“User Experience (UX) is the entirety of a user’s digital experience surrounding a product.” -DesignLab
When it comes to creating a digital experience for our users, there are three main areas of focus. Each of these phases can include many different roles and process within them.
Research & Information, is about gathering information from users about the product. This is done through group interviews, card sorting exercises, and many other techniques. The goal of this phase is to take the information you’ve obtained and use it to map out your site. You want to make the navigation simple and intuitive for your users. Otherwise, you will risk losing them to a competitor. Taking time to think through your sitemap will set you up for success in the next phase.
Interaction Design focuses on page elements and the different ways to experience them. Start by thinking through common elements that appear throughout the site. For instance, the top navigation bar that’s visible on every page. When a user clicks on the company logo in the navigation bar, where does it take them? Does the image highlight or drop a shadow underneath to indicate it can be clicked on? The goal of this phase is to minimize errors for your users. All these small details will help inform the decisions for the next phase.
Visual Design considers the colors, images, text, and brand guidelines of a product. During this phase you will create the product’s finished look and feel. The results of this phase are what users will actually experience when they visit your site.
It is important to not rush through any of the phases listed above. So take your time to dive into each phase in order to create a great experience for your users.