8 Steps of UX Design Process: All You Need to Know
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Want to learn about the step by step UX design process? First, find out why it is so important.
About 80% of customers are eager to pay more for a better user experience. So aside from potential profits and taking care of your product, UX helps you get a loyal audience and well-coordinated design teamwork.
In this article you will discover the most essential UX design process steps based on our experience in developing top-notch products for different industries such as Expedipay, Streamotion, and Rently. Our software dev company is proficient in user experience design, delivering numerous successful projects to the market. Read on!
What Does UX Design Process Look Like
UX design is the process of creating a product design that provides a valuable experience for users. It includes all the efforts in design development to make the website or mobile app easy, straightforward, and user-centered.
UX development process focuses on the improvement of the following digital product aspects, including:
- User satisfaction with product design
UX is a design process 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 such as the homepage of a website as well as more complicated interphases, because it’s largely dependent on the peculiarities of the project.
Different projects require different UX approaches, although some UX practices and deliverables are universal to all projects and consequently should be followed for each project. These practices would include conducting product research before moving on to prototyping.
Why Is UX Design Important for Software Development?
UX design is critical in software development, equally for websites and mobile apps. In fact, without a solid user experience design process, a product would eventually lose credibility with its consumers as it won’t be doing a great job meeting its users’ needs.
If loyalty to your software decreases, the number of users will drop accordingly. As a result, your reputation and profits may feel the effects. Look at the following stats that confirm our arguments:
- According to Hubspot, 88% of users will not return to a website with poor UX.
- 90% of users will stop using a mobile app because of its unsatisfactory performance.
- According to an Amazon Web Services study, eCommerce businesses lose 35% of sales due to poor user experience.
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.
For Which Business Industries UX Design Matters the Most
UI/UX design process can significantly influence the further success of products in various business niches. Yet, there are some industries where a thoughtful user experience is vital. Let’s dwell on them in more detail:
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Real Estate Software
UX design plays a significant role in the real estate field. And now we will explain why.
Typically, digital products in this niche aim to sell or rent real estate. Such software should enable users to conduct transactions, conveniently view housing offers, and learn all the information they need about real estate in your product.
If your software has a poor UX design, it can negatively impact your audience. From the point of view of ordinary users, they need a simple solution that allows them to buy or rent a home in a few clicks. From the perspective of real estate agents or landlords, your software should be easy to post housing offers, etc.
With healthcare software, the issue of UX design is even more critical. What should your software be like if all people, regardless of age, need to see a doctor from time to time? The main idea is to make your product accessible to any user. The same applies to software for medical professionals, e.g., remote patient monitoring apps.
A well-thought-out UI UX design process guarantees eCommerce businesses higher earnings and more loyal customers.
According to Amazon Web Services, companies that invested significant budgets in the UX of their digital products saw their sales increase by 75%. And even those businesses that put less money on user experience could witness an increase of 60%.
The field of finance itself can be challenging for the average customer to understand. Therefore, FinTech software should guarantee the smoothest possible user experience. For example, financial apps should offer hints for financial terms and display complex information in simple graphs and charts.
The Fundamental Concepts of UX Design
Well, we got the importance of a great UX design and that only a well-set-up design process helps develop it correctly and effectively, meeting your business needs.
Several concepts and terms should 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 human-centered designs. It is a UX methodology that offers a solution-based approach to solving human-related problems. According to d.school, design thinking occurs in five stages, which include:
Based on design thinking, there is a methodological process that is a design sprint. It helps to leverage the design thinking mindset and make data-driven decisions.
It is a five-day period to answer critical business questions and solve problems through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. The concept of 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 aid in creating cooperation and togetherness in the team. It helps people bond together. It’s a creative activity that requires relaxation and revitalizing of teammates to ensure that only the best ideas come forth.
The Lean UX vs. Agile UX
Besides design thinking, there are other approaches to establishing 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 on the Lean UX topic.
