In December 2023 I spent a week at the Fachhochschule St.Pölten, Austria, honing my UX-design skills at the Erasmus+ funded blended intensive course: Creating Human-centered Digital Media Solutions for Sustainable Societal Development. I had taken part in virtual lectures and workshops hosted by my school OAMK and by Fachhochschule St. Pölten before the on-site course, and gotten some very valuable experience on UX strategy and empathy maps. Here are some things I learned along the way.
What is our problem?
In the beginning of second virtual session we were asked to create the problem we wanted to focus on. UX design is very problem-focused field, and proper UX design takes lots of time to define, investigate and re-iterate the problem itself. Just by changing a word, or the sentence structure can change the problem largely. My key takeaways for creating the perfect problem statement:
Problem has to well-defined
it should have a scope
..and be relatable to stakeholders
How to value feelings
During your blended intensive course your goal was to create a digital product that solves a problem inhibiting societies from reaching sustainable development goals. The goals set by the UN were studied and our team decided which goals our product would benefit. Even though at that moment we were not supposed to have goals in mind! The biggest issue when it comes to UX design is how to listen to the end-users and stakeholders and actually delve into their feelings. We the students are natural problem solvers, and it takes a while to just take a step back, sit in and listen to what the people who are hopefully the end users of our product, have in mind. UX strategy is culminated by defining the problem, and by listening the stakeholders we gain important insights on what really is the matter. Without listening there will be no meaningful changes made, and our digital product will be unused. Our team of four conducted stakeholder interviews to better define the problem.
More in the next blog post!
ps: here's some photos of the absolutely gorgeous school, Fachhochschule St. Pölten