CJM compilation, key art director skills and user understanding

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    Key skills art director

    The art director is not a senior designer.

    The senior designer needs to give out a high-quality design, while as an art director, much more skill is required for development in the profession.

    Here are some very important ones:

    Knowledge of guidelines, design systems and interface patterns

    Designing and researching popular services and materials, the art director collects dozens of interface patterns, understanding of which plays a key role in its development.

    Understanding business

    The main task of the art director is to adjust the direction of colleagues so that the design solves the tasks of the business, rather than satisfy the design ego. Without understanding the business objectives, creating a high-quality design will fail.

    Understanding Development

    Understanding the fundamental rules of development, the art director can choose the best design solutions, focusing not only on user convenience, but also on the speed of development.

    Communication skills

    Since the art director needs to regularly communicate with designers and customers, the ability to find a common language with different people is a key skill for him.

    Understanding users

    The designer must understand the target audience of the service, as it affects the majority of decisions made.

    Each audience has its own needs. I will give an example of AirBnB. Travelers, it is important to feel the local flavor and live in a clean room, and the owners want to see decent guests and get a quick payment.

    To understand users, you need to collect feedback and communicate with industry experts.

    In the first you will be helped by the support service (if any), letters in an open box and comments in social networks.

    In the second - personal meetings. Moreover, not only with users, but also by people who are not currently using your service, but in theory they can. By understanding their point of view, you can identify weaknesses and improve the product.

    Professional contacts

    I know a designer from the region, who led a table with leading art directors, and upon arrival in Moscow he wrote them with a request to meet. Because of this, he was building relationships and learning about the latest industry news.

    A few months later, when the vacancy opened in a large studio, he received a good job offer. Not because he was better than others, but because they simply knew about him (it took another one and a half year and he changed one studio to another, taking the place of a partner).

    Professional contacts are not a pull, but an opportunity to realize your skills, attract promising initiatives and accelerate your development using other people's resources.

    Therefore, any designer should not neglect communication with professionals. And not only from design, but also from other areas.

    Customer Journey Map

    CJM is a table whose vertical (columns) columns contain the steps that the user must follow to the goal. For example, when buying tickets on an airline's website, the columns of your table would look like this: a site, filling out a form (from where, where, who and when), search for a suitable flight, view details, pay.

    Horizontally (lines) is the following:

    User purpose

    In this case, under the user's goal there is not a global goal (to buy tickets), but a local one at this stage, for example, to fill out a form or find a suitable flight.

    Key action

    Based on the goal, you can determine the key action. At the stage of filling out the form it will be a transition to the list of flights for the selected parameters.


    Here you need to determine what the user feels at each stage and try to avoid dissatisfaction or confusion. If several stages in a row are negative emotions, it is highly likely that the user will not continue to work with the service.

    Possible problems

    Extremely important stage over which it is necessary to think well. It can include both inadvertent errors and misunderstanding of the interface.


    This stage is closely related to the previous one. For each problem, you need to find 1-2 solutions. Usually, after identifying possible problems, solutions become obvious. That is why CJM greatly helps in the design of interfaces.

    Many people think that the success of the project is decided only by experience, so they underestimate the importance of the process. Using CJM helps minimize the lack of experience through a thoughtful sequence of actions.

    Making a CJM takes enough time, but do not forget that this is also a design. Perhaps this is even more design than what we do in a graphic editor.


    Mudboard is a visual selection of elements that should push the designer to a certain mood, which will help you choose the right style for the project. 

    The style can be fashionable, boring, futuristic or any other, it does not matter at all. It is only important that he evoke the emotions needed by the business.

    Mudboard is the easiest to assemble using Pinterest. In addition to it, you can use Buckets on Dribbble, Moodboard in InVision, and any other method (even a folder on the desktop) that you feel comfortable.

    To avoid direct copying, select interesting details from each added element and think about how to use them in your project. Perhaps they push you to completely new ideas. Periodically it is useful to close the mindboard to try to create something completely new.

    In addition to interfaces, a mindboard can contain photos of nature, architecture, industrial design (appliances, cars, interiors), clothing, and more. Not so important that you have in the collection. It is only important that these elements correspond to the promise of the project being created.

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