The term ‘UI/UX design process’ was first introduced in the late 1990s by the famous designer and cognitive Psychologist Donald Norman. Since then, a lot of studies have been conducted in the field by different industries for utilizing it to their advantage. He once stated as follows:
“ I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were extremely good. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system, including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual. Since then, the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to gain its meaning.”
— Donald Norman
The words of Steve Jobs are enough for understanding the value of a systematic and efficient UI/UX design process to create interfaces for the end-users! While designing his first Apple product, he was very keen on the design process, later on, his practices became the guidelines for tech giants like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, etc.
An exciting and simple user interface will capture a user. Such an interface will take the user on an experience that we design for them. Clarity is key to design to attain this feat.
Keeping all this aside. We intend to give you an insight into the various steps involved in the user experience design process through this writing. But at the same time, we will be seeing the basics on our way, for example, definitions of basic terms, UX design process diagram, and so on.
So keep reading!
Table of Contents
What is User Experience?
User experience is the value that the end-user gets while using your product. It all depends on enhancing customer satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure when a user interacts with your product.
Why User Experience Matters?
“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
— Robert L. Peters
A well-designed user interface not only presents your product effectively but boosts the customers’ confidence in your brand. Customers come to you whenever they require related products or services. It builds customer satisfaction and trust in return. Hence user experience design plays a vital role in meeting your business goals.
Simplicity or user-friendliness is the core thing that one should keep in mind while developing an efficient UI/UX system. Steve Jobs has always believed in simplicity.
According to him, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This is what makes your business stand apart from your competitors.
How To Approach UI/UX Design?
UI/UX Design is a part and parcel of the product development process. It is what decides the future or success of your product.
The best approach for a successful UI UX design is by combining the structure, content, and the user experience in a certain way, so that it enables your business to accomplish the goals.
Follow a user-centric approach, in the UI UX Design process. Adopting the strategy enables you to develop simple, intuitive, and engaging micro-moments which thrills the end-users. Thus, creates a push factor that makes you stand out from the crowd!. This is very much important if you want to become a good UI UX designer.
Top 5 Steps of UI/UX Design Process
The UI/UX Design Process is a methodology that, if followed, allows you to polish your user interfaces to be the best one possible for your business. If this process is not followed, then it may end up in a situation where you need to keep redesigning ourselves every time!
Well, now let us delve into the topic!
The entire UI/UX design process can be divided into 5 phases. The responsible department of your organization will be analyzing every single step, and hence it becomes almost perfect!
The various steps involved in the User experience design process are as follows:
1. Product Definition
Product Definition is the first phase involved in the user design process. The team responsible for this will collect the user requirements based on their business environment.
It’s very much essential because understanding about the real scope of the product and their existence happens in this phase.
It’s simple; before beginning the work, enlighten your UI/UX designers about the requirements!
People involved in this phase are Design Team, Business Manager, and Product Manager. The entire team should consult with clients in their environment. Analyze their needs within the framework of your operation.
The significant outcomes of this phase are User Personas, User Stories, and Use Case Diagrams.
The research is the most crucial element for a designer. The designing team studies how the present system works for the current client proposal. The three main functions at this stage are:
- Have an understanding of the competition.
- Making a thorough study of your existing domain.
- Going through competitor strategy to test outcomes.
The Research process should also involve an understanding of the latest UI/UX trends, design principles, and guidelines.
In this phase, make use of the things collected in the Research phase. With the help of the information received, create hypothetical personas, and experience maps.
- Hypothetical Personas: Creating hypothetical scenarios help the designers to know about the various persons who will be the users of your product. It allows depicting the realistic representation of the ultimate product. The design team can figure out how it is going to look like after delivery.
- Experience Maps: Experience maps shows the user flow within your final product. All these are done using visual representations through proper interactions with the client in the product definition phase.
In the design process, we finally end up giving life to ideas that we have collected in the above three steps. It’s time to work on the final graphics now. The design team will execute the final design in this phase.
The significant outcomes of the designing phase are:
Sketching: The designing phase begins with sketching. The designers usually make hand made sketches to visualize the concept with simple terms. The UX/UI designers can stick to a particular option after the sketching process.
Creating wireframes: A wireframe is a visual structure that depicts the page hierarchy and the elements in the product. A wireframe is considered as the backbone of the product. It’s also called the skeleton of the design. It’s mostly about the overall look of the final product.
Creating Prototypes: Prototypes concentrate on the feel of the UI/UX product that one is designing. It’s more about the interaction experience. Prototypes give you the effect of a simulator.
Creating Design Specifications: Design specification includes user flow and task flow diagrams. It depicts the overall working and the style requirements of the UI/UX product. It describes the processes and graphical elements to create amazing user experiences.
5. Validation or Testing
“Usability testing is the practice of putting designs to the test with real people to gather information about the user experience – how difficult or easy it is to use the product.”
As explained above, usability testing is a technique for evaluating a website's, app's, or other digital product's user experience by testing it with real users, giving them tasks to perform and watching them interact with it. The testing may be conducted on a website,mobile app or a design prototype.
The main objective of usability testing is to determine how user-friendly a website/app is, what parts of it are confusing for the end-user, and how easy it is to accomplish their goals with the product.
Why is usability testing necessary?
- To find out how users interact with your product
- To discover where and why users get confused
- To uncover usability and design issues, improve them and boost conversions
- To save money and time on fixing issues later on
There are primarily two approaches to usability testing:
Moderated :Requires a presence of a UX researcher to guide users through the whole testing process, give tasks and follow their behavior.
Unmoderated :This is a much cheaper way of testing that can be conducted anywhere, anytime, with no researcher present. A user is completing tasks without intervention, while an online tool is observing the responses and gathering data.
Unmoderated testing requires an online tool to perform the study. They offer deep analytics and help you to streamline the process of testing. There are many Usability Testing Guides , which explain the process step-by-step and can help you set up your own Usability Testing study.
For creating amazing UX/UI interfaces, one requires to follow a systematic and organized approach. A UI/UX design process strategy will help you in achieving the same.
The entire design team will be playing their part in the process. This is one of the best ways to retain your existing customers and attract new ones in this highly competitive world.
Well, contact a leading UI/UX design agency to work on your next project. It is bound to be an amazing experience.