Kent State University’s Proprietary Design Process
At the center of usability is a process. Think about it: The most enjoyable applications, websites and devices are usually extremely simple to navigate, use and, most importantly, enjoy. When we as consumers and users interact with these devices, we are undertaking a process of engagement. While we are free to move around the platforms as we please, our navigations have been funneled based on a UX designer’s design.
UX designers are responsible for mapping out user experience. That means they need to have thought of every possible outcome of a website or device. They need to anticipate the instincts of each end user and the potential paths they could travel while navigating through a platform.
The right process, to a UX designer, is of vital importance. Kent State’s LUMEN model is just one of the many processes that exist, but its clarity and effectiveness are what makes it stand apart from the others.
What Is LUMEN?
The LUMEN model is defined by five key steps. It utilizes a logical narrative that encourages UX designers to push their research, ideation and execution to their fullest abilities.1 The steps are:
Understand—Create tangible pieces of work, such as personas, that showcase and utilize the knowledge learned. These developments will inform the design principles used throughout the process.
iMagine—Begin to create solutions for the task at hand. These strategies and designs will inform the user interface (UI) and engineering teams who will execute the design blueprints.
Evaluate—As the design evolves, constant testing must take place to ensure it’s operating smoothly and as intended. Based on the results, adjustments can then be made to improve the final outcome.
iNform—Pay critical attention to the reasons behind the designs that’ve been created. Document their effectiveness and share the results with the team.
The Benefits of LUMEN
The advantages of Kent State’s LUMEN model are various. However, we can think of them in two distinct ways:
The first is how this model benefits emerging UX design professionals. Since this process is proprietary to Kent State’s UXD master’s program, those who’ve learned it firsthand can use their in-depth understanding of the process to distinguish themselves among an applicant pool. The ability to bring a fresh perspective—one that sets up clear guidelines for a UX design team—into a company can help make those who have been trained in LUMEN a prized asset.
The second distinctive benefit of being trained in LUMEN is the procedural improvements it can offer an organization. For instance, not everyone who attends the Kent State program may be looking for a new job, so some students and alumni will seek to incorporate the LUMEN model into their current workplaces. This presents the opportunity for students to provide their teams with a valuable and sustainable way to develop successful designs. If LUMEN is implemented (even parts of it), those who’ve established it in their office can be viewed as an authority on the process, which adds significant value to their company and career.