We always treat the customer as a king for a business. We create business processes keeping a customer at the focal point. The same business philosophy should be implemented for digital products and services. In an online business, we have the digital landscape to play. We have a digital user interface to make our customers/users king.
In this sense, it differs from traditional processes for brick-n-mortar businesses. So today, I am going to give you an outline of the UX design process we used to follow at RP UXCollab while crafting design from concept to delivery.
What Is UX Design?
Before understanding the UX design process, let’s know the term itself. UX stands for User Experience. Logically, experience is a non-tangible term. It is related to a variety of feelings, such as emotions, sensations, and physical interactions.
So in simple words, user experience is how a user feels when s/he uses the products (digital or physical) or services. The term “UX Design” was invented by Donald Norman, Apple’s former vice president.
According to him, the term encompasses all aspects of a user’s experience with the digital system, ranging from industrial design, graphics, digital interface, interactions, and manual. In addition, it has goals of satisfying users with the system and making interactions easy.
What Is the Significance of UI/UX Design?
Do you prefer your patrons to be left annoyed, frustrated, and bitter with your website, web application, or mobile app? I think no business would like it. This is a prime reason that we invest in UI/UX design.
UX Design Stages
The following are the main stages of UX design in the software development industry.
- UI/UX Design Research
- User Persona
- User Interface Screens
- User Behavior Diagram
Let’s check them in detail.
UI/UX Design Research
When business analysts research business requirements, UX designers take a usability perspective in their research. Moreover, the UX design team deeply understands the purpose, tasks, and software’s technical characteristics. As a result, it helps them create a better user interface (UI) that leads to a better user experience in the end.
In due course, the UX design team creates the following documentation:
UX design brief gives the team the right direction and enhances the efficiencies of UX design research. In brief, the team put its assumptions, hard facts, goals, and other relevant information into a written format.
The ultimate benefit of preparing a design brief prior to carrying out UX design research is initiating a discussion to get the entire team (designers, product managers, and software engineers) on the same line.
Advantages of Preparing UX Design Brief:
- UX design brief cuts the ambiguity.
- It compels the team to run deeper thoughts about the key project inputs.
- It assists in finding out gaps in the team’s understanding of the project.
- It facilitates the team to be more constructive in its discussion, rendering things more tangible and specific.
- It clarifies the roles and establishes a basic way of working that leads to improving efficiencies.
- Finally, it eases and speeds up the onboarding process of new team members in the future.
Example of UX Design Brief:
What Should UX Design Brief Include?
UX design brief should include the following details:
- Company and product overview.
- Definition of problems you are going to solve.
- The project scope.
- The target audience.
- Project objectives and goals.
- The deliverable.
- Project budget.
- Project schedule.
- Communication and internal processes.
- Other relevant info regarding the client’s business.
We already discussed why UI/UX designers should create a user persona before going to the actual design process. There are three types of User Persona based on your approaches to developing them.
- Proton Persona is based on the existing knowledge of the target audience. So, there is no target audience research involved.
- Qualitative user persona, based on qualitative user research, involves target audience research on limited samples. It is often referred to as guerrilla surveys.
- The statistical method of research, which is intensive and thorough research on the target audience. So, it is expensive and time-consuming too.
How To Create a User Persona for UX Design Process?
We already discussed this topic in our Ultimate Guide. So, I won’t discuss it at length.
- Select your approach out of the given methods.
- Run target audience research or use existing info.
- Analyze the findings of your target audience research.
- Give your user persona an image and fill in details about its characteristics.
- Share your user persona across all team members.
User Interface Screen Section Schemes
It shows two things: main software sections and screens within each section.
Suppose you are designing Grocery App you need to draw a diagram the following way.
Here, the main software sections are :
- Shop by category
- Featured Products
Let’s see the screen in each section:
|Enter||Shop by Category||Account||Wishlist||Featured Products|
|Splash||Vegetable||Detail||List of items||Leafy vegetables|
User Behavior Diagram
When we draw a user flow chart or behavior diagram, we present technical terms to non-tech people in a way they can understand.
There are multiple options for a software user when S/he interacts with a software product. S/he can take many different paths, and the presentation of that path in the form of a diagram is called a user behavior diagram or user flow diagram.
In the flow chart, each node is a presentation of each touch point in a user journey. A symbolic shape characterizes each node. Each shape represents a process.
