Balancing Space and Data Density in Designs

Using space, or the emptiness between objects, is an essential balancing element for websites and digital interfaces. It may seem as underrated as the silence between musical notes. But these are what bring your UX designs to life.

Interactive design is composed of many elements, such as layout and structure. Often neglected is negative space, which is one of the most vital, nevertheless.

The advent and popularity of online digital communication, data sharing, entertainment, and business have impacted modern UI design. Every company focuses on user retention by rolling out rich user experiences.

Space found inside and surrounding the UI component's design elements is vital to enriching this experience.

Another design aspect for enterprise applications is data density. Enterprise users typically deal with large datasets and want to maximize the content using single-page designs without scrolling or going to another page. This sometimes comes for the sake of not utilizing blank space.

Utilizing blank space is like using a canvas to paint. It can be balancing, aesthetic, and helpful in laying out the design elements and organizing content. Universal readability is key to your design and content. Components that are not correctly spaced out can give your users a hard time understanding your website's information.

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Many UX designers consider it a tough call between keeping blank space and avoiding it. Many clients think of empty space as wasted real estate on a web page. They request that designers fit in more information or visual elements even if readability is marginally compromised.

Many users need to see as much information as possible on the page as they are dealing with tasks and systems that require lots of data.

On the contrary, some users find it hard to digest crammed-up content, which ultimately impacts the business.

In this blog, we help you understand reconciling with what enterprise users need without discounting the basics of design principles when it comes to spacing.

Say hello to spacing

The visible negative space between screen elements can be color, texture, pattern, or even a background image instead of just being blank.

Why negative space?

Design theory encourages the use of negative space for elegance and improved user experience quality. According to UX designers, negative space is an excellent technique of balancing design elements and better organizing content while working correctly between words and pictures.

It has a calming effect on readers when too much information bombards them.

The other reasons why using negative space is essential to include;

Legibility

It is necessary to make the interface content legible and appealing. As a designer, you should consider negative space when specifying the design typography, such as the font, color, size, style, kerning, leading, and tracking. Changing the spacing in layout impacts readability, and eventually, the performance and overall user experience dips if not used appropriately. Remember, engaged readers, are more likely to stay on your business page.

Design tone and branding

Spacing contributes to the tonality of the overall design and appeal of the brand. Websites with more negative space may reflect minimalism and luxury. Web pages with less negative space may seem informative.

However, this depends on individual user perception, and it's always recommended to test the use of negative spaces before applying them.

Focus and attention

Negative space usage can help users navigate through interactive content. It may help gain focus and anchors the user's attention to targeted areas of the layout.

When designers strategically plan for a website, they must prioritize the placement of specific elements or content. There are many visually balancing methods to throw the spotlight on particular features. One is to play around with negative space, which branding and print industries apply to draw attention to brand messages.

Improves comprehension

Using space evenly makes the design content easily comprehendible. A recent study indicated that the ideal use of blank spaces between lines of paragraphs and its left and right margins could improve comprehension by almost 20%. This is where micro blank space plays a pivotal role.

A properly placed negative space can give users visual cues about where they should be looking. This offers plenty of visual buffer around an element so that the brain can quickly process it.

Implies design sophistication

Blank space can be the catalyst to creating a certain mood or look in a design that can relate to sophistication. Using it effectively can bring these associations to your design.

Too many graphic elements make the overall look of a design sluggish and confusing. We recommend improving the design with carefully planned blank spaces instead of adding more and more imagery, defeating the purpose.

Logical grouping of information– The Gestalt Design Principle

Gestalt's theory in psychology states that "The whole is other than the sum of the parts." This defined a set of visual laws based on many design principles. The law of proximity is one of them.

It indicates that elements that appear close to each other are more likely to be perceived as similar. Understanding things like they are more similar creates the tendency to group those elements visually.

This influences the aspects our mind uses to organize visual information. If this is not the intention, then blank spaces help users logically identify the data presented. Margins and gutters between grids make it easy to handle the logical Grouping of layout elements.

Types of blank spaces

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Micro blank space

This type of blank space is found between lines and paragraphs. It includes the spacing for grid images that are used to segregate menu links.

The micro blank space is linked directly to content legibility on a page. Marginal blank space, for example, impacts the reading speed and comprehension of content by users.

Macro blank space

This relates to the large space surrounding major design layout elements. Macro blank space can be found to the left and right of most websites' content and in the space between content blocks on a web page.