Lean UX is a different term from Agile UX. It’s true, even though some others think otherwise. Lean UX refers to the distinct methods and applications used in the dynamic environment of a Lean Startup. Lean UX unites product development and business through constant measurement and using its so-called “learning loops”: the build — measure — learn synch.
It 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 product development process.
Most Lean UX teams use Agile UX to coordinate their software development. Both are interconnected and can be used as a complement fire to each other. For instance, for startups, Agile will emerge as the perfect option and obvious choice of software development methodology.
Besides these concepts, there are other common UX design methods and techniques. But before applying them to practice, it’s critical to develop your design process through consistent stages that are parts of the entire UX system.
So, let’s review the most critical stages of the UX design process.
8 Most Essential UX Design Process Steps
There are numerous stages involved in the UX design development process. But regardless of the variability of user experience design steps, they have been broadly grouped into major processing phases. They are universal to all UX design approaches and include:
1. Stakeholder Interviews
Stakeholder interviews are one of the primary UX design process stages. It’s the first thing that will help you establish the design procedure because, in this phase, you define your business goals, vision, values, and your product’s strengths and weaknesses.
In turn, stakeholders are people whose opinion is critical for the further development of your project. That’s why you should start the UX app design process by interviewing them.
For stakeholder conversations to be productive, you first need to decide who you want to interview and whose opinion matters for your project. Next, you need to record all the discussions and give them to the UX designers for further analysis.
As a result of this phase, you and your team will have clearly defined goals for your product.
2. User Research
User research is one of the most critical stages in any UX design process. It’s significant since UX aims to achieve optimum user experience. This stage is when a designer gets curious about the users’ opinions of the product.
User research aims to put the designer in the product user’s shoes-empathy and to understand their problems and needs.
In this process, you need to conduct interviews and observe and administer surveys around the product; the survey procedure should start with studying the problem space, then planning interviews with stakeholders and potential users. Another process to take care of is to research product competitors.
3. User Personas and User Sitemap/Flow Creation
It’s one of the most important UX process steps. 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’s important to note that user personas represent user story and flow; it does not express the ideas and opinions of all the possible users, with emphasis on ‘all.’ Instead, it is 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 and their motivations and problems.
4. Information Architecture Creation
Information architecture is quite a crucial phase of the UX design development process. Sitemaps are used to show how the navigation should be structured, and it gets useful in demonstrating the relationship and interconnectedness between different pages on the website.
5. Wireframes Development
A wireframe is a visual guide in the design process used to represent the page structure. Wireframing acts as the backbone of the product, and designers often use them as the skeletal framework for mockups.
In developing wireframes, tools such as Sketch, Figma, Axure, Adobe XD, Balsamiq, and a long list of others can be helpful. Using these particular ones will ensure that the designed wireframes have aesthetic appeal and excellent construct.
6. Interactive Prototypes Development
An interactive prototype is the next stage in a line. It involves using design software such as Sketch, Photoshop, or Illustrator to design the actual interface of the UX. It’s the point of interchange between UX and UI.
7. Prototype Testing
This step of a UX design process aims to learn if your solution works out as planned. It also strives to review your project’s efficiency regarding services provided. The form of prototype testing that can be run on the UX project will include paper and digital prototype testing.
This stage, the final phase of the UX design process, involves developing the project design based on the users’ opinions 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 together:
The Most Effective UX Design Practices
You can establish an excellent process of UX design by adhering to the following tips:
Communicate with Your Audience at the User Research Stage
It’s a critical tip, and you should pay adequately to achieve this. During the first stage of the design, designers would be expected to conduct user experience research. In this process, they will handle surveys and try to get feedback on their intentions from their users.
Designers must get it right at this point. They should note and ensure that the right sect of prospective users’ is engaged. And designers should be careful in determining the metrics with which they will select the feedback they will reject and those that will be accepted and eventually used as the design basis.