Why should you create a user flow diagram in UX design?
There are many advantages of drawing a user flow diagram, such as.
- Creating an intuitive user interface.
- Evaluating an existing user interface.
- Present your product or idea to the team or clients.
Types of User Flow Charts
#1 – Wire flow: It is a combination of wireframe and flow charts and is highly useful in mobile app design.
#2- User flow: It focuses on the way your target audience interacts with your software product. So, it is typically attached to the user persona and specific entry point.
#3 – Task flow: It focuses on how users travel through the system while accomplishing each task.
How to create a user flow?
- Understand the user.
- Create a flow outline.
- Entry point
- Steps to completion
- Final interactions
- Defining user flow elements
- Line with arrows
- Refining your outline
- Create meaningful label
- Color selection
- Be consistent with visual structure
Example of user behavior diagram.
UI/UX Design – Main Deliverable
After successful accomplishment of the research phase, the UX design team gets insights into:
- Visualization of future software
- Logic of software
- User persona
- User flow
Now they are ready to
- Visualize software logic
- Human interaction with software
- The user interface of future software product
Now, UX designers will pass through four main stages:
- Sketching or ideation deliverable.
- Wireframe or UI+UX deliverable.
- Prototypes (Mockups) or UI design deliverables.
- Slicing or Pre-development stage.
Let’s see one-by-one in detail.
In a sense, sketching is a rough hand drawing to generate, communicate, and refine ideas for a software product. You can share sketches with your team and clients to initiate brainstorming for software product ideas. Therefore, sketches are:
- Clear and apply common vocabulary so anyone can comprehend it.
- With minimum details.
- Appropriately refined.
- Suggestive and exploratory.
Types of sketches
There are four types of sketches used in the industry.
- Rich Photos: It is a mixture of doodles, words, and symbols.
- Storyboard: It is a storytelling approach.
- Maps: it’s useful when you want to visualize a particular process, hierarchy, or timeline. It includes a mindmap, sitemap, information architecture, user journey map, and empathy map.
- UI or user interface: It includes quick notes of envisioning the animation, icons, symbols, and shapes. All are in the rough stage.
Benefits of UX Sketching
- Generate Ideas
- Benefits of Ideas
- Communicate Ideas
- Iterate Ideas
- Fast Iteration
Wireframe aims to communicate and explore the concept that comes out of sketching. It’s an elaborated visual guide, in other words. The following are the wireframe’s characteristics.
- Has common vocabulary
- Minimum details
- Appropriately refined
This stage, also called a Low-fidelity wireframe, contains only the required information and basic design elements. At this stage, the involvement of the programming team and QA team is essential, along with the client-side team.
Essential Tasks for Designers
- Assemble project requirements.
- Develop architecture or structure/skeleton of future software.
- Give an outline of future software.
- Defined the set of UI elements.
- Create diagrams for different roles and define interactions in-between them.
Benefits of Wireframe
- It makes changes more efficient.
- Show architecture of software products.
- Clarify the features and functionality of software products before you build them.
- Let the team focus on UX design.
- Decide the responsiveness of the product.
- Ease content development.
- Save time and money both.
It is not a final design but gives a defined set of the idea and a big picture of a future product. Modern tools make them interactive and provide them with life. A prototype has the following characteristics.
- Has common vocabulary
- Full details
- Appropriately refined
Benefits of Prototype
- Cost and time saving
- Validate the entire concept of software development.
- Testing usability.
- Fast to create using modern tools.
- It aligns with the team’s understanding of the concept.
- Easy to develop using modern software.
- It gives a clear understanding of the future product.
- It proves engaging.
- Give an understanding of the technical feasibility of the future product.
- It lets the team understand the scope of the project.
- It gives a clear understanding of branding and branding elements.
It is a pure technical phase, and lets designers prepare the final design for use in programming. Slicing is a process of dividing a single 2D user interface into multiple images to use in the preparation of layers and other design effects. Technically, slicing reduces the workload from the computing device and storage spaces in device memory.
Who Will Do Your UX Design?
It must be an expert team of UX designers with the required experience. If you have a query about where you will find such a team, let me cite the name of RP UXCollab, an outstanding team of UI/UX designers with tons of design experience to their credit.
You can make a quick call or leave a message on instant messenger to discuss your requirements.