Samy El Ghoul

Experienced in Senior Product DesignUX | UI Design Software Development

A fluid, lean approach to design

 


I practice Lean UX in an Agile development environment. This naturally encourages rapid, iterative UX phases, which place a heavy focus on refinement, user input, and team collaboration. Project managers, designers, and developers work alongside throughout the entire process to implement stakeholder / business goals and user goals. My process is quick, efficient, accurate, precise, and adaptive. It is custom-tailored to each project, allowing it to yield high quality UX in any circumstance.

 

 

See my Process
in a timeline

Compare my process to Waterfall and Agile

 

 

 

 

Phases and Deliverables

 

 

 

Think

Project strategy, research, and analysis

  • Competitive analysis
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Brainstorming
  • KPI definition
  • Value proposition
  • Ecosystem map
  • Mood boards
  • Story boards
  • Analytics review

  • Surveys
  • Content audit
  • User interviews
  • Card sorting
  • Heuristic review
  • User testing analysis
  • A/B testing
  • Analytics review

  • Personas
  • Scenarios
  • Mental models
  • Use cases
  • User flows
  • Heuristic review
  • User testing analysis

Make

Design and implementation

  • Collaborative design
  • Content strategy
  • Taxonomies
  • Sketches
  • Wireframes
  • Mockups
  • Prototypes
  • User testing

  • Code development
  • QA testing
  • Beta and public launch

Check

Measuring and iteration

  • Analytics review
  • KPI performance
  • Heat mapping
  • Scroll mapping
  • User testing

  • Bug fixes
  • Qualitative user feedback
  • Quantitative feedback
  • User pain point reduction
  • Feature innovation

 

 

 

 

Think

 

 

 

 

User Flows

A User Flow is a visual representation of a user’s path to complete tasks within a product. It includes origin and termination points, steps, decision points, interaction points, and more. I designed this particular user flow for a large, high impact web app. You’ll notice three primary flows and two secondary flows, all of which are broken out by persona.

 

 

 

Ecosystem Maps

An Ecosystem Map helps to lay out a site or company’s digital properties in a way that clearly illustrates their purpose and the connections between them. This allows stakeholders to visualize the project in full context and develop a built-out strategy. I created these Ecosystem Maps for a high impact landing page project with a major marketing component.

 

 

 

Red Route Analysis

This analysis will commonly play a role in part of a larger heuristic analysis. It uses analytical and qualitative data to identify which tasks are used frequently and by the largest audience, and which tasks are used infrequently and by the smallest audience. This helps drive IA and feature prioritization. In this example, I audited the user-facing account admin of an eCommerce website.

 

 

 

Personas

Personas are fictional identities that depict demographics, behaviors, needs and motivations of the user. They are critical in assisting the designers to create empathy throughout the process by “giving the user a face and a name”. In this example, the persona overview serves as a snapshot for four different personas that would be broken out in-depth in separate documents.

 

 

 

Scenarios

A scenario is a narrative describing “a day in the life” of a persona, which provides a picture of the intended user experience (i.e. what ideally should happen). This helps stakeholders think through the steps of the design and develop empathy for the user. In this example, I began with post-it notes in a brainstorming session, then refined and digitized everything over time.

 

 

 

 

Project Evaluation and Prioritization

 

 

The PIE Framework

I use the PIE Framework to evaluate and prioritize design projects. It places a heavy focus on goals and efficiency, using three core factors: Potential, Importance, and Ease.

Potential

How much potential impact you expect the project to have. This is focused on hard impact, calculated directly against your Key Performance Indicators, like conversion or retention.

Importance

How important the project is to the company or the user. This is focused on soft impact, calculated against higher level goals or responsibilities, like branding and usability.

Ease

How easy you expect the execution of the project to be. This is calculated against design challenges, development limitations, resources available, launch deadlines, etc.

 

 

 

Make

 

 

 

 

 

Taxonomies

Taxonomies involve the classification, categorization, and organization of information. They can have a wide range of applications, from conceptual categorization to site map creation. In this example, I used a site taxonomy to extract an effective top-level navigation menu with primary and secondary categories, as well as sub-navs.

 

 

 

Wireframes

Wireframes are rapidly designed visual guides for determining page structure, hierarchy, and key elements. They are ideal for collaboration, iteration, and spec planning (especially with developers). They can be low or high fidelity. The examples include a new Company pricing page (desktop and mobile viewport) and templates for product pages that would be replicated across the entire Company offering.

 

 

 

Mockups

Mockups expand upon and finalize the information delivered by wireframes, while also incorporating the addition of visual design. They help bring to life the final design, from a visual and functional standpoint (in the case of prototypes). They can be low fidelity and high fidelity. The example above features several low fidelity mockups from a consumer product site redesign.

 

 

Learning and Iterating Quickly

 

The MVP

The Minimum Viable Product is the simplest design iteration necessary to validate a concept and value proposition as being viable, desirable, and feasible. It’s the first and fastest design iteration in my process.

Think

After an initial concept is presented, rather than ask “How do we build this?”, I instead ask “Should we build this?”. Research is therefore performed to drive the first iteration and prepare it for the design and validation phases.

Make

The MVP requires that we produce a design with the minimum fidelity and functionalities necessary to test the concept, but not more and not less. This prepares it for the validation phase.

Check

The design is tested with early adoption users, and if validated, the second iteration begins. If not validated, we iterate until we determine that we are no longer building an MVP and can disqualify the value proposition.

 

 

 

 

Check

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analytics Review

There are many different ways to approach an analytical review. In this particular example, I extracted raw behavioral flow data from Google Analytics and used it to create user flow trends, as shown in the resulting flow chart. This helps to identify prominent user paths, high impact pages, potential usability issues, and more. Each page was viewed at multiple different interaction points, meaning that pages may perform better or worse when presented to the user at a certain point or before / after certain other pages. This information was then benchmarked against page-wide metrics, to provide performance context.

 

 

 

Heat Mapping

Heat maps track where users are clicking on a mockup, prototype, or live site. Scroll maps track where users are scrolling to and what areas of the page they’re looking at the most. They both assist in identifying key user flows, engagement areas, and usability issues. In the examples above, I was able to use historical heat mapping and scroll mapping data to provide context around the performance of old pages.

 

 

 

User Testing

User testing can be performed at multiple points in the process, with a range of objectives. The primary purpose is to verify the design with actual users. For in-person moderated tests, I use a script like the one in the example. For remote unmoderated tests, I use a screen recorder, microphone, and on-screen prompts. Users are filtered via demographics and screened for persona fit. Commonly, I will conduct ongoing iterative tests with 3-5 users per round. With time budgeted for setting up the test, recruiting participants, and analyzing the results, you can sometimes run a full study in a 24 hour period. This represents very fast, actionable feedback.

 

Bring this process to your project

We’ll leverage my battle tested process to get tangible results, no matter the size of your project.