The UX process is the base of UX design. You cannot create a product with a good User Experience without having a strong User Experience design process. All the successful products have a well-defined and executed UX design process. Hence, creating an amazing experience while using the product.
To design an interface you users will absolutely love, the first step is to go through all the processes and know exactly what to do.
In this article, we will walk through the meaning of User experience. Secondly, On what is user experience design process and its stages. And lastly, how to apply and make great products your users will love.
What is User Experience(UX) Design?
Donald Norman, Apple’s former vice president of Advanced Technology Group was the first to use the term ‘User Experience’. The “user experience,” or “UX,” refers to how a user feels or what he experiences while using a product or service. It includes a person’s views on usefulness, usability, and efficiency.
The goal of User Experience design process is to be satisfying and easy to use. Although it is used in many products, it is most commonly used in digital design.
Why is UX Design Important?
If UX design is not used in product design, it can frustrate the consumer. The consumer may experience errors, an unclean environment, or choppiness. In the case of a digital product, this may result in the clicking of the website, uninstalling an application, etc. Ultimately causing loss of customers. As a result, the company face losses
The user will become loyal to the product and will remain satisfied when a UX is designed in a structural manner. User Experience also reduces costs and increases repeat customers.
With that, let’s take a look at the UX process itself.
The User Experience Design Process in Simple Steps
Before starting to create anything you must analyse and understand 2 important things:
- The User
- The Brand
The User: Firstly, you must assess ‘What is the problem?’. What problem is the user facing? And, how can it be done to solve the problem. When you answer all these questions. You get a clear idea of what you must build and how you can design it strategically. Understanding and connecting with the user will help you build a successful product.
The Brand: Secondly, you must understand how the product relates to your brand’s identity. Does your product relate to the objectives and goals of the brand? Does the timing of the product match the company’s timeline? Does the target audience of the brand match your ideal user of the product? All these questions will give you a clear idea of what you must design. Furthermore, it will ensure your product will not fail.
Once you have successfully pointed out your users needs and aligns with the brand’s objective, you must start your research. This stage of the process has the market and user research. Furthermore, in depth research will help the process to be cheaper and faster.
Although, this stage has many key points to research on, like- resource, complexity etc. The main points here are:
Interviews: Set up a meeting with an ideal user. Go in depth of their wants and needs. As a result, this will help you understand what their emotions, motivations, fears, behaviours , and habits. You get a strong idea of what to build for the target audience.
Market Research: Get to know the industry and find the scope of your product. You must identify its niche and understand its trends. This will ensure your products’ scalability and hold on the market.
The research you did above must be compared with the first step. You must challenge the assumptions you made in the first step, based on your research. Not doing so can lead to failure of the product.
You have collected the data now it’s time to draw insights from it. You have identified the ‘what’. Now we have to identify ‘why’. From this you have to derive conclusions of the most important elements.
This will include the following processes:
Creating a user personas: This is an imaginary profile of your ideal customer. You should include their age, profession,personality, gender, goals, frustrations etc. Analyse a number of things about your ideal customer just by looking at the personas. You can always come back and have a look at the personas while designing.
Creating user stories: A user story helps to see the product from the users perspective. It is a great tool to understand why the user will use the product.
Storyboarding: This acts as a bridge between the user personas and user stories. It is basically a story about a user’s experience with your product.
Now that you have the overview of the needs and and expectations, you can start working on the actual design part. You will visualise your ideas in this step. This is the most important stage of user experience design.
The design phase has following steps:
Wireframing or Sketching: Take a pen and paper and start brainstorming the solution. You do not have to be precise, just draw a rough sketch. Visualise how it’s gonna look and feel. Make basic structures and how it’s interconnected with one another. You can use design tools to make a working prototype or mock up.
Prototype: Create a prototype of the product from end to end. It is a stimulation of an actual product. As mentioned above you can create a prototype using design tools right after designing. A prototype can be low end like a working wireframe or advanced such as a programmed app.
Design Specifications and system: In this step you convert prototypes into a usable product. Inculcate components, design assets, styles and patterns. Moreover, it keeps the designers and the developers on the same track.
The design phase is an iterative process. You have to keep designing and redesigning until it’s perfect.
Software Testing, Testing the product is an important step because feedback is essential. Moreover it helps understand how users actually felt about the product. Start with Internal testing is the most easiest way to test out you product. The team itself analyses the product and fixes any bugs and issues. User testing also must be done so that you can truly observe the target audience’s feedback. You can also launch the product in Beta testing. Here, to give access to the product to a small audience. In this process you can find you and fix any small bugs.
Those were all the steps of the User Experience design process.