UX Design Process: Common Steps & Practices To Follow
What is UX design as a process
UX design is a process of creating a product design that provides a valuable experience for users. It includes a sum of all the efforts put in a design development process directed towards making the easy, clear and user-centered design of the website or mobile app.
UX design process focuses on the improvement of the next aspects of the digital product including:
- satisfaction of the users’ interaction with product design with the company.
UX is a design process can be defined as a planning process of design development common to everyone in the UX industry. But it is however always peculiar to the design of the project being handled. It can be used on simple platforms as the homepage of a website as well as more complicated interphases.
This is because it is largely dependent on the peculiarities of the project. Different projects require different UX approaches although there are some UX practices that are universal to all projects and consequently should be followed for each project. These practices would include the conduct of product research before moving on to prototyping.
But, actually, why the UX design is so important for product and business entirely?
The UX design is important in the website creation process but bad mobile UX can break your mobile app, even more, faster than desktop UX design. In fact, without a solid UX design process, a product would eventually lose credibility with its consumers as it won't be doing a great job at meeting the needs of its users.
From the statistics we got the next:
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or the layout of the website is unattractive and aesthetically appalling under the Adobe research.
- judgments passed on website credibility is always 75% based on a website’s overall aestheticsб according to research conducted by the University of Surrey
- 67% of users also opined that a poor website experience has the capacity to negatively affect their opinion of the brand it represents.
So, a clear and concise UX process makes it possible to craft the product design with amazing experiences for users in a much easier way for the design team.
The Fundamental Concepts of UX Design
Well, we got the importance of a great UX design and that only well set up design process help develop it correctly and effectively meeting your business needs.
There are several concepts and terms that ought to be understood while one is embarking on the UX design procedures. Let’s walk through some of them:
Design thinking is a concept that characterizes UX design. It focuses on designs that are human-centered. It is a design methodology that offers a solution-based approach to solving human-related problems. According to d. School, design thinking occurs in five stages and these stages include
- Definition (the problem)
Based on design thinking there is a methodological process, that is design sprint. It helps to leverage the design thinking mindset and make data-driven decisions.
It is a period of five says that is used to answer critical business questions and solve the problems through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. The idea if design sprint was invented by Jake Knapp at Google and described in the bestseller Sprint book .
It is needless to say that Design Sprints are stressful, but the stress in the experience is one of the factors that aids to create cooperation and togetherness in the team. It helps people bond together. It’s a creative activity that requires relaxation and revitalizing of teammates so as to ensure that only the best ideas come forth.
The Lean UX vs Agile UX
Besides, design thinking there are other approaches to creating the design process. The most common ones are Lean UX and Agile UX. Let’s cover the differences between them:
Lean UX applies lean principles in the product design process. This idea was published in 2013 by Jeff Gothelf , who is still one of the most outstanding authors in Lean UX topic.
Lean UX is a totally different term from the Agile UX term this is true notwithstanding the fact that some others think otherwise. Lean UX refers to the different methods and the application methods used in the dynamic environment of a Lean Startup. Lean UX unites product development and business, through constant measurement and with the use of its so-called “learning loops”: the build – measure – learn synch.
This is, while the Agile UX describes an update of Agile Software Methodology using UX Design methods. The ultimate goal of the Agile UX is to unify its developers and designers in the Agile process of product development.
Most of the Lean UX teams usually always use Agile UX to coordinate their software development. Both lean UX and agile UX are interconnected and they can both be used as a complement fire to each other. For instance, for startups, Agile is will emerge as the perfect option and obvious choice of software development methodology to be undertaken.
Besides these concepts, there are other common UX design methods and techniques . But before applying them into practice it’s critical to develop your design process through consistent stages that are parts of the entire UX system.
So, let’s review what are the most critical steps of the UX design process.
7 Common Steps in UX Design Process
There are numerous steps involved in the process of UX design. But regardless of the variability of user experience design steps, these numerous steps have been broadly grouped into major processing stages. These stages are universal to all UX design approach and the stages include:
1. Conduct Users Research
User research is the first stage in any UX design process. It is important since the aim of UX is to achieve optimum user experience. This stage is that point when a designer gets curious about the users’ opinions of the product.
The aim of carrying out users' research is to put the designer in the product user’s shoes-empathy and understand their problems and needs.