Macro blank spaces act as the containers of an overall design. They help defeat content clutter and guide the users in focusing on their goals while on a webpage. These blank spaces help decrease the loading time of a page too.

Based on usability, the two types of blank spaces include:

The active blank space is consciously added to your design for emphasis and structural clarity. It is left out intentionally to focus on the content and to delimit one element from the other.

The passive blank space occurs naturally in a design space. Examples include the area between words on a line or the minimal space surrounding a logo or graphic element.

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Factors that determine which negative space you should use

  • Content - With more content, the macro blank spaces' size will shrink while their volume increases. This compromise is essential to avoid the solid chunks of data that are difficult to read.
  • Design – The UI design structure influences the micro and macro blank spaces ratio in the layout. Since the designer chooses the design style, a bias over the type of blank space in the layout is evident.
  • User – User research (usage trends, demographics, preferences, etc.) helps determine the right balance of macro and micro blank spaces for a specific user profile or group.
  • Branding message – Using blank spaces can impact product quality and, thus, the branding roadmap. Top brands like Apple and Mercedes Benz implement micro and macro blank spaces strategically to influence their branding.

Essential considerations for negative space usage

Negative space is an active design element

Clients usually associate more negative space with lesser content value and vice versa. On the other hand, showing more content in one view doesn't necessarily lead to "less scrolling."

It is essential to understand that negative space is an active design element with a purpose. It adds more breathing space and improves how users interact with the UI.

Negative space is a worthy investment in UX design 

According to the famous calligrapher and typographer Jan Tschichold, "The real meaning of form is made clearer by its opposite. We would not recognize the day as day if night did not exist. The ways to achieve contrast are endless: the simplest is large/small, light/dark, horizontal/vertical, square/round, smooth/rough, closed/open, colored/plain, close/distant, all offer many possibilities of effective design."

Negative space is the contrast element that helps achieve functional visual hierarchy in layouts. This contrast actively aids in identifying the proximity/distance between objects.

Negative spacing powers up the visual hierarchy

Surrounding blank spaces add emphasis that leads to creating an impactful visual hierarchy. Additional value is added to chunks on the screen that need intentional focus and instant user attention.

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Negative space can be used at multiple levels

Blank space or negative space is used between 2 baselines of text lines. Research has proven that a positive correlation exists between line spacing and text comprehension. The following image is an example of the above statement.

Negative space can be applied between components like labels, text boxes, buttons that flow in a hierarchical sequence.

The following image delineates the different levels of negative space applications on a page. You can also view the comparison between two different pages with distinct multi-level negative space placement.

Key takeaways

1.    Figure out the significance of data to the user and their usage points along the design workflow. This can help in organizing the page.

2.    Get rid of redundant or unyielding data to alleviate data density.

3.    Use meaningful data visualization purposefully. Consider if it is worth taking up space on the page.

4.    Use Gestalt design principles based on relevance for optimized information grouping, organization, and presentation on a page.

How to Use the Gestalt Principles for Visual Storytelling #PoDV ...

5. Use color meaningfully. Too many colors or variants on the page can confuse the user while looking for quick information.

6. Create reusable components for filtering, searching, sorting, and pagination of data tables. This requires a lot of user feedback and understanding of what they do and how data simplifies everyday tasks.

7. Essentially, blank space done right makes the user's experience more lightweight, easy, and comfortable to explore.

Want to explore blank space strategies that help you create exceptional UX designs?

Connect with our design team at Radiant Digital today and get your designs evaluated by experts.


Eight Essential Qualities that Help You Grow as a UX Designer

UX Designing is an area that needs creativity, flexibility (in thought and action), and a data-driven approach. It's an area of art and science that includes interpersonal and functional roles.

It requires more than the mastery of some useful wireframing tools, interaction design, visual information architecture, visual design, and human-computer interaction. UX design is all about a user-centric approach and excellent problem-solving skills.

A UX designer's skills are a different growth area and need consistent fine-tuning as you progress in your career. The essential qualities mentioned below help in enhancing these skills.

 

 

As a UX designer at Radiant Digital, I've had my ups and downs that define my work and contributions in this field. The following "areas of growth" have personally shaped me as a designer, and I hope you'll find them helpful.

Keep Learning

A UX designer should be a good and flexible learner that never stops, even if it is built. From cognitive psychology to computer science, there's always something for budding UX experts to learn and use in their learning process.

Small things like learning keyboard shortcuts, re-using symbols, and sharing/tracking design iterations can increase your productivity and speed up your workflow.

