NetEase UEDC – Wu Liang: visual designers often hear people say that they have products and design thinking, and that vision can not only focus on the visual level. So what are the aspects of design thinking? What do visual designers need to pay attention to besides their vision?

The visual designer, in addition to having the hard quality of design, that is, the execution of visual skills, also needs to have the soft quality, which includes the design thinking, which is the only way for the visual designers to advance. However, design thinking is seldom valued by designers, or by what they do not know.

The concept of design thinking we usually encounter is based on user experience and product perspective. Because I am engaged in visual design post, the design thinking mentioned in this article will be more visual and product thinking.


1. What are the aspects of design thinking?

The three level is like a ship that is going to the distance. The product thinking helps us to know the final destination, and the visual strategy is the navigation chart, which guides the crew to avoid the navigation obstacles (reefs, shoals, etc.) to ensure the smooth voyage. Visual drive is the professional skill of the helmsman and the sailor. If you want to sail smoothly to your destination, all three are indispensable.

Design thinking includes product thinking and visual strategy. Product thinking is the first step. First, we need to sort out product thinking before starting a project. The visual strategy plays an important role in the process trilogy, and the new designer often ignores this step, which leads to the failure of the visual output to meet the needs of the product.

2. product thinking

The value of products is to meet certain needs of users and solve the pain points of users. The workflow of the Internet is from product demand to interactive scheme to visual presentation. Vision is the implementation layer in the process, which is equivalent to a bridge between the product and the user. If the vision does not have a good idea of top-down product, it is difficult to produce products that can help the product and the user.

When making a project, it is the first step to sort out the product thinking. It helps designers understand the direction of products and consider user experience design as a whole. This is the main reason why product thinking is the first step.

Combing the thinking of the product should start from the following aspects:

What is the goal of the product?
What’s the problem to be solved?
What is the target user?

1. what is the goal of the product?

Generally there are 3 types of big, medium and small, which are closely related to time. Large targets are generally long term, refer to the vision of product development, such as TOP1 in a certain industry, and become the benchmark of the industry. Medium-sized targets are phased goals, such as annual and quarterly goals. Small targets are short-term targets, usually version targets, and what goals need to be achieved for a particular version, such as upgrading registration conversion rate. The goal is a measurable result.

Each product will experience seed period, growth stage, maturity stage and recession stage. Each stage will have different directions and emphasis. Designers need to understand 3 goals to make accurate efforts to help product development.

2. What are the problems to be solved ?

The resolution of a version goal is to solve some problems. For example, in a new version, the B end product official network needs to achieve the goal of improving the registration conversion rate. It needs to solve many problems: highlight core function points, optimize content display, enhance registration entrance and so on. Designers understand the goals and problems that need to be solved in the current period, so that they can promote projects more actively instead of waiting.

3. target users

The product is designed for the target user. Before making the design, it needs to know what kind of group the target user is. The user’s portrait of the target user can find the product, then analyze the user’s features and excavate the pain point of the user, so as to simulate the user’s feeling of use and make the visual style close to the user. Different types of products have different users. Avoid users’ visual styles.

3. Visual strategy

What is the user’s requirement?
What is the scene that the user uses?
User needs and usage scenarios are linked so that we can get a more accurate solution. A simple understanding is what kind of person and what kind of things he wants to do under what kind of scene. For example, the same photo, different usage scenarios, users want to use the photo APP is also different. Although iPhone’s own camera has no beauty and graphics function, it starts and takes pictures faster than most third party APP. Therefore, if it is outdoor activities, often time is not sufficient, the user’s needs are fast shooting multiple photos, most of them will choose iPhone camera. Conversely, if the time is abundant and relatively static, users can choose third parties to take photos of APP, select suitable filters and take pictures.
Take an example: Clay Christensen wanted to increase the sales of milkshakes. He wanted to make the milkshake a little sweeter, add more flavor and make a bigger one. But it doesn’t work. Until he carefully watched the milkshakes, he found that the customers who bought the milkshakes were just trying to make the way to work no longer boring – the milkshake was a thick, thick drink that could be drunk for a long time and filled the stomach. This is the problem, but not the user’s own discovery. In the end, Christensen made the milkshake thicker, and sure enough, sales increased.
Another example of life: with the development of online shopping, more and more express outlets are being taken by users. If you buy 5 things and go to 5 outlets, it becomes a troublesome matter. So door-to-door delivery has become a demand, even if it is a light payment.
One time to pick up a site, the visual designers who happen to meet the network are doing user research. They have just launched the service of delivery, but the users are very few. I also wanted to know how to use this function, so with the designer’s guidance, I finally found the unconspicuous “door-to-door” entrance on the second screen of the page. It is easy for designers to look at the visual manuscript on the computer. It is easy to find the entrance, because the visual designer has been doing the work of iteration, is more sensitive to the new function, but the user is lazy. It is always used to pick up the goods, and it is hard to take notice when taking the express. An unremarkable feature is added to the interface.

How should the corresponding visual strategy solve the above problems?

If we want to make a note APP next, we should know the relevant information:

Target users: students and white-collar workers
User requirements: quick record, look up notes
Use scenarios: conference rooms, classrooms, rooms, cars
Understanding user groups can give you a general range of design styles. Knowing that user needs are fast recording and taking notes, we can come to the conclusion that the main functional buttons should be as prominent as possible and have higher ease of use in fast use. Recording and consulting means that it is possible to look at the interface for a long time. In the design of the interface, the vision should avoid the color contrast too strongly and the number of words keep certain readability, otherwise the user will be tired visually.

Remember to read a design book, the book talks about the law of continuous questions, meaning that when the design encountered problems, through several vertical continuous questions, to excavate the most core problems.

When making a design, a visual designer should ask: “is this style suitable for this product? “Does it fit the user’s usage scenario and solve the problem?” When you focus on the details of the visual manuscript, ask, “whether the elements and colors are in line with the temperament of these products and the preferences of the user”, through a similar question, the vertical inquisitive inquiry can help the visual designer make the right decision to make a real close to the balance point of the product and the vision. The product of the user.

Write in the end

Design thinking allows designers to think of user experience as a three-dimensional, multi-dimensional thing, rather than just staying at the level of visual aesthetics. If the design is limited to the visual level, it will be separated from the products and users, as if the target is blindfolded and the hit rate is very low. With this kind of thinking, we can help the product solve problems more accurately, solve the real pain points of users and bring better experience. As a visual designer, do not solidify yourself in visual posts, only think about the problems of vision itself. You should know more about products, users, upstream and downstream work.

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