critical error.

Areteworks’ UX Design team offers the experience, passion, knowledge, and innovation necessary to address the issues and concerns that have risen during these uncertain times. Contact Areteworks today if you have any questions on how we can assist you with your project during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Posted in 2020