In this process, all you need to do is to just conduct interviews, observe and administer surveys around the product if needed; the survey procedure should start off with the study of the problem space, then planning interviews with stakeholders and potential users, another procedure will be to fully study product competitors.
2. Create Users Personas and Users Sitemap or Users Flow
The purpose of personas in design is to create reliable and realistic representations of their most preferred segment of a key audience for referencing.
But it will be important to note that while users personas is a representation of user story and users flow. It does not represent the ideas and opinions of all the possible users, emphasis on 'all', it is instead, just a typical account for only the most common users or user motivations. The goal is to form one of the most distinguished and consistent target groups, to know who they are, what their motivations and problems are.
3. Build Information Architecture
Information architecture is a quite important phase of UX design development. The Sitemaps are used to show how the navigation should be structured and it gets useful in showing the relationship and interconnectedness between different pages on the website.
4. Develop Wireframing
A wireframe is a visual guide in the design process that is used to represent the page structure. Wireframing acts as the backbone of the product, designers often use them as the skeletal framework for mockups. In developing wireframing, tools such as Sketch, Figma, Axure, Adobe XD, Balsamiq and so a long list of others can be useful. The use of these particular ones will ensure that the designed wireframes have aesthetic appeal and excellent construct.
5. Develop Interactive Prototyping
An interactive prototype is the next stage in a line. It involves the use of design software such as Sketch, Photoshop or Illustrator to design the actual interface of the UX design. This is the point of interchange between UX and UI.
6. Testing Prototype
The goal of this stage e.g. the testing prototype is to find out if the solution and project that is being worked on actually worked out as planned and to review it's efficiency to see if it provides the service it was created to. The form of prototype testing that can be run on the UX project will include paper prototype and digital prototype testing.
This stage which is the final stage of the UX design process involves the development of the project design based on the users' opinion and on the feedback that has been sought and gotten from other stakeholders of the procedure. It could be termed as the final editing of the outlook of the design where the process is known to be iterative. Here, how it looks like all together:
The Most Effective UX Design Practices
An excellent UX design process can best be built if the following tips can be generously adhered to:
Communicate with your audience at the users' research stage
This is an important tip and adequate attention should be paid to achieving this. During the first stage of the design, designers would be expected to carry out a user experience research and in this process, they will be made to carry out surveys and try to get feedback on their intention from their users. It is important that designers get it right at this point. They should take note and ensure that the right sect of prospective users' is engaged. And designer should be careful in determining the metrics with which they will select the feedback that they will reject and those that will be accepted and eventually used as the basis of the design.
Adopting the concept of UX design sprint
A design sprint is a five-day period that is used for the process of answering critical business questions. UX design sprint for designing, prototyping, and testing ideas with users will increase the quality of UX. Several companies use design Sprints to answer some business questions that are posed by their business partners or other stakeholders in the enterprise. And some others define their product direction, build the desired team culture and reveal their strategy through the UX design sprint.
Conduct UX review
The UX design development workflow will require to do UX review . Attention should be paid to this. UX design process and documentation has to be dealt with and reviewed to take out unnecessary information.
Try some new tools
In creating an excellent website or mobile application, the software design development stages and flow must involve the use of new tools. Creating the UX design that you so desire, will require you to try your hands out on new stuff, adopt the use of new tools, don't be too rigid, be flexible in your choices and give room for changes. Only then can a designer arrive at creative and truly efficient UX designs.
Get feedback from your audience
It is relevant that after testing the design with people, they are given the platform to drop their feedbacks. This is the fuel with which the UX process runs.
Analyze and Optimize
It is necessary that the process is analyzed properly and optimized to improve the existing gaps.
Conclusively, website creation and application design process requires UX designers to provide users with the experience they expect to get from the use of the website or application. It is therefore quite important that caution is taken while going through the different process and approach to UX design development. This is true because the process is a germane determinant of the rate of turnover in rate per click on a website.
For efficiency, sometimes it is usually better to outsource your design development to IT company that has already well established and consistent UX design process in their design team then create your own design team from the very beginning.
Having extensive expertise in providing design services, our design team delivers results matching your business needs and users satisfaction of your product design both. Despite our huge experience and personalized approach for every client we still offer yet affordable design development and redesign services, so don’t hesitate to get our free consultation to scale up your business with better design.