Creating and following an efficient UX/UI design process is essential for any successful product design. This is a difficult multi-step journey where you always should remember what UX stays for – user experience. By putting your users and their needs and preferences to the first place on each stage of UX/UI the process, you create a digital product that will be on demand by that same user and satisfy them completely. So, let’s break down the UX/UI design process step by step and discover useful tricks to make the end-user happy.
The objective of any great UX design is to make a good impression on users and win their hearts. However, you got only one chance to do it, so you need to be sure that your user is satisfied. How to achieve that? Research. You need to gather all information on the potential users and make the right sense of it. So, the user and research are two milestones of the UX workflow. But there’s more to that— business.
With the UX design process, you try to solve specific problems users encounter every day. Therefore, you ask yourself why you need to create something, meaning how you can help protentional users of a certain app for instance. But also, you should get another perspective and answer the “why” question in the business context. To do that you need to understand the type of software, device, and eventually product you want to create. Then, assess how it will be demanded by users and profitable for your business. Because to create a truly great product you should find a balance between user’s needs, business requirements, and budget resources.
Before beginning to make first sketches and shaping out your future product you need to gather all the available information about it. This includes your client’s requirements and UX design process requirements. Let’s take a closer look at each of these points:
You’ve probably already familiar with the fact that user research is all about understanding user needs, preferences, motivations, etc. This information is essential as the better you understand the potential users, the better experiences your app will deliver. There are some conventional means of data gathering like user interviews and meetings, creating user personas, etc. Here are other means for effective user research:
The prototyping stage allows designers to create a sample version of the product to see how it works and get feedback. This enables them to introduce iterations to the design and test new ideas without investing too much. In other words, at this stage, designers are trying to create the best version of the product. Here are the methods of achieving that.
|High-Fidelity Prototype||Low-Fidelity Prototype|
|Level of interaction|
|Clickable links||Yes (Most are clickable)||No|
|Automatic response to the actions of users||Yes (Links in this type of prototype work)||No (Screens are presented to the participant user by the person in the role of “computer”)|
|Realistic hierarchy of visuals, screen elements, and screen size||Yes (Visuals, meaning graphics, spacing, and layout are presented like they will look like in real product)||No (Only some or none of the visual features of the real product design is presented. Spacing and prioritization of elements can be preserved but not always)|
|Hierarchy of Content and Navigation|
|Content||Yes (This type of prototype includes all of the content that will be included in the final version of the product design)||No (This prototype only includes a summary of the final content)|
After successfully creating a prototype, the designers proceed to test it with the users. This UX design process step allows you to get valuable insights on the future product design, to check whether it meets user expectations, and to make sure that the initial business decision matches the reality, meaning whether a product is going to be profitable. Here are the essential design process steps at this stage.
Accomplishing all UX process steps is enough to create a good product design but maybe not enough to make it great. Here are some UI/UX design insights to get the whole process to another level.
Understanding user behavior and how they will conduct in a certain environment can be difficult. Moreover, sometimes users don’t fully understand what they exactly want or why they behave that way. Therefore, it can be very helpful to observe and analyze how they normally act in their everyday life. According to one research, it can be also very helpful to observe how people interact with their personal things, notably at home. The paper itself is focused more on the IoT and how to detect possibilities and challenges for this technology. But the same technique can also be applied to the UX design process.
The main point of this method is not to focus on the objects but rather on how people interact with them and the pattern behind those interactions. Therefore, it’s interesting to observe how people behave with their personal belongings like books and phones. This shows that you should look beyond the technical parts of your design to understand better user’s behavior and how you can help them.
This is another great way to get insights from your users’ behavior and understand their needs better. In a nutshell, cultural probes are user research method that helps designers to understand their everyday needs and challenges. It’s usually conducted at the beginning of the UX process. The participants of this research are asked to document. Also, give comments on the specific aspect of their everyday life. Basically, it’s a diary that users complete to understand their real behavior and get impartial insights.
This method is very helpful for designers to find inspiration, especially when your user research results in collecting too much data. The cultural probe itself can be made in any form, not only a diary. You can choose any method suitable for your design idea of collecting this type of data. Meaning you can ask users to complete routine tasks, take pictures every day, etc.
Nowadays society is becoming more and more concerned about global problems. According to research, most social issues require the change of personal conduct and products can influence users’ social behavior to achieve that. For example, if it’s a navigation app, you can add a message to ask users to drive responsibly or ask them to slow down when they’re driving too fast.
However, by aiming at influencing the user’s social behavior, designers should carefully think through how to implement this idea. The thing is, to persuade users to behave in a certain, more socially responsible way but not annoy them. Therefore, you need to find the right design solution and find the right approach to the busy and stressed out modern users.
To sum up, the UI/UX design process consists of multiple steps. Each of them is equally important to the product design and puts the users at the center of everything. Also, when building a UX design, designers shouldn’t forget about clients and the business goals they pursue. So, everything has to be in balance. Moreover, you shouldn’t forget about different ways to understand users and the social influence your app can have on them.
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