What-If Scenarios

"What-if scenarios" are hypothetical situations or scenarios that designers, researchers, or product teams use to explore potential outcomes and user interactions within a user experience (UX) context. These scenarios are often constructed to evaluate how users might interact with a product or service under various conditions or circumstances.

For example, in the design of a mobile banking app, a what-if scenario might involve imagining how users would react if they were unable to access their account due to a system outage while traveling abroad. By considering such scenarios, designers can identify potential pain points, usability issues, or areas for improvement in the user experience and then address them proactively. This approach helps to create more robust and user-friendly designs that better meet the needs and expectations of users.

What-if scenarios typically belong to the ideation phase of product design. During the ideation phase, designers generate and explore a wide range of ideas and concepts to address user needs and solve identified problems. What-if scenarios are used to brainstorm potential situations or challenges that users might encounter while interacting with the product or service being designed. These scenarios help designers to think creatively about different user contexts and to generate innovative solutions that can enhance the user experience. Once the ideation phase is complete, the generated ideas and concepts are usually refined and tested in the subsequent phases, such as prototyping and testing, to validate their effectiveness.

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