My UX Process
Using my iPad Pro, I begin sketching ideas, user flows, site maps and low fidelity wireframes.
Design is more than color and form; design is the act of planning with the intention to serve others.
Define and Research
Defining our users problems can be a powerful way to create innovative design solutions that could lead to new and disruptive business models. When we empathize with our users, we are collecting stories and insights that will give us an opportunity to come up with a problem statement that will guide us into proper user research.
We can’t begin without a deeper understanding of the people we are designing for. User Research helps gain the insights we need, to empathize with the people we are designing for so we can understand how they see their world, understanding their feelings, we need to appreciate them as human beings and communicate understanding. User Research helps place the people we are designing for at the center of our design process and products. The insights we gain will help inspire our designs, evaluate our solutions, and our impact.
Several methods can be used to gain quantitative and qualitative information. Surveys, interviews, and observation of the user are just some of the ways we can quantify how the user interacts with our service or product. Each method has its benefits and its drawbacks, so we need to know which one to use to achieve our goals.
Why Research is so important
- Helps us create designs that are truly relevant to the user
- We can create designs that are easy and pleasurable to use
- And to understand the ROI of our user experience design
- Guess less and work from a position of being informed and confident
Planning is the most important part of a project. It is the north star or vision that sets a product/design roadmap to guide the vision towards success. Whether it’s a website redesign or a mobile application used by many, we need to plan. Execution can be difficult, but planning can be done in Sprints where the process relies on a team where we can apply lean processes and design thinking. These methods allow for collaboration between designers, developers and product managers.
After planning, the design phase helps create prototypes to put them into the hands of colleagues and customers, collecting feedback and correcting course before development. There is much to learn when we get immediate feedback from prototypes where we can spot problems quickly and fix them. This is all possible if we are able to talk to customers early and the align the product to their needs.
Part of the prototyping phase also includes building a pattern library. It can be time consuming building UI elements, but it pays off with the design of a new product or feature as the process can be accelerated exponentially when you have one.
Feedback & Testing
Expect to learn a lot as the prototype is shown around to colleagues and customers. Feedback is essential to making sure that your designs are cohesive to the brand. I never take feedback personal, and it is there to help me improve my work so that I can ensure the user has the best experience possible. I have to know the users pain points, issues and roadblocks so that I can fix them before we get the final designs to the developers.
Testing is also important as I am expecting to learn, and hope the users don’t struggle with my designs. Usability testing can be done in small batches, as per Nielsen Norman Group, at least 5 users to help find the problems and make refinements. Some testing tools used are InVision, or by using Zoom to observe and ask questions.
Testing and getting fast feedback is important as it will help in building better products and experiences.