Also, staying updated with trends and news, learning new design tools, and designing outside of your day-to-day work helps me stay inspired and engaged. For UX designers, users, their experiences, and learning from them, that makes all the difference.

Being Resourceful

There may be instances where you feel you've done everything right. In the research, you've asked the customers the right questions, designed an excellent interface prototype, and checked all the boxes.

But last-minute contingencies always become spoilers. One product that you design may have multiple kinds of users. This is why keeping plan B and plan C under your sleeve is essential. Product managers, investors, developers, and operational staff will question your designs from their perspective.

It's essential to roll out different options that reflect on your thoughtfulness, spontaneity, and resourcefulness. A UX designer must learn how to be efficient in small and big ways.

Be Holistically Driven

Having a global view is always a boon in your career growth chart, especially if you're a designer. Many of my UX design colleagues are successful because they have a sense of responsibility and can take the whole product flow into perspective.

The key to this is data and user-driven. It's more effective when you can present data to support a decision from a universal point-of-view rather than having it driven by personal bias or limited vision.

A scenario-based approach and complete flexibility while incorporating the lessons learned from upstream and downstream departments in your daily work are essential.

User Empathy

This is both a quality and skill. Understanding the users' problems means enhancing your design and making it usable for them. When you know someone's problem better, you become more equipped to find a solution to it.

When you're detached from your end-users, you sometimes bypass their needs and aspirations, creating a wrong or unacceptable user experience.

Continuously listening to users, experimenting, receiving, and applying feedback become more comfortable with user empathy. The user-designer relationship is also improved when the designer is a good listener and an even better storyteller.

A designer must garner qualitative data through user interviews and quantitative data through user testing to lend perspective to your endeavors.

Open-mindedness towards Feedback

Being a liberal thinker offers a balanced view of the boundless creativity of a UX designer.

This includes learning how to take and also give constructive feedback to team members and customers. Valuing others' opinions is essential, knowing that you are part of a team. Gathering, analyzing, and utilizing user feedback can take customer investments in your design to the next level.

Feedback from customers will give you their honest take on your design. This is what helps designers grow, innovate, and flourish.

Accept Change Gracefully

As technology influences design trends and vice versa, change is the only constant in a UX designer's lifetime. Accept that designs will change, decisions will change, and people will change with time, becoming more evolved and focused.

Sometimes work profiles may change with trends that must be accepted to deliver exceptional designs. Taking that design is an evolutionary process, and mistakes are a part of it that helps get changes quickly to drive quality design outcomes.

The user and product relationship can be enhanced when changes are handled strategically.

Analytical Approach

Being analytical helps gauge UX's real impact on a business and its performance in the market.

Numbers, percentages, and ratios derived from a design help achieve better design iterations proven to have worked.

Communicate Effectively

Communication gaps can fuel misunderstandings and misconceptions in the field of UX design. Being in an area that consists of presentations, creativity, and translation of discussions to designs, effective communication is a great UX tool.

In design, well begun is half done when you make communication core to the process. It helps you become more transparent about your design's intent, and your plan can save many headaches, heartaches, and dollars in the design process.

Radiant Digital has talented UX designers who epitomize the above qualities to deliver design excellence to customers. Connect with them to share your thoughts and views for a productive career in design.


Six Tips to Ace Your UX Design Presentations Remotely

For UX designers, the presentation of our work is often just as important as the work itself. Being able to effectively present your work – by engaging with your audience and reading important cues such as eye contact, body language, and facial expression – is a necessary skill to develop.

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However, as remote work continues to trend, we must approach design presentations with different methods than the usual face-to-face. It’s a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges but can prove to be fruitful with effective planning.

In this blog, we will look into six strategic & effective ways of presenting UX designs remotely.

1. Make the Meeting Purposeful

Prepare thoroughly before each meeting.

  1. Make an agenda with clear objectives and goals, so everyone is on the same page. It tends to be easier for others to interrupt or derail other conversations during online presentations. Keep everyone focused.
  2. Prepare all the documents and designs that you will be share beforehand.
  3. Figure out which screens you will share, close unrelated applications, and decide how you’ll take notes.

A UX designer must make content that is relatable and informative. Designers can keep the audience attentive by establishing clear expectations about how the design concepts will be relevant.

2. Group Information Logically

A succinct presentation with a logical flow of slides directs focus to the UX design’s key concepts. Concise and well-organized slides communicate preparedness. Use the moments before (e.g., meeting-agenda email or calendar invite) and after the meeting (follow-up email, action items) to drive home the presentation's overarching goals.

