diagram A lot of what I do never sees the light of day. That is something that took me a while to be comfortable with. Especially when you work in design, many times you are judged on what you produce.

Much of my work exists in strategic reports that may never get funding from sponsors. Ideas that just exist on the page or research that may be implemented when the hardware is there to support it. Wrapped up in non-disclosure agreements, it is a fact of working in this industry. One that you need to deal with if you are going to enjoy the processes of making a good user experience.

Thankfully this year has had a healthy balance of research, strategic design work and tangible UX. It has also resulted in a process within the UX team at Hello that is proving invaluable as we tackle the different types of work described above.

UX Basis is a way of combining the numerous tools available to us and forming a unified process that sits within a digital agency and it’s other important departments – creative, tech and client services. The beauty about the model is it is fully adaptive to any clients needs, can fit with tech’s agile process and incorporates creative and development at key stages in the creation process.

The model is based on the creative process of a four part cycle; plan, act, observe and refine. On top of that is Jesse James Garretts’ five layers model for web development. The added bonus is that it doesn’t need to be a website but it can be any interface. It is purely UX focused but acknowledges the necessary touch points of where we need to engage with other parts of the business. Of course it is not new in terms of tools but it is in terms of making this work in a digital agency. An important factor is that the UX team has this as a manifesto and we stick to it completely. By having an agreed approach we can engage others in a common language.

We are producing cards (and we know they are not a new idea, see the excellent IDEO and the IA summit cards) to help our client services team communicate our methods to customers. It gives them the language necessary and helps cost projects by seeing when to use them and what they are.

It helps the company become more efficient keeps the quality of our work high and ensures transparency with the client. These tools all are valid and are frequently used. There are many more but these we feel are at our core to produce the best results.

The website is here with each tool explained and a poster and cards have also been produced. UX BASIS gathers it all up and makes our process transparent and communicable. It provides anchorage along the way for the journeys our client projects take us on.

It would be great to have your feedback on this – please comment and why not embed the tools in your blog?

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