Analysis: Customer Experience Analysis

A Customer Experience Analysis is a heuristic or expert analysis of the utility and usability of an application.

clicking 2 post CEA

Using key tasks and the profiles of the targeted users, the analysis walks you through how this user encounters the application.

We need a few things to get started with this analysis:

  • Identify the key tasks and primary users for each task
  • Provide access to the product as a user would see it
  • Prepare to walk-through and take screenshots/pictures of the user’s encounter with the product

Step by step, the story of how this user moves through the product is documented. Issues around the utility and usability of features and controls, as well as successes, are called out.

The advantage to an organization is that a CEA highlights in a visual way what people are trying to express verbally. This analysis also provides language to discuss and differentiate issues. One client of mine would hand a copy of the CEA to anyone who came to her with a complaint about the product.  She would ask them to go away, study the documentation, and mark it up with their comments. This was a concrete and very useful way to provide structure around the feedback. It also started the conversation at a common place, the CEA document.


How can you perform a CEA? A simple approach is to pick three key tasks. Identify the primary user performing each task. Find someone to act as that user profile and have them actually perform the task. Take screenshots for every change of the screen. Write the story with the screenshots in your favorite layout tool (i.e. Microsoft PPT or Adobe InDesign). Print the out the task and line the screenshots up on […]

By |March 27th, 2015|Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: The intersection of users and technology

At the intersection of users and technology, we find the interactions of the users.


These interactions are highly dependent on the technology- mobile device, desktop application, gaming controller, kiosk – and the and the abilities and limitations of the users.

Technology choices are often impacted by existing products.  Is there a legacy stack? Are you hoping to adapt what you have to something new, such as mobile? Are you starting fresh and able to select the best technology for the interactions needed? Other technology constraints also often come into play, such as what are the skill sets of the developers?


Balancing the users needs and the technology limitations will direct the design solution.


Copyright 2015 Frictionless Design LLC

By |March 24th, 2015|Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: The intersection of business and technology

The intersection of business and technology is where we find the domain model.

domain model

The domain model is the representation of the business through technology. Understanding the domain model creates the underpinnings for a stable set of business rules and engines for powering many applications.

I have worked in a variety of domains; timekeeping, scheduling, payroll, compliance, trading, and portfolio management. When the domain model is stable and business rules and engines stay more or less the same, you can grow multiple versions of products and services around it.
Domain Model
Understanding the domain model frames the boundaries and approach the technology and architecture have on the potential solutions.


Copyright 2015 Frictionless Design LLC

By |March 20th, 2015|Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: The intersection of business and users

Where the business and users intersect, we find the business processes, the “workflows” of your customers.

intersection workflow

Optimizing workflows yields improvements to their business processes, resulting in efficiency and the benefits that may come along with that such as improved customer service, faster turnarounds, and higher quality work.

Independent of the technology, analysis of the workflows of the users provides a solid understanding of the work patterns and needs of the users. Look at how your users perform their jobs. Design innovation should stem from those needs and not solely an evolution of current product features.


Understanding all the variations of user workflows and approaches to the business problem helps ground the solutions and frames your options. The analysis unearths inefficiencies and identifies places for improvement as we explore the solution space.

Copyright 2015 Frictionless Design LLC

By |March 17th, 2015|Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: How do we frame the analysis?

As we start doing analysis for a project, let’s frame the approach.


Many designers start by pushing for user analysis. I like to step back and take a “holistic” approach, considering the perspective of Users, Business, and Technology.


Why? Users, Business, and Technology are the constraints for any solution/ design. The intersections of each are where we can innovate on our solution. Each has their own constraints that we can challenge.


Copyright 2015 Frictionless Design LLC

By |March 13th, 2015|Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: Why all the questions?

Sometimes asking a question is not to get an answer. There are many reasons to ask questions during the analysis and design process.

Why all the questions

So why do I ask so many questions?
  • To reframe and start from the beginning
  • To challenge assumptions
  • To challenge constraints
  • To get someone to state the answer out loud so everyone can hear
  • To move the conversation or meeting along
  • To flesh out what is known and unknown
  • And of course, to get an answer

Ultimately, what I am looking for is the best user experience for the user and a more successful product. These questions lend to a better understanding of the situation which inevitably leads to a better solution.

Copyright 2015 Frictionless Design LLC​
By |March 10th, 2015|Analysis|0 Comments

Checklist for Understanding Project Context

This checklist is a summary of the initial business analysis in Understanding Project Context. This is an excellent tool to on-board new team members and consultants like myself.

One way I can be useful to clients is by helping them to define a problem and explore the solution space for the right one. The right solution is one that will give my client the edge over competitors and provide users what they really need, even when often it is not what they are asking for. The business analysis conducted in the first phase of a project “Understanding Project Context” is critical to clients making the best decisions to move their products in the right direction. This work is done at the beginning of the project before a solution is explored and a course of action is set.

For a PDF and print version use this link: Checklist for Understanding Project Context

For more detail in each area, visit previous posts where I discuss each one.

so now what?

What is the problem?

Clarify the problem
Determine what clients/users have the problem
Write down where in the business this problem occurs
Identify the event or time periods when the problem occurs
Describe why the problem happens
List the business outcomes desired for solving the problem
Identify how the business outcomes will be measured

so who are you

Who are the players?

Identify the people on the project team
Identify the executive leadership responsible […]