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A designer must make the presentation manageable and easy to digest for the attendees. A flexible schedule dictating how designs will be presented and when feedback will be discussed essential. This plan has to be tailored to the audience, which will take some trial and error before finding what works for everyone.

3. Request for Feedback

Feedback is paramount in any discussion or formal communication. It helps the presenter grasp how useful the presentation was and what could have been done differently. Input from others helps a UX designer steer the ship in the right direction.

Here are some of the benefits of continuous feedback during or after a remote presentation:

  • Strengthens the UX designers and audience collaboration
  • Improves audience engagement
  • Adds greater meaning to the presentation
  • Increases Self-awareness
  • Promotes Dialog
  • Measures the effectiveness of the presentation
  • Removes ambiguity
  • Improves working relationship
  • Increases audience accountability

Feedback should be a two-way road that emphasizes teamwork and mutual benefit. The benefits of giving, getting, and proactively asking for feedback are given below.

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Here’s the continuous feedback cycle that will be useful to evaluate remote presentations.

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Image Source: QuestionPro

Questions like “What are your thoughts on this feature/page?” or “Any questions/feedback/comments?” will show that the UX designer is concerned about the opinion of others and is open-minded. The UX designer must give time for others to gather their thoughts on the call.

They must acknowledge that people might need more time and thus follow-up with an email on the design ideas or designs asking for feedback. Even though feedback can be insightful, there is a possibility that the discussion starts to stray away from the original purpose of the meeting. In such cases, redirect the conversation and/or suggest adding it to the next call's agenda to keep the discussion organic.

4. Implement Visual Elements

This includes taking notes directly on the screen for everyone to see consciously, comprehend, and agree/disagree with ideas, concepts, or action items. Visual elements also help clear up any miscommunication that may arise later.

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Image Source: Pushpin Visual Solutions

Doodling a UX concept or idea adds to clarity, grabs more attention, helps derive insights or changes to the UX design on-the-spot, leads to audience buy-in immediately, and helps with higher retention of a UX designer’s presentation.

Taking notes on the screen will let others understand a designer’s thoughts and vice-versa. Visual rhetoric is an effective method used by UX designers, especially during remote presentations.

Visual rhetoric is the art of effective communication through images, typography, and texts. It encompasses the skill of visual literacy and the ability to analyze images for their form and meaning. Besides, jotting down important points on the shared screen is convenient for impromptu presentations.

Adding different elements, which delineate a different purpose; for example, a circle relates to emphasis, arrows depict flow or direction, the cross demonstrates negation, color schemes relate to different results.

This fosters critical thinking, emphasizes the process, helps share keynotes, and paves the way to organic comprehension of the UX design ideas.

5. Summarize Collectively

Every presentation culminates at one point, the summary. How a UX designer concludes his/her presentation creates a lasting impact on the audience.

It also helps the UX designer focus on the action items for every participant in the remote presentation. The meeting summary gives a quick account of what was discussed, what needs to be done next, and whom. Summarizing ensures that the discussion's important points are embedded in everyone’s minds and help align everyone’s thoughts.

Every participant must be on the same page while winding up the discussion.

Here are essential tips on summarizing a remote presentation.

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6. Staying Objective

The presenters should be open-minded to feedback and try to remain objective. UX designers must be confident, trust in their expertise, and explain their design decisions without getting defensive.

Change is inevitable, and accepting that requirements change and design iterations are inevitable is imperative. The setting of SMART goals is often a boon to UX designers presenting remotely.

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Image Source: Canadian Management Centre 

A practical outlook to presenting a UX design can be fruitful when embracing challenges, addressing shortcomings, handling loopholes gracefully, and bridging gaps effectively.

Conclusion

Remote presentations are convenient and enable you to communicate with many co-workers or business leaders from and to anywhere at a magnitude in-person presenting may not offer. With the right strategy and approach in place, presenting remotely can help set the stage for persuasion or a call to action, ultimately bettering the UX design process.

The UX Design team at Radiant Digital has successfully implemented many complex designs remotely using the tips mentioned above for presentations and discussions. Talk to us to learn how you can apply these ideas as well.


Four Effective Ways to Improve Designer-Developer Collaboration

Designers and developers have different skill sets, talents, and perspectives, but when both sides can contribute in open, respectful, and collaborative ways, it makes for a better process and product.

