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User experience, or UX, is the most unheard yet important part of the design process that will not be brought up until something goes wrong. UX is the backbone of the design process because it is about how users feel when they are interacting with a specific digital product. UX is used in everything ranging from product conceptualization and visualization to the final product. The concept of UX comprises accessibility, usability, design or aesthetics, performance, ergonomics, marketing, and overall human interaction.
Good user experience is about creating emotions, connections, and intuition inside users whenever they land on a website or an app or any other digital asset. And, then, there has to be a well-defined process for building result-driven experience. So is there a cut-and-dried process for building empowering user experience every time? Well, not exactly.
There is no one-size-fits-all experience, and the process of building it completely depends on the project, the budget, the deadline, and the audience. There is no specific process of designing empowering user experience, but the most common phases involved in a robust experience-designing process are given below.
The design and development of user experience begin at the strategy level and affects the entire design lifecycle. This process starts by developing a strategy that lets the designers understand the existing business model, research about the end-users, and explain how a specific service can fit inside a user’s perspective. A strategy that underpins user experience will easily shape the design project’s overall goals such as:
- What is the organization trying to achieve with this specific project?
- How does UX’s success need to be measured?
- What is the UX’s priority within the grand scheme of things?
Techniques Used During The Strategy Phase
This is a proven strategy that is used for performing a review or audit of all the competing apps or websites; apart from being used for strategic planning, this analysis is even implemented in the research phase. This strategy is even deployed for carrying out the user testing of all the competing web properties and for writing the reports to summarize the entire competitive landscape.
This phase includes the following tasks.
- Purchasing or downloading or signing up for different digital assets that compete with a business’s own product and seeing how they work.
- Carrying out the user-testing sessions of these products will even deliver valuable insights.
This is one of the most-used strategies that are implemented for analyzing the web or mobile usage data and for making different recommendations. Again, this strategy is not only limited to be used in the strategic phases; other than this, it is also implemented in the research phase.
While executing the analytics review, these following tasks are performed.
- All the analytics packages offer key reports on visitor demographics, frequently visited pages, bounce rates, and much more.
- Here, instructional content will be added to interpret web analytics in the coming time.
Customer Product Insights
Once again, interactions with customer are done in both strategic and research phases. In this part, a well-defined strategy is implemented for connecting with all the key contacts that can help in client organization funding or selling or in driving the product to the completion stage.
During the interviews with important customers, the following objectives should be kept in mind.
- All the interviews should work well for experiencing the right insights from internal customers.
- These insights help get the most actionable insights into brand values.
Also known as the discovery phase, this period is the most volatile one because it changes as per project requirements. Complex projects will always include specific competitor- and user-research activities. However, there are small startup websites that may skip all the comprehensive research activities other than a survey or informal interviews. Most designers believe that the research phase is one of the most crucial parts of developing informed UX. Now, here are the most popular techniques that are used in the UX research phase.
Techniques Used During The Research Phase
While making different contextual enquiries, UX designers should interview various users about the location where they will be using their apps or websites. This will help the designers come up with a design that can let the prospective users overcome their mobility challenges while using the app or website or any other web property.
In carrying out contextual enquiries, the UX team can achieve the following tasks.
- Examine the physical setting where the client’s digital assets will be used; the physical setting includes environment and location.
- If the contextual enquiries are conducted successfully, the UX team will get the added requirements that will clearly define various other project requirements.
Surveys are doubtlessly becoming the most accepted tool for UX designers. Developing a cutting-edge survey is just like designing an immersive user experience. These surveys are a complete waste of money, time, and other resources if the users, or audiences, are not at all at the heart of the entire process.
The UX designers should carefully craft an effective survey that achieves these tasks.
- Gathering feedback from users on the product idea.
- Exploring all the different reasons why prospective users will use the client’s digital asset.
While working on any specific redesign project involving any mobile site, intranet, or website, the UX designers will sure want content-heavy changes to be implemented. During such times, the key task is of content auditing. This research part becomes all the more important whenever a content-heavy website needs to be redesigned.
With a good content audit, expect UX designers to do the following tasks.
- Listing the site’s existing content in a big spreadsheet.
- Identifying different relationships within various content structures.
The main aim of the analysis phase is to get the right insights from the data that was collected during the UX research phase. In the analysis phase, all the collected data lets UX designers understand which of the points can help them design and develop experience that will be loved by the website or app users. Communicating the understanding of the designers to the end-users will help validate any assumptions that are made by the design team.
