How do you write a successful UX case study and what elements make up an effective UX case study? In this video I explain...
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1 - Planning
Before you start to think about the design or format, write the case study out as a word document. This will help you focus on the story you want to tell, without being distracted by the other details - formatting, design, imagery etc
Create a rough template for your case studies to follow, this will help give them a consistency. Think of the template much like you would a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. This might include:
- Beginning: Providing the background of the project
- Middle: Process (your approach, challenges, solutions)
- The end: What was the end result?
2 - Context
An effective case study let’s the reader know from the very beginning the context of the project. Giving context allows allows the reader the get a general picture of the project without having to read the entire case study.
-What was the product or service being created? (project)
-Who was it for? (client)
-What was your role?
-In what capacity did you work? (freelancer, in house, agency)
3 - Process
While it’s useful to focus on the bigger picture of a project for context (the client), the main point of the case study should be to highlight your competencies as a UX designer
The best way to demonstrate your competencies is to lead people through your process, Your process should highlight your systematic approach to problem solving as a designer, and also show how you function both as an individual and as part of team
As an example, a case study that is focused on your approach might show the following:
- Researching your audience
- Creating research deliverables (user personas etc)
- Wireframing a solution
- Testing a solution
It’s also important to not leave gaps or leave things to people’s imagination. So for example, if you weren’t able to conduct user research properly (for whatever reason) at the beginning of a specific project, it’s better to highlight this, than just leave a gap.
4 - Readability & design
The main focus of a case study should be the content, however, having said that, you want to make sure it is as easy as possible to read and understand for your user in a visual sense
Make sure your typography is correct - so use a font for body copy that works for passages of text, and pay attention to line heights and lengths.
Make sure you consider hierarchy and rhythm in terms of the spacing of type and graphic elements. Done properly, this will create a pleasing visual experience for the user.
Break content collections into sections and within those sections, break your text into chunks so it’s easy to scan and jump around without getting lost. Remember, people on the web want to scan for content, not read a book.
Much like the 1st point, aim to establish a visually recognizable template with your design and formatting. This repetition and consistency will make it easier for your reader to understand what’s going on sooner.
5 - Summarise
A good case study doesn’t just end with the final deliverable. Try to summarise the outcomes of the project, both in terms of the bigger picture for the project team and client, but also for yourself as an individual.
- What’s happening next with the project/client?
- How has your work impacted them?
- What have you learnt?
- Is there anything that could be improved in terms of your individual - - Approach or the overall project process?