In an environment where timely project delivery is crucial, collective efforts cannot risk being compromised. Equal contribution of expertise and ownership of tasks is paramount and can be achieved only through expert collaboration.

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Image Source: Medium

There are differences in the designer vs. a developer's actual tasks, and sometimes, we let these differences and our egos get the best of us. We forget that our goals are often the same – to create a successful product and to feel that our voice and expertise are valued in the process.

So how do we bridge gaps and ensure the best health of a designer-developer relationship in an enterprise environment?

In this blog, we outline four proven ways of strengthening the designer-developer partnership.

Focus on Problem-Solving First

Designers and developers sometimes focus too much on their tasks rather than problem-solving itself. This can be done by bringing down the wall of imagination and imbibing a collaborative culture that values being on the same page regarding product development or optimization.

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Image Source: noblestudios

Rather than a “waterfall” method of separating tasks for different features by job role, designers and developers must approach their work with a clear problem definition and then figure out how to tackle those problems together. This exercise should be done as a tag team with a unified vision/goal of what needs to be established and better transparency. Both sides need to figure out what needs to be done and how to do it by planning together and informing each other about individual progress. Designers and developers must also collaborate to optimize time, resources, skills, and efforts.

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Image Source: Medium

DevOps is a prime example of a collaborative environment (for the development and operations team) that fuels progress and, ultimately, a favorable outcome for the project.

Learn to Empathize

Exhibiting empathy can help one understand a problem better, communicate effectively, and make innovation human-centered. Empathetic insight is a significant junction point for team building. It allows designers and developers to recognize the other’s efforts, problems, and thinking, influencing their own opinion or approach to a problem.

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Image Source: fullstory

Empathy helps designers and developers build their working knowledge of how the other works and evaluate their strengths and challenges while applying inclusiveness to the collaborative process. It stimulates better listening skills while letting teams gain an understanding of each other’s work processes.

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Image Source: iPullRank

Discussions around workflows and productivity can be challenging. It's crucial to build a foundation of trust and cooperation before diving in or resorting to a blame game when things don't go as planned.

Designers and developers also need to embrace similarities in the workflow. CI/CD, scrum, agile, etc., by investigating, ideating, and iterating. Empathy helps ship out the best solution/product when the designer understands the developer's needs and provides the best design that facilitates high-quality development and vice versa. Respect is the best currency which, when invested through empathy, creates a productive designer-developer collaboration.

Communicate Early and Frequently

Syncing development and design cycles early on and regularly allow teams to communicate, collaborate, and influence each other every step of the way. Poor communication can cost the company and individuals dearly. According to a recent survey, an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year is due to inadequate team members' communication.

Start the project with a kick-off call where any questions or concerns can be raised, and a common goal can be recognized to align all efforts towards it. A project management platform like Jira gets everyone working and communicating on their tasks.

Early communication and keeping each other 'in the loop' help rule out uncertainties, stay organized, feedback factor, and save ideas relevant to the overall purpose.

Designers need to think more about their designs' feasibility based on what development can produce within a given amount of time. With early communication, they can seek out the developer's perspective in the design decision-making process.

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Image Source: XD workflows

On the other hand, developers need to understand user flows and the ‘why’ of their implementation. They can be more thoughtful and graceful when asking for any changes or iterations in design by communicating earlier. Developers can also give designers more time and space to come up with a functional design.

Many companies face a common problem where the real disagreement between designers and developers occurs in the final design. Working together on projects from start to finish can render more productive results with great functionalities, user interface, and clean code. The need for re-work will be less, and the final product deployment time will be quick.

Knowing Yourself

These two words used by most motivational speakers are very relevant to designer-developer nexus-building. In decision-making, designers and developers must fathom their strengths & weaknesses and communicate what they need to do and how to do it.

As a designer, it is essential to stay in sync with current design trends and tools and make immediate decisions on designing changes or adding extra features.

As a developer, it is crucial to evaluate designs and implement the latest technology to help awesome designs work.

The key that can unlock significant potential is knowing yourself and the various ways you can deliver an effective solution. An effective way of collaborating through personal improvement is through personal SWOT analysis.

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Image Source: Creately

Self-assessment lets designers and developers not only become experts in their respective fields but communication stewards as well. This brings them one step closer to achieving their unified goal.

We want to wind down with some expert tips on communication for designers and developers.

