UX Boot Camp: Day 3


I slept until 4:30am, and I felt pretty good about that considering what happened the last two mornings.

Day 3 of the UX Boot Camp at CooperU was all about Exploration and Design Framework.

We started the day working on our scenarios. In this exercise, we took our persona and walked her through a story that would bring her to the solution we are designing. This means that we had to take her goals and motivations into consideration and make a fairly realistic story that would allow her several touch points with the solution.

cooperu, ux boot camp

It was difficult to not jump into describing the solution in the story. Instead, we needed to be detailed in the story, but intentionally vague in reference to the solution. This would allow our mind to stay open and not pigeon-hole ourselves into one particular design. For example, instead of saying Sandra (our primary persona) received a text message, notification, or email, we would instead say that Sandra received a reminder to take a particular action. Our main focus was building out a compelling reason for Sandra to engage our solution.

Each little scenario within the bigger story was broken into three parts; See, Think, and Do. Sandra would see something, think about how she was going to respond, and then take action.


Sandra reviews the options for how she can commit to the campaign. She notices that several people she knows are involved in the campaign and decides to donate financially. Sandra is excited about other opportunities to get involved.

In this example, Sandra has already read the details of the campaign and has found out that she has a personal connection to the cause. She’s now deciding how much she wants to commit to the cause and notices that other people she knows have committed. This makes Sandra feel like she is part of something, perhaps there is even a little social pressure for her to commit. It also build her level of trust with the service since other people she knows were willing to commit. She is even more excited to get involved, which makes the emotional reward that much more satisfying.

Each team in the group shared their scenarios and we discussed aspects of each that were good, and what could be improved. The group was very hesitant to critique each other. The instructors were very good and taking over and pointing out things we did well, and maybe giving one or two tips on things to improve. The whole exercise was extremely positive for the group.

We thought at this point that we would break into our groups and start creating our solution. I think we were all eager to start designing. There are a number of visual designers in the room and they must be excited to show their talents. But, we had other things to do first, including a couple drawing exercises to get people loose and ready to make squares, circles, triangles, lines and dots.

Design framework is when the pen finally touches paper. However, we had to avoid the temptation to start making detailed drawings. As with the scenarios, we were asked to still be intentionally vague. Instead, we want to understand what the solution is fundamentally, and how it works as part of the bigger system. This means, we had to be able to articulate the big system.

Not easy.

I definitely felt like this is an area where I will need work. And, this is definitely an area where small group collaboration is key. I leaned on my two teammates and together we created some pretty cool stuff. And, since we didn’t jump straight into detailed designs, we were able to come up with a lot more ideas on how to keep the solution simple, consistent, and most importantly; make it work to fit the needs of our persona.

cooperu, ux boot camp

By going slow, keeping it lo-fi, and being intentional, we were able to design a solution and articulate the reasons for our design decisions.

We probably could have sat there all night and continued to vet out our ideas, but we had to put down our pens and call it a day.

Tomorrow, we refine our solution, and pitch it to the client. Stay tuned.


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