If you see a hitchhiker next to the road, how do you know if you should give this person a ride? Wouldn’t it be great to have a real-time dashboard with information on hitchhikers to help you make this decision in that moment?
This example about the hitchhiker’s dashboard is a mock-up we once created to introduce the SAP Overview page functionality to a finance department. Of course, we were not going to provide hitchhikers data to an enterprise, so why would we design something like this?
Often UX design is seen as synonymous with creating screen mock-ups or wireframes. But to us, these designs are not a goal in itself at all. This hitchhiker’s mock-up was used as a conversation-starter to explain what the Overview page could do by applying it to a simplified example. This is the real reason UX designers create mock-ups: so that we can use them to start discussions with the users.
Discussing designs is the only way to know for sure you are creating something useful. And this does not mean showing it to a product owner. No matter how much he or she knows about the domain, a user that works with something day in, day out is the only one who can tell you if a design is right. Most probably, you won’t create the perfect solution the first time. Therefore, it’s better to ‘fail early’ and improve your design based on the user feedback you receive, then to build an entire system and figure out it’s not what your user needs.
UX design is not just about creating a beautiful design or applying the correct design guidelines. It’s about truly focussing on the ‘U’ of UX and learning what users really need, so that you can create this together with the development team. By working altogether, you can make the life of the users a little bit easier with each design improvement.
Curious about the full hitchhikers decision dashboard? Have a look here!