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User Experience designers have a unique opportunity to become the facilitators of holistic design and the advocates of innovation, argues Jake Truemper. By combining traditional user-centered activities with a greater emphasis on creating engaging designs we can bring usability into alignment with innovation in the design process.

“Ethnographic studies (such as contextual inquiry) and user personas are well suited to embolden innovative design. By watching users interact with interfaces in the context of their own home or workplace we learn a tremendous amount about them. These ethnographic techniques also help us to understand process flows comprehensively. By understanding these flows at a high level, user experience practitioners can identify opportunities to break down and rebuild a new process flow that forsakes the vestigial practices that have compounded over time, and brings in those missing elements that users find ways to incorporate on their own.”

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