UX Design Process
A design process is comprised of multiple stages, and each stage contains a set of activities. A number of stakeholders are involved in each stage who make sure that all activities are being performed on time.
Each activity produces a set of outcomes that behave as input to the next stage.
Remember, the design process is an iterative process and it is possible to move back to an earlier stage while working on later stages.
Let’s discuss all stages one by one.
Stage I: Understand
During this stage, you need to understand the requirements. Note that every design project starts with a problem statement. The client tells about what kind of product is required and what he wants to achieve using this product.
Keep in mind that your client will never tell exactly what he wants. Being a user expert, it is your job to extract necessary information from the client. For this purpose, meet him, observe him in a working environment and ask him questions about the requirement.
By end of this stage, the problem statement is clearly understood and user research is done so that the next stages can work on the solution.
- Brainstorming sessions to understand requirements
- Requirement analysis
- User personas creation
Stage II: Research
During this stage, you will do necessary research about the required feature and find approaches that are being used to resolve these kinds of problems. Explore similar kind of projects, and learn about the latest design trends and standards that can be used in the design stage.
By end of this stage, you will have a bunch of ideas and approaches that can help you to resolve the problem.
- Analysis of competitor’s approaches to handling similar problems
- Latest trends and techniques being followed by the outer world
Stage III: Sketch
During this stage, the ideas are converted into visual sketches. These include paper sketches, whiteboard flows, and wireframes to share your ideas with stakeholders.
Discuss and share your sketches with a client as well to get an early feedback from his side.
By end of this stage, you will have user flow and layout in the form of sketches that will be converted into images during the next stage.
- Generate ideas and work on basic sketches
- Evaluation of sketches with stakeholders to get their feedback
- Re-draw sketches
Stage IV: Design & Prototype
In the previous stage, you have created the layout and flow of the required interface, the next step is to work on final graphics. Turn the initial mockups and wireframes to great-looking images with theme and styles applied to them.
Share with the client and get their feedback. Re-design where required. Create design specs and share with a development team.
Prototyping is also part of this stage for which you have to create a clickable prototype and share it with a client to get his feedback.
- Design UI images
- Sessions with stakeholders to get their feedback from business and technical perspective
- Define the final theme, specs, and guidelines required for implementation
- Design icons to display on screens
- Create prototypes
Stage V: Implement
Implementation of designed UI is started in this stage. You need to provide all necessary artifacts to developers and work in collaboration with them as it is possible to raise the need of minor changes in design during this stage.
By end of this stage, implementation of designed UI will be completed as per designed theme and style.
- Implement back-end functionality and front UI
Stage VI: Evaluate
After implementation is done, the end product is evaluated based on few factors like Whether the system is usable?, Is it easy to use for end user?, Is it flexible and easy to change?, Does it provide the desired solution to user’s problems?, Does the product have the credibility that make someone want to use it because of the experience it provides?
By end of this stage, user feedback and UI audit reports are prepared so that improvements can be made in mentioned areas.
- Go through the flow and feel the experience
- Perform a comparison of implementation and defined interface and create audit reports
After this last stage, the process will iterate itself and depending on the required changes, you may go to stage 2, 3 or 4.
The process goes on until the desired experience and customer satisfaction is achieved.
An amazing user experience can only be provided by following an iterative Design process. All major stakeholders in a company contribute in the process by performing their tasks and duties. This is the only way you can retain your existing users and attract the new ones in this competitive world.