The Importance of Using Ideation


Ideation is the creative way of coming up with new ideas, which is accomplished through several different ideation techniques. Ideation will help determine the right problem to solve and how to solve it.

UX designers are responsible for solving real user problems. To do this, they need to empathize with their users, understand their needs, and come up with creative, innovative solutions. Ideation will help you generate fresh ideas as part of the Design Thinking process. Ideation sessions will encourage you to think outside the box, and explore ideas you may not have thought of otherwise.

As a designer, the ideation phase is your safe space where you can come up with ideas that may be unconventional and may lead to other ideas which could enhance a solution.  It doesn’t matter if these ideas turn out to be plausible or not; what’s important is that you look beyond the obvious, already-been-done solutions. Ideation sessions will also help you to focus on your users by collecting the perspectives and creativity of a group of people, gathering a large diversity of ideas; and ultimately, to innovate in ways that you never thought possible.

Ideation is an important part in the design thinking process. The goal is to empathize with the users to learn the pain points they’re experiencing as well as understand how needs of the users are not currently being met. Often the solution lies buried within the information gaps. It’s not about what the company sees to be the problems but discovering how to engage with users to understand their frustrations and needs.

By testing and implementing ideation techniques, you can be more effective solving the right problem. It is not a linear process. Some ideas may prove to be implausible taking you back to defining the problem — and that’s ok. When it comes to the ideation phase, just remember to have fun, experiment with different techniques, and never be afraid to think outside the box.




Point of View (POV) statement

[User . . . (descriptive)] needs [need . . . (verb)] because [insight. . . (compelling)]

A Point of View (POV) is an articulation of the problem that you are trying to improve for the end user. It should be well defined in order to allow for a thoughtful reflection or ideation to meet your goal. Your POV encompasses your design vision by defining the chall­enge to address and overcome. Your POV should be an actionable problem statement that will drive the rest of your design work.

To put together a POV statement, you use three components – user, need, and insight. To communicate your POV statement, you will begin by understanding information about your user, the needs and your insights in the following sentence:

[User . . . (descriptive)] needs [need . . . (verb)] because [insight. . . (compelling)]

The POV is a problem statement which should drive your design efforts in which you incorporate into the design the needs and requirements of the user in order to create the best user experience. By creating an actionable design problem statement, you will be able to inspire the generation of ideas to solve the problem.

Venmo app review example

The Venmo app allows users to pay or request money. Some examples of when the app would be used are:

  • Splitting a lunch bill
  • Paying your friend half of a cab fare
  • Sending your roommate your half of the rent
  • Using Venmo as a payment method in some apps

When reviewing Venmo, I was able to identified three user reviews: one as positive, one as negative and one as suggestive. These user reviews identified problems and challenges from a user’s point of view which were then included into the POV statement.

The POV statement is:

USERS of Venmo NEED a safe application to send/receive money which provides user feedback on transfer status and excellent customer support BECAUSE in this fast-paced world, being able to securely and quickly pay for services/items is important.

In short, the POV statement is the focus of the UX designer’s problem-solving efforts and will inform all the decisions made throughout the design process.


Creating personas


Personas represent users whose goals and characteristics reflect the needs of a larger group of users. The descriptions include behaviors, goals, skills, attitudes, and background information, as well as the environment. Designers will typically create fictional details to make the persona a realistic character. Deep understanding of a target audience is important to creating functional user experiences and products. Personas help find answers to the questions: for who and why you are designing this. With this information you can better understand the expectations and motivations of the users, creating a successful user experience and product.

A persona should include the following:

  • Persona name
  • Photo
  • Role
  • Quote/demographic
  • Motivation & behavior – goals & journey
  • Motivation, inhibitors and triggers
  • Influencers
  • Environment
  • Similar personas

Personas need to then be associated with a scenario that describes how a user will interact with a product to achieve its end goal. The scenario will help designers understand the main user flows – by pairing the personas with the scenarios; designers gather requirements, and from those requirements, they create solutions. Scenarios should be written from the persona’s perspective, usually at a high level, and articulate use cases that will likely happen.

Personas are an important tool in making the design process about the user. They are part of the ideation process and assist the designers in achieving a good user experience. Personas help the designers be mindful of how the user will interact with every touch point and as a result deliver a high quality product. Personas are another tool to use in creating the best user experience possible.


Why User Empathy is Important to Design


The general definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. When you empathize with the users of a product or website, you see things from their point of view and not just through your own perspective. Through empathy, you begin to understand that not everyone comprehends the product or service.

Empathy maps are a great way to assess what users are thinking and feeling when they are using a product or service. They help build a broader understanding of what’s behind user needs and actions. This knowledge will help you anticipate how a user might approach a website.

Sections of an Empathy map include the following:

  • Tasks – What tasks are users trying to complete? What questions do they need answered?
  • Feelings – How is the user feeling about the experience? What matters to them?
  • Influences – What people, things or places may influence how the user acts?
  • Pain points – What pain points might the user be experiencing that they hope to overcome?
  • Goals – What is the user’s ultimate goal? What are they trying to achieve?

User empathy research is the process of developing an understanding of the user. It’s not just about their needs but understanding their constraints, practices, problem-solving and influencing relationships. Researching users is a way to help designers identify their users’ underlying needs. Once the need is established, the user experience can be created with new problem-solving approaches that accommodate the user. The ultimate goal is to improve the user’s experience by designing to their explicit needs.

The need for empathy in design is an important factor as the beginning of User Experience. We must develop an understanding of how to design products that appeal to people of different cultures, variety of backgrounds and social influences. Through user empathy, we can begin to understand how and why users interact, feel and solve issues that relate to the product and website.

UI and UX – Understanding the Differences

ux-verses-ui copyUI design is how the website looks; UX is how the website works.
UI is a deliverable; UX design is a process.

UI Design stands for User Interface Design and UX Design is the User Experience Design. Both design elements are critical to the success of a website and work seamlessly together. Although they work closely together, they have very different roles in the process. UX design is very analytical and technical while UI design is the graphic design  presentation – how it looks and feels.

“User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are some of the most confused and misused terms in our field. A UI without UX is like a painter slapping paint onto canvas without thought; while UX without UI is like the frame of a sculpture with no paper mache on it. A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI. Both are essential for the product’s success.” –  Rahul Varshney, co-creator of

User Interface design

UI is a combination of content such as text, forms, images and the behavior of the user. The content is not just the body of content; it also consists of button, labels, drop downs and overall graphic design. The behavior is what happens when the user clicks, types or drags within the site.

UI refers to the actual interface of a product, the visual design of the screens a user navigates through when using a mobile app, or the buttons they click when browsing a website. UI design is all the visual and interactive elements of a product interface, from typography and color palettes to animations and navigation buttons. The UI designer will take the product development, research, content and layout, and make them into a beautiful responsive experience for the users.

User Experience Design

The UX role is that of a marketer, designer and project manager. The role is multi-faceted, connecting the user’s needs to the business goals. The UX designer strives to make products, services and technology user-friendly. They will use design thinking to find the best solution to the user’s needs and determine what is technically doable while meeting the business needs.

To begin, the UX designer will conduct research and competitor analysis to fully understand the challenge. Goals, emotions, pain-points and behaviors are gathered to identify the user.  The next step is to establish the journey the user will take for the product. The designer will now look at the information architecture to map out the user flows, create wireframes and prototypes of the final product.

Working together

UX and UI go hand-in-hand. The design of the product interface has a huge impact on the overall user experience. Designing the best user experience is key to gaining complete customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.