UX design is an essential part of the design or redesign of any product. However, more often than not, UX design principles are confused with the design process. It should be noted that the UX design and the design process are similar but different. UX design is the standard principle for a product design, while the design process is the step-by-step guide a designer takes in designing a product. The design process typically varies based on the designer and the effect the designer is trying to create or redesign.
Therefore, here we will be looking at carrying out a UX design while you design an app based on the principles learned and adequately document your design process. Note that the UX design should be based on the needs of the user and the stakeholder. Simply put, your UX design must solve the users’ needs and meet business goals.
According to the Stanford school of design the UX design comprises:
This is the first phase in the user design process. This is where the design team understands the problem they are trying to solve and the context in which the product is being formed. This is where the "whys” of the design are discussed. This is where the designer will collect the user needs based on business goals. Any mistakes in understanding the scope will lead to a product in the market that is not required. At this stage, the designer has stakeholder meetings in which he meets with the business manager, the product manager, and the lead developer. It is here we determine what our product is all about, who will use our product, and why they will be using our product. The entire team will have to consult with customers in their environment and analyze what they want within the framework of your operation. At this stage, critical KPIs are set, and success metrics are determined.
After you have adequately defined those, we move further into carrying out our research. This is very important because it helps save us time, money, and effort early in our design process. We identify pain points, needs, wants, and desires, and knowing our user’s wants we can design a solution that will solve their problem. Research also involves competitive analysis where we check out what is already in mind and what we can add or remove that would give us an edge in the market. This aids us in entering the market faster.
We also look into the latest trends in UI design and design guidelines during the research process.
This is where we combine and analyze the information gathered during research to get what we need from the data. We produce storyboards, user stories, personas, and experience maps, among other things. At this point, the designer shifts their focus from what to why a user needs or wants something. The designer has an initial guess about what the user might need, but they are not sure at this point in the user experience design process.
After conducting enough studies and assessing the data obtained from research, we confirm our assumptions at this point.
Fictional Personas: Developing fictional scenarios enables the designer to understand the many customers of your product better. It allows a realistic portrayal of the finished product. The design team can determine how it will seem following delivery.
Experience Maps: These diagrams depict how users move through your finished product. This is accomplished through visual representation and suitable interactions with the customer.
User story: A user story is a tool designers can use to better comprehend how users engage with a product or service. As a [user], I want to [objective to attain] so that [motive], which is the typical definition.
Storyboarding: Designers can connect user personas and user stories with the storyboarding method. It’s a story about a user interacting with your product, as the name suggests.
When product designers have a strong understanding of what customers want, need, and expect from a product, they move on to the design phase. Product teams work on various projects at this stage, from creating an Information Architecture (IA) to UI design in practice. A successful design phase is highly collaborative (every team member involved in product design must actively participate in this phase), iterative, and combined (meaning it cycles back upon itself to validate ideas).
Typically, the design phase entails:
Sketching: The quickest and most straightforward approach to visualize our ideas is through sketches. This can be accomplished by hand-drawing on paper, on a whiteboard, or with a computer tool. It may let the team see a wide range of design possibilities before determining which one to use, which makes it particularly helpful during brainstorming sessions.
Wireframing: A wireframe is a tool designers may use to see the essential components of a future page and how they will work together. Wireframing is the product’s backbone, and designers frequently utilize it as a foundation for mockups and prototypes.
Prototyping: While wireframes are primarily concerned with structure and visual hierarchy (the look), prototypes are concerned with the actual interaction experience (the look and feel). A prototype resembles a simulation of the finished product and ranges from low-fidelity (clickable wireframes) to high-fidelity (coded prototypes) depending on the specific screens.
Design specifications: They include user flow and task flow diagrams. It shows how the UI/UX product will generally function and its stylistic needs. It explains the procedures and visual components needed to produce fantastic user experiences.
The development of design systems: Designers frequently construct a system of components, patterns, and styles for significant projects to enable designers and developers to stay on the same page with the design.
Testing is the stage that establishes the final product’s overall quality. When something has to be fixed, the testers make notes and submit them back to the appropriate team so they can fix the mistakes. Although some businesses conduct internal tests, doing so is not recommended because it is likely that these individuals have a basic understanding of how these apps operate and are prejudiced in favor of the product.
The validation process typically begins after the high-fidelity design is completed because testing with high-fidelity methods yields more insightful feedback from end-users. It is, however, also advisable to carry out tests also on your low-fi design; this helps in knowing that your user can carry out given actions with the barest minimum. During several user testing sessions, the team validates the product with stakeholders and end-users.
The following activities may be included in the validation phase of the UX process:
Testing sessions: User testing sessions with participants who correspond to your target market are crucial. There are numerous forms to experiment with, such as moderated/unmoderated usability testing, focus groups, beta testing, and A/B testing.
Surveys: Surveys are a fantastic tool for gathering quantitative and qualitative data from actual people. Open-ended questions, such as “What portion of the product do you dislike?” might be added by UX designers to elicit user feedback on specific features.
Analytics: Quantitative data (clicks, navigation time, search queries, and so on) from an analytics tool can be helpful in determining how users engage with your product.
There are a few things to consider while assessing your finished project. Some are:
Is the system simple to use?
Is it adaptable and straightforward to use?
Does it resolve the client’s problem?
Does it have credibility and entice customers to return when they require your service?
It should be noted that the UX design process is an iterative process where the designer performs back and forth movement based on findings from user testing sessions and meetings with stakeholders and our developers.
One must adopt a systematic approach to create excellent UX/UI interfaces. To do this, we need a UI/UX design process technique. The entire design team will participate in the process. In this increasingly competitive world, this is one of the most acceptable methods to maintain present clients and attract new ones.