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This is what creative problem-solving is all about.
It’s normal to snap at a problem; after all, if there was a known solution, it wouldn’t be a problem. But knowing that it’s normal doesn’t make experiencing problems any less frustrating.
So how do we avoid sitting on a UX problem for hours without getting anything done?
In this post, we’ll explore creative problem-solving and how it can help you as a UX designer. Then we’ll look at how you can solve UX problems in a few easy-to-remember steps. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the tips you need to solve UX problems.
What is Creative Problem Solving?
Creative problem solving is a term coined by Alex Osborn, founder of the Foundation for Creative Education. In short, this term is about overcoming challenges in our professional lives through innovative solutions. But of course, such solutions vary by profession.
For UX designers, creative problem-solving means solving UX problems with effective tactics that work. And that’s exactly why solving UX problems is so essential because following a certain method can help us avoid getting stuck.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced designer, you’re probably focused on projects that require you to solve problems. If you’ve never had a problem before, you must be a superhero; for us mere mortals, here are the steps to follow to solve a UX problem:
UX Problem Solving in 5 Easy Steps
Delivering a great UX solution is influenced by two key parameters: user research and creative problem-solving. Let’s say you’ve done your user research and are currently looking for an original solution to a problem. In this case, the methodology below will come in handy:
I know it may sound obvious but think about it. How many times have I lost days because I didn’t identify the real problem? If you’re solving the wrong problem, it doesn’t matter if your solution is original and innovative.
Therefore, the first thing you need to do is think about the problem. Ask yourself what the real problem is and then set about solving it. Identifying the problem may take some time, but it will prove beneficial to your project in the long run.
Now that you’ve identified the UX problem, it’s time to demystify it. In this step, you can create a user journey plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect; some low-fidelity sketches are more than enough.
Set a timer and start visualizing your solution on paper. Remember, sketching is not about perfection or fine detail. Once you’ve created a customer journey you’re happy with, it’s time to move on to the next step.
UX design is not about design itself. It is also about numbers and data. This is why analytics is critical to solving UX problems. Once you’ve gathered some data from users and competitors, it’s time to create models. This will help you understand the problem better and change your sketches accordingly.
Numbers and data can only help you a lot if you combine them with an original idea. However, facts alone are not enough, and your original story will not be convincing without them. So what’s better than combining them?
So you’ve come up with an innovative solution to your UX problem. You have successfully combined this idea with essential facts. Unfortunately, your work is not done yet.
The next step is just as important. Once you’ve polished your ideas, you should share them with colleagues and/or clients.
It’s not easy to get feedback for your UX mapping, but it’s very constructive and will ultimately make you a better designer.
The last step is also the most fun. After listening to people’s feedback, you can redesign your original solution. Then you’re just one step away from solving your UX problem. Now it’s time to digitally redesign your idea.
This is the step where the fine details matter. Creating a high-fidelity wireframe isn’t easy, but most UX designers have the necessary knowledge and tools.
In my opinion, this is the most useful tip when it comes to solving UX problems. You don’t always have to be in a hurry. In the early stages of a project, try not to get distracted by other issues. Focus on finding the real problem.
Once you’re sure you’ve found it, you can move on to finding the best solution. Then move on to the next step and so on. It becomes clear that being methodical is a brilliant tactic.
SOLVING QUITE AN ECOSYSTEM OF UX PROBLEMS
Solving UX problems isn’t about fine details. So try to care less about the design and more about the ecosystem you want to create. This will help you gather all the data you need, from user opinions to analytics.
LOW FIDELITY VS. HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES
Starting with sketches and low-fidelity wireframes is a brilliant thing to do. Whenever I tried to start a project directly with high-fidelity wireframes, I got bogged down in the details.
For this reason, pen and paper should be your best friends when solving UX problems. Sketches help you explore different approaches and get the feedback you need.
EXPLORE DIFFERENT TOOLS/APPROACHES
When it comes to solving a UX problem, there is usually an effective solution. But that’s not always the case. In most cases, we need to consider different alternatives and identify several critical interactions.
For this reason, feedback is also crucial for solving UX problems. Your colleagues and customers will help you find the best method. Try to accept criticism and be open when listening to feedback. This way, you will ensure that you find the best possible solution.
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