UX Design process
In the software development lifecycle
1- Research the market. Understand what constitutes the chosen market segment today — both products and customers. Become aware of technology opportunities and nascent trends in order to hypothesize where the market may be headed. ‘Help us skate to where the puck will be.’
2- Research users. Identify and study the target users. Document users’ demographics and education, noting commonalities and differences. Gather requirements.
3- Offer a value proposition. Interpret discovery data. Model personas. Offer users something of value. Propose solutions to pain points, take advantage of technology efficiencies to save money and/or propose new revenue opportunities. Give customers a reason to use the technology.
4- Design workflows. Help users get things done. Design workflows geared for humans using their language, rather than the language of technology. Consider layout, taxonomy, labels and semantic messaging. Brainstorm and sketch flowcharts with lo-fidelity drawings to capture and filter good from bad ideas before committing to develop them. Make mistakes on the whiteboard; they cost less.
5- Design visual aesthetics. Derive visual elements from a graphic style guide to reflect the company’s brand in the user interface. Carefully choose or create fonts and icons. Balance proportion, color and perceived texture to portray personality and tone for an original look-and-feel. For utilitarian applications, be careful to balance and prioritize usability above aesthetics.
6- Prototype interactions. Combine workflows and visual design to build prototypes for scripted and/or free-form demos. Test internally and share with select customers, present at trade shows, etc. Deliver as semi-functional Web UI, clickable screens and/or screencasts.
7. Assist Engineering. Work with technical leads and scrum masters to provide design direction and clarify UI component behaviors. Establish check points (sprint reviews) to ensure product meets design expectations. Don’t let the train run off the rails.
8. Evaluate and iterate. Use analytics and user feedback to evaluate how the user experience performs for users. Interpret data to inform the product roadmap striving to iterate and refine continuously. Add only features that address a concentration of customer needs and satisfy business goals. Be disciplined and relentless in pursuit of a better product/service.