UX Design Process
With the caveat that every project is different and often requires a good bit of tailoring, I’ll outline my typical methodology to User Experience Design. Many times, steps may be combined or replaced, based on the client needs and constraints.
Needfinding and research
- Conduct stakeholder interviews to understand goals and objectives.
- Conduct user interviews to identify and understand the tasks they need to complete.
- Observe users. This can mean observing a user performing a process I am looking to streamline, or interaction with an existing product.
- Perform heuristic evaluation if it’s an existing product. I do the same with similar products to get an idea of how they compare, what works and what doesn’t.
Synthesis and Definition
- Synthesize findings from research. This can involve presenting information back to stakeholders in a digestible format.
- Define personas based on research and interviews, exploring each point of view and how they would use the product or benefit from enhancements.
- Brainstorm on features and enhancements. Prioritize them.
- Based on findings, create storyboards to illustrate the personas using the product.
Design Part One
- Using my storyboards and the information from the needfinding and research phases, I typically start with a low-fidelity wireframe, which I create either on paper, using Balsamiq, or in Axure. I do a few different designs so I can explore which idea(s) works best.
- Get feedback from peers. If someone can do a heuristic evaluation at this point, it can save a ton of time in the long run.
- Test the wireframe. Have users interact with this prototype to perform tasks. Here I can determine where the pain points are and how I can eliminate them.
- Repeat until the needs have been met and the wireframe evaluates well.
Design Part Two
- Using my wireframes I will create a high-fidelity, clickable prototype. I do this in Axure or using simple HTML and CSS.
- Get feedback and implement any changes.
- Test the prototype. Have users interact with this prototype to perform tasks. Here I can determine where the pain points are and how I can eliminate them.
- Repeat #1 and #2 until the needs have been met.
- At this point, it’s time to talk to the developers to determine what is doable within the constraints of the project and technology. I have a bit of an unfair advantage here, as I have been on the developer’s side of the table.
- Modify prototype based on feasibility and priority discussions with developers and stakeholders.
- Design the UI. I either do this myself or hand the high-fi prototype to a visual designer.
- Fruition. Work with the developers to implement the design.
Using data and further research, determine the success of the designs. A/B testing can be used here to trial different concepts. Usability testing and observation will be valuable.