Adopt the UX Design Sprint Concept
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 business questions 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 process will require a UX review. So you should pay close attention to this. UX design workflow and documentation have to be dealt with and reviewed to take out unnecessary information. This advice is also relevant for UX design in eCommerce.
Try Some New Tools
The software design development stages and flow must involve new tools in creating an excellent website or mobile application.
Developing the UX design that you so desire will require you to try your hands out on new stuff, adopt the latest 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 feedback. It’s the fuel with which the UX process runs.
Analyze and Optimize
It is necessary that the UX process is analyzed properly and optimized to improve the existing gaps.
6 Qualities Your UX Designer Should Have
After learning about the main UX design phases and best practices, you should understand that the key role in this activity lies with the UX designer.
We’ll share the main qualities a qualified specialist should possess.
1. Decent Communication Skills
Communication skills guarantee that the designer clearly understands and articulates the goals of your product and knows how to share his vision. Your employee will need this skill during the user research phase and the interviews.
Empathy, or in other words, compassion, is another quality that should be characteristic of every UX designer. Only by putting yourself in the shoes of users and understanding their pain points and needs will your employee be able to offer the best solution for your audience.
3. Proactive Learning
Your UX specialist should also be motivated to learn new things. These can be both new tools for work and the latest trends in user experience.
4. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking will help your designer find connections and analyze data from users and stakeholders.
5. Tech Skills
Every user experience designer must have some technical skills. It does not mean he should be able to write code independently, but he should know how developers work. Furthermore, it is necessary to coordinate the work of designers and engineers.
In addition to all the qualities mentioned, ideal UX designers must be confident in the solutions they offer for your product.
So these qualities will help you go through all the UX design steps better.
How Softermii Can Help
Softermii has profound experience creating products that help our customers stand out from the crowd, attract loyal users, and increase revenue.
Our team can easily handle the UI/UX process steps for you. Our services include:
- Study of business requirements
- Creation of customer journey maps
- Creation of user personas
- Development of information architecture
- Creation of wireframes and prototypes
- Delivering visual design
- Design testing
- And UI/UX implementation
That is, we can do everything we discussed in today’s article for you.
Here are some examples of our recent efforts:
Expedipay is a mobile banking application that enables P2P transfers. Our designers have made this product convenient and intuitive while offering a modern, accessible interface.
Streamotion is a mobile app that drives the eCommerce niche by offering the sale of goods through live broadcasts. Our designers created UI/UX mockups and implemented the finished solution according to the audience’s requirements in the emerging commerce niche.
Rently is an IoT-powered mobile and web application in the real estate industry that enables housing rentals. Our designers made the rental process as convenient as possible by developing mockups and implementing ready-made accessible design solutions containing multiple details.
The website creation and application design process requires UX designers to provide users with the experience they expect to get. Therefore, taking caution while going through the different approaches to UX design development is vital. It is true because the process is a germane determinant of the turnover rate per click on a website.
For efficiency, sometimes it is better to outsource your design development to an IT company that already has a well-established, consistent UX design process in their design team than to organize your design team from scratch.
With extensive expertise in design services, our team delivers results matching your business needs and users’ satisfaction with your product design. So, don’t hesitate to get our free consultation to scale up your business with better design.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best practices for the UX design process?
The best advice would be to focus on human-centered design. You must communicate with your audience and study all feedback as thoroughly as possible. It will also be good to follow the latest design trends and tools, conduct UX reviews, and use the concept of design sprints.
Which step of the UX design should you focus on the most?
No stages in the UX design process can be given less attention. The product’s success will depend on properly implementing each step, so we advise you not to neglect any phase.
What is the average cost of a UX design for software development?
The cost of the UX design depends on its complexity and the rates of UX specialists. But the minimum cost of this service will be about $4,000 and may even reach $35,000.
Can your company provide UX design services for my product?
Yes, Softermii has considerable experience in this field and can implement a design of any complexity for you. So don’t hesitate and contact us.
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