20 UX Deliverables & Methods You Should Include In Your Design Project
Any business is struggling to create such kind of product design that reflects the product’s ideas, brings conversions and of course, the users love it. Then the question on how to develop such UI/UX design that would be engaging, user-centered and conversions optimized probably arises. For these purposes, you need to develop a consistent UX design process applying the most effective UX design methodologies and deliverables in it.
But firstly, let’s come back to the backbone of any successful design. It’s a concept of User Experience (UX) design that entails various UX methods and techniques. They all are aimed at improving the experience and utility that users derive from using a product or service.
If you’re still thinking that your product is astonishing and there is no need to take care a lot about its UX, you might be wrong.
Now, UX has grown to become a vital and indispensable step to building and growing your business. Oftentimes, a great product without an appealing user experience despite being useful and usable does not always result in whooping success as a UX has undeniably important power to influence the ability of an enterprise to achieve its goals.
Why and how to use UX methodologies and deliverables
Well, for now, you might have questions about why you need to apply these design methodologies and deliverables in your UX design process and whether they are truly helpful?
With the help of them, you can create an awesome and efficient user experience design through which your product purposes and values will meet the customers' needs.
Applying correctly UX deliverables allows you make a design that not only highlights and promote your brand but put your product in a class of its own, with a unique design that gets clients, viewers or customers and keep them coming back.
To get the maximum benefits you need to use different UX methods and deliverables on the specific stage of the design flow. So, let’s remind that the web design process typically consists of the next basic phases:
User research and competitors research
Defining the product value and design strategy
Building Information Architecture of product design
Wireframing and Prototyping
Testing and evaluation.
Each stage of the design process needs specific UX deliverables and the methodologies to be applied differently.
Actually, UX deliverable definition says, that it’s some type of record of the specific design work according to Neilson Norman Group . They have also gathered data on what deliverables design development team use the most often:
Source: Nielsen Norman Group
The need to apply some or other ones UX deliverables differs according to the specification of the project and target audience. Also, each stage of UX activities requires different methods to be used at each stage. But the general rule is the fact that deliverables serve to document the most significant steps in the design process.
The Importance of UX Deliverables and Techniques in UX Design Process
UX deliverables are quite important to the success of a design process and might be compared as the medium in achieving the best UX.
The “design” aspect of UX focuses on how the utility, ease of use, and efficiency for a user’s interaction with a product or service can be improved, so, the UX deliverables and techniques are the pillars upon which the design stands.
Deliverable and techniques perform the following functions in the efficiency of the design:
- They help to build your design process consistently and clear that improves the design team work on your project
- They are useful for the incessant evaluation of designs at every of its stage of development.
- They are responsible for obtaining the bricks of data needed for constructing a highly efficient, useful and usable design.
- They are the drawing boards upon which the continuous improvement and polishing of the designs are constructed and worked out.
- They are critical to getting the input and deriving outputs that are processed and now called- UX design.
The choice of the UX deliverable depends on the UX design process and it can vary in use across different teams. Creating a user experience that will perfectly suit the customers and leave them totally satisfied is not a single person or team’s responsibility, it is instead, more of a company’s vision. So, with all hands on deck, it will then be possible to create designs that are a clean, simple, intuitive, flexible and engaging experience to your users and thus differentiate you from your competitors.
The most effective and commonly used UX Deliverables and UX Methodologies
Now, keeping in mind the importance of building your design process in the right way and using deliverables in it, let’s discuss the key points of the most working and must-have UX deliverables in any project:
Use this method when you start to develop the product design from scratch, and during the first and subsequent interviews.
Stakeholders are usually persons who invest the most including finance, time, energy in the design project. During these sessions, you need to ask a lot to understand the project goals, product design parameters , user insights, and assumptions.
After stakeholders interviews, you need to create a design roadmap, timeline, tasks assignment.
Thus the main goal of stakeholders interview is to develop the entire product design strategy and the KPIs to track its performance during the UX design process.
User research is one of the primary steps, and it is quite important to the success of the whole design process. This, therefore, means that it has to be thorough and detailed. Designing without in-depth user research will eventually lead to the market-failure of the product.
Users research consists of research on your target audiences and developing buyer personas e.g. persons who use the product and then defining what design elements are important for them. Here you can mention such techniques as users’ stories, use cases.
User Interview and Users’ survey
These deliverables mean running of the user interviews and surveys on future or existing design usage. Thus, they can be used on the user research or design testing stages both.
They are one of the ways in which UX designers can measure the level of users’ satisfaction from the use of their product.
Competitive audit as UX deliverable is used at the research stage.
It is purposed to research and analyze your competitors' products and find some uncovered gaps in their design. For example, you can observe what kinds of designs they are using in their products and if they miss something like motion graphics design you can use and benefit a lot.
The one more idea of this competitors’ research is to figure out what works for competitors and what doesn’t. Then you keep that data in your mind and consider during your product development.
Product Value and UX Value Proposition
It is used after having stakeholders interview. Defining what values your product has is the backbone of the design strategy.
Product Value is a kind of its USP (Unique Selling Proposition) e.g. the key aspects of the product that distinguish it from all other similar ones on the market. The details of product value conception lay behind that it needs include what the product is, who it is for, what customer problems it solves and what key benefits it has.
Besides, it’s strongly marketing conception, it should be applied in design development, that is named UX value proposition. It’s highly important that the main idea on your product values be consistent, coherent and reflected visually in its design.