For Designers

  • Give developers opportunities to bring in their expertise and perspective to contribute to product design and vision.
  • Communicate about interactive elements as you design, and design them by understanding how they will work when coded.
  • Take the time to understand what kinds of documents or annotations developers need from you to be successful. Keep asking for feedback or opinions along the way. It’s better to ask about the feasibility of a design early on than to spend time creating something that a developer later tells you won’t work.
  • Know when to compromise creativity for feasibility when discussing designs with developers.
  • Share design elements in usable file formats on a collaboration platform so that all the developers can view them and contribute to a collaborative solution.

For Developers

  • Knowledge of basic design principles such as spacing and size when implementing a design will allow space for more important conversations related to the product.
  • Build trust with the designer by regularly communicating. Help designers understand your thought process and are willing to work through a problem together. Communicate often throughout implementation if things aren’t going as planned. Be engaged early on in the design process and help brainstorm relative to workflows that will work well in coding.

The successful partnership between designers and developers is driven by healthy communication and effective collaboration. At Radiant Digital, our designers and developers have partnered to deliver world-class solutions globally by keeping the foundation of partnership strong.

Are you facing challenges in keeping your Designers and Developers motivated in working together? Let us help you change that. Call us today.


The Art of Questioning

We know how important it is to gather meaningful feedback from our users to drive design decisions. Interviewing and engaging users is an art. It’s a skill that requires practice, planning, and preparation.

Albert Einstein once said:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

Throughout the design process, from ideation to production, well-defined problems pave the way to meaningful solutions and products. Designing for problems that are not thoroughly understood, not clearly defined, or just based on our assumptions is a waste of time and resources.

Our approach should be to discover, define, iterate, and communicate problems by asking the right questions. Questions that help us identify opportunities reveal underlying needs and empathize with our users.

In this blog, we will focus on practical ways to ask questions that obtain the type, quality, and quantity of information designers need for the best outcomes.

Roadblocks in Asking Questions

Let’s start with exploring why designers might not ask questions:

  1. We often work in fast-paced environments where they need to focus on quick solutions and prompt delivery. We’re afraid that taking the time to ask the why and the how of a problem can be seen as impediments that slow down the design process.
  2. We fear that our questions will be met with judgment about our expertise and that we “should’ve known” the answer.
  3. We don’t know what we don’t know. We’re unaware of key pieces of information, context, or user goals that would change the problem's scope.

To persevere through these roadblocks, we need to remind ourselves how vital it is to establish a well-defined problem. Also, practice the skills in how to get there efficiently and effectively.

Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Ask open-ended questions that encourage users to elaborate and go beyond a “Yes/No” response.
  2. In general, human memory is not always reliable. Ask about specific instances rather than generalizations.
  3. Be objective. Don’t ask leading questions that can influence users’ opinions. Acknowledge and set aside your own assumptions.
  4. Encourage users to describe their problems, what they are doing and how they are doing something. Don’t expect users to provide direct solutions. Avoid solutions for others.
  5. Put the user at ease so they will be comfortable in sharing honest thoughts and opinions.
  6. Prioritize which questions to ask.
  7. Listen more, talk less than users.
  8. Learn to make inferences, draw logical conclusions and hone key insights based on user feedback.

Question Starters

Here are the six types of questions and question starters:

Explorative questions that inspire expansion on new points of view and uncovered areas.

  • Could you walk me through it?
  • Can you demonstrate how?
  • When you are in this situation, what is your first/next step?
  • Imagine [situation/task], what would be your first step?

Affective questions that reveal people’s opinions.

  • Please share with me what you were thinking…
  • What are your initial thoughts…
  • Let me know what you think about it…
  • What do you think about this…

Reflective questions that encourage more elaboration.

  • Could you elaborate on…
  • That’s interesting, can you tell me more?
  • Talk some more about…

Probing questions that invite a more profound examination.

  • Explain what you see here…
  • What’s an example of that?
  • Why did you…
  • What were the other options you considered, and why did you choose this one?

Analytical questions that look for the root cause(s) of a problem.

  • Could you help me understand how/why?
  • How do you think that would work?

Clarifying questions that help align and avoid misunderstandings.

  • If I understand you correctly…
  • If I hear you right…
  • So, I hear you say…
  • Did I miss anything?

Conclusion

Designers should understand that a meaningful question depends on how it is formulated and framed.

Meaningful questions lead to key insights, clear problem definition, effective solutions, and ultimately, a usable and useful product.

Radiant Digital can help you creatively utilize the art of questioning to get useful inputs from your customers. Call us today!