User Experience Design Process

User Experience Design Process

What exactly is User Experience Design?

“User Experience Design (UXD or UED) is the process of improving user contentment with a product by improving the user-friendliness, approachability, and ease provided in the interaction with the product.”

Developing a user experience to the level of customer satisfaction shouldn’t be a single person or team’s goal; rather it should be a company’s topmost priority.

Why User Experience Matters?

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology – not the other way round

— Steve Jobs

A good UX design is not just crucial for your product promotion; it also plays a key role in developing customer confidence and leaving a great impression.

You interact with your users to build the unique combination of structure, content and user experience that will accomplish required goals in efficient ways.

User Experience Design Process

The design process can be broken down into 6 steps as illustrated below.

Ued-1

1. Understand

“To create impactful designs, you need to look a little deeper into how people think and act”.

Design is all about solving a problem. In order to provide an effective solution, let your design team clearly understand the problem and requirements.

To evaluate the requirements, study and follow the industry standard user-research methods including interviews. Observe people in real environment with respect to how they behave while browsing online and their decision making parameters. Conduct brainstorming sessions with clients and show them your existing products (if any) to get their point of view.

Business Development/Account/Client/Servicing Manager is the person who communicates to the client from the very beginning. Sit with them and understand the targeted user persona.

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Business/Account Manager
  • Product Manager

Activities

  • Meet, talk, observe and understand users in their environment
  • Analyse requirements to understand and clarify them
  • Define user personas and use-cases

Outcomes

  • User Personas
  • User Stories
  • Use Cases, User Flows

Ued-2

2. Research

Strong Research is the foundation of a user-friendly design. The design team and expert studies how the competition and other relevant brands are performing with respect to their UX and UI standards.

It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds

— Paula Scher

Three reasons for this analysis:

  1. Understanding the market
  2. Learn about the domain
  3. Understanding of competitor activities

Keep an eye on the latest UI trends, design principles and your existing user experience guidelines.

Stakeholders

  • Design Team

Activities

  • Study competitors’ approach
  • Research on similar features in the world
  • Analysis of latest UI/UX trends, design principles and rules
  • Keep an eye on your own UX guidelines

Outcomes

  • A bunch of ideas, concepts and material on which you can start working on the most effective design options.

3. Sketch

At this stage, designers draw paper sketches, white board flows and wireframes to share the concepts and ideas with stakeholders to get their feedback. This stage itself is an iterative process.

“Designing is not something that you just create and start using it. Draw and draft and redraw and redraft, thus creating an unmatched experience”

Throughout this iterative process, don’t forget the end goal — to make a usable design to achieve end user satisfaction.

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Product Managers
  • echnical Experts

Activities

  • Generate ideas and create rough sketches
  • Brainstorming sessions with stakeholders to get their suggestion from technical perspective
  • Re-draw sketches and re-test them with stakeholders

Outcomes

  • Sketches
  • Wireframes, Mock-ups
  • User flows

Ued-3

4. Design

Preparing mock-ups, wireframes, theme style and sharing of design specifications (principles, guidelines, colours, typography, and iconography) with Development Team is all a part of this stage.

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Product Managers
  • Business Manager
  • Technical Experts

Activities

  • Design UI images
  • Define final theme, specs, and guidelines required for implementation
  • Design icons which will display on screen
  • Sessions with stakeholders to get their inputs from business and technical standpoint

Outcomes

  • Designed images
  • Detailed design specs like colours, theme, icons, styles, guidelines

5. Implement

Since technical people participate from the very early stages of the process, they can start implementation while Design phase is in progress. It is advisable to do so because if the technical process requires any design alterations, it can be done simultaneously without losing a lot of resources.

Stakeholders

  • Development Team
  • Design Team

Activities

  • Implement back-end functionality and front interface

Outcomes

  • Developed UI with complete functionality and experience, following the designed theme and style
  • Code and Functionality

Ued-4

6. Evaluate

When product features are applied, the end product is assessed based on certain factors:

  • Whether the system is usable?
  • Is it easily usable for end user?
  • Is it flexible and easy to change?
  • Does it provide the desired solution to user’s problems?
  • Does product have the credibility that makes someone want to use it because of the experience it provides?

“Design team evaluates the product in terms of user flow and experience, identifying areas where improvements are needed.”

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Product Manager

Activities

  • Go through the flow and feel the experience
  • Perform a comparison of implementation and initially defined interface

Outcomes

  • User feedback
  • UI audit reports
  • Areas marked where improvements are required

Ued-5

The process continues until the desired experience and customer satisfaction is achieved.

Conclusion

All major stakeholders in an organization contribute in this process by performing their respective tasks efficiently. This is the only way you can retain your existing users and attract the new ones in this competitive world.

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