That means, that your product design should highlight its unique values. Thus, before design development, your designer's team together with the marketing department need to figure out what values your product has and what emotions its visual look need to appeal in people. Based on that idea and putting it in the core you can start to develop UI/UX strategy.
Then the effectiveness of your product message you’re trying to deliver to the customer will be doubled.
Product Design Strategy and Product Roadmap
Developing a product roadmap is creating a plan for the entire design process and each its step.
These techniques can’t be missed out as they guide designers during all steps of product design life-cycle and define the product-specific attributes.
A product strategy allows UX designers to zero in on specific target audiences and draw focus on the product ideas and consumer attributes. It’s quite simple but it really works.
Mapping the customer journey
Usually, designers use this deliverable after user research, product strategy and roadmap development the same as during the testing and evaluation stages.
It is used to show how users will use or are actually using the product and to frame the users' motivations, needs and adapt the product for that.
Information Architecture Deliverables
The process of creating Information architecture involves the processes that line up to arranging and fixing data into information that can be easily understood. As the name implies, it is all about building pieces of information to give it perfect meaning.
The process of Information architecture for Digital products results in the creation of such deliverables as content organization, navigation, site maps, taxonomies, decision tables e.g. precise design documentation and wireframes.
Mind Mapping and Prototyping
These UX deliverables can also refer to Information Architecture ones. You need to use these deliverables during the wireframe and prototype stages.
They are purported to develop a product's informational structure e.g. information architecture, structure, workflows, navigation. Developing mind mapping and interactive prototyping help you to visualize the final look of your design before its development.
That help designers to generate new ideas and reduce the number of edits after deployment. So, these techniques are truly worth to be used, besides there is a bunch of tools for much easier prototyping and site mapping.
Designers can apply this UX deliverable as during information architecture development as the evaluation and testing stages.
Card sorting as a UX exercise is a method that is also used in developing information architecture. It is conducted by a group of users. They do so by arranging the cards with parts of information structure elements to represent how they see the full information structure of the product.
This technique is common project management deliverable not only for UX. But it is used during every stage of the design process. It is used as a method to generate new ideas to solve the problems.
Cultural probes is a commonly used technique that is quite similar to brainstorming. It is used to find some new ideas in a design process and to gather inspirational data about people’s lives, values, and thoughts. It’s a well-known fact that cultures has influence on design perception . It means that people depending on their origin cultures can consider and interpret the same design differently. After executing this deliverable you can get to know how you can optimize your UX design for people of different cultures if your product targets a worldwide audience.
UX Usability Testing
This technique is used sometimes during the user research stage and more often during the evaluation stage.
This US method can define the problems in product usability and to improve the products' usability. It can be done through testing in focus group, A/B testing, UX tree, guerilla testing, accessibility audit, eye-moving tracking.
UX testing is critical to the growth of a product brand. About 88% of online customers declare that they don’t really return to websites that were not usable/user-friendly and 70% of online businesses fail because of bad usability.
Guerrilla testing is one of the simplest methodologies. It can be conducted anywhere and anytime if your product is physical. It involves a researcher walking up to a relevant audience and asking what their experience of the product has been.
Competitive Audit is another methodology or strategy. It is usually a detailed analysis of the features of similar products that have granted them the leverage with which they operate in the market. As the name implies, it is you spying your competitors to discover what is working for them so you can inculcate these strategies and not be left out in the competition.
UX A/B testing is another very useful technique. With this, you provide your product alongside a supplementary product to different users so as to observe and record the reactions of the users. The goal here is to find out which one performs better and to discover the areas of your product that you need to intensively work on.
A focus group is a more subtle User experience strategy. It is a moderated discussion that usually involves about 5 to 10 participants. You bring people to discuss issues and concerns about the features of a user interface. The group typically lasts about 2 hours and is run by a moderator who maintains the focal point of the group’s discussion.
Heuristic Evaluation is a so-called usability inspection technique used in the testing and design evaluation stage. You might probably hear about Nielsen and Molich's 10 User Interface Design Heuristics that are the guidelines for any design development.
But what distinguishes this technique that is purposed to focus on specific UI design elements, e.g. your own heuristics. This technique highlights their bad and good sides that impact hugely on the users' interactions. Usually, heuristic evaluation needs to involve between five and ten items of the product, website, application design. Important to note that the evaluators should not be your end users but experts in your business industry. Then after conducting heuristic evaluation you will get the most valuable results.
Usability Test Report
Usability testing is used to determine the degree of ease that users encounter when they use the product. Usability test report ought to be tested on real users. The test report gives a summarized result of the findings in a clear, concise and descriptive way. It is useful to project teams. They use it to identify the issues in the proposed design or working design and then point them in the right direction towards finding a suitable solution.
An analytics audit is an example of deliverables. It entails the processes involved in discovering the particular parts of a website or an app that is having issues to users and thereby reducing the brand's conversion rate and optimizing them.
Conclusively, these UX deliverables and techniques are very important to the success of the whole UX design process.
At Softermii, our design team truly care about using all these techniques in the product design development process for our clients within our UX Toolkit.
If you are in need of an exceptional UX design to move you up your growth ladder, then outsourcing your UX design project might be the best and most cost savvy solution you can get to meet your needs.
Anyway, keep in mind one of the main rules of UX design. That is always, focus your efforts in design with the purpose of creating better user experiences for customers and greater sales results for the business.