Do you find yourself designing screens with only a vague idea of how the things on the screen relate to the things elsewhere in the system? Do you leave stakeholder meetings with unclear directives that often seem to contradict previous conversations? You know a better understanding of user needs would help the team get clear on what you are actually trying to accomplish, but time and budget for research is tight. When it comes to asking for more direct contact with your users, you might feel like poor Oliver Twist, timidly asking, “Please, sir, I want some more.”
Here’s the trick. You need to get stakeholders themselves to identify high-risk assumptions and hidden complexity, so that they become just as motivated as you to get answers from users. Basically, you need to make them think it’s their idea.
In this article, I’ll show you how to collaboratively expose misalignment and gaps in the team’s shared understanding by bringing the team together around two simple questions:
These two questions align to the first two steps of the ORCA process, which might become your new best friend when it comes to reducing guesswork. Wait, what’s ORCA?! Glad you asked.
ORCA stands for Objects, Relationships, CTAs, and Attributes, and it outlines a process for creating solid object-oriented user experiences. Object-oriented UX is my design philosophy. ORCA is an iterative methodology for synthesizing user research into an elegant structural foundation to support screen and interaction design. OOUX and ORCA have made my work as a UX designer more collaborative, effective, efficient, fun, strategic, and meaningful.
The ORCA process has four iterative rounds and a whopping fifteen steps. In each round we get more clarity on our Os, Rs, Cs, and As.