Techniques Used During The Analysis Phase
This is one of the most important reviews performed during the analysis period. In the heuristic review, evaluate an app or a website to document all the usability flaws along with other key areas of improvement. This study is basically about finding and documenting the scope of improvements in the usability of a UX design. Used in research and analysis phases, this step is implemented by every leading web designing company.
If the heuristic review is implemented correctly, the following goals will be achieved.
- Checking the usability of a site or an app by developing an exhaustive checklist.
- Defining a road map for improving ROI through building a powerful UX design.
User testing lets UX designers know exactly how all the different parts of their website or app are functioning. In this phase, the designers will let several users sit in front of their designed digital product and test it in real time. Actually, user testing will be used in a variety of phases other than analysis such as design, production, and research.
Here are a few benefits of analyzing through user testing.
- Getting quality feedback from users can help businesses stave off several losses and bring down costs.
- Knowing all the probable areas where the asset’s prospective customers can get stuck.
A use case is a well-built list of all the steps that can define the interaction between a system and its users. Use cases, when deployed for developing software, are even constructed in the form of UML that has the defined actors with their respective roles.
The two top benefits of working with use cases in UX designing are mentioned below.
- Through well-built use cases, designers will know a lot about actual users and their goals.
- This technique even helps in developing concrete design requirements.
Any UX project’s design phase is one of the most collaborative areas that involve the right ideas and inputs from a variety of audiences. In this phase, the designers create attractive, user-friendly designs that are modified as per user feedback. The main goal of this phase is to convert the right ideas into the best designs, present the creation to different end-users, get their feedback, and refine. The design ideas can be represented as interactive wireframes, paper prototypes, and semi-functioning prototypes that reflect a business’s brand.
Techniques Used During The Design Phase
Also known as an activity diagram, a workflow diagram is a form of graphical representation of actions and activities that are carried out by a system’s user. With a workflow diagram, it becomes simple for a UX designer to know how, when, and where a user will interact with different parts of the asset’s UI.
The benefits of having a workflow diagram are given below.
- A clear representation of the interactions between users and the digital asset.
- A workflow diagram will give the insights that are easily learnable.
A workflow wireframe is that step which will let UX designers define how an idea of an application or website will take shape in the form of a digital product. A successful wireframe will require a UX designer to put her/his immense creativity and construction.
Top advantages of deploying a wireframe in UX designing are listed below.
- A good wireframe is always built to test as well as refine the page navigation.
- Know which interactive elements in a web design will improve the UX.
This is the design process that involves the UX specialists to create hand-sketched, rough drawings of the UI that can be used in the usability testing for gathering feedback. In this phase, the participants will be needed to click on the page where screens will be manually presented as per user interactions.
These two points explain how much important is paper prototyping in the first place.
- This technique is proven to test the feasibility and usability of initial ideas.
- Paper prototyping is a winner when it comes to designing for a range of upcoming or less popular devices
It is in the production phase where high-fidelity, approved designs are fleshed out. This is the phase where any leading web designing company will create the actual content for a variety of digital assets. The production phase even includes the development and deployment of high-fidelity versions of the digital assets that are reviewed by end-users and internal customers during the user-testing sessions. During this phase, the main role of any UX designer shifts from creating value-driving concepts to developing valuable digital products that will keep the vision of the project intact.
Techniques Used During The Production Phase
This phase involves the users to interact and operate with the digital asset, asking them to carry out the testing tasks. This testing can be done by the users while they are on the go, so that adds to its convenience too. As a user-centered approach, user testing can be used for making mission-critical UX design decisions.
Top reasons why user testing is used are mentioned below.
- Well-timed user-testing schedules optimize the development time.
- If done correctly, user testing will even bring down the number of changes to be done.
Unmoderated Remote Usability Test
This production technique analyzes the satisfaction levels of users from a digital asset’s interface and its operability. The data captured through this usability testing can be through either click-stream or through a video that provides a qualitative insight into end-user behavior.
The benefits of using the unmoderated remote usability test are as follows.
- This test works well when audiences are geographically dispersed.
- This testing technique takes very less time when compared with the time taken by moderated usability testing.
In this phase, only a group of select users will use the digital asset. This is the final production phase where the product will be launched to get the exact feedback covering all the major improvement areas. Once the beta launch is finished, the digital assets will be made available for the wider public.
The reasons why the beta launch is trusted by nearly every reliable web UX design company are here.
- Beta releases will give an insight into the areas of improvement that may make or break the UX
- The insights and learning from beta releases can sometimes be used for developing a spin-off digital product.
So here are all the steps that cover the entire UX process. If any of these steps are missed or performed incorrectly, any UX designer will create unimpressive experience for its users.
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