According to Wikipedia, user experience design (UX, UXD, UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. User experience design encompasses traditional human–computer interaction (HCI) design, and extends it by addressing all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.
User experience design most frequently defines a sequence of interactions between a user (individual person) and a system, virtual or physical, designed to meet or support user needs and goals, primarily, while also satisfying systems requirements and organizational objectives.
Typical outputs include:
- Personas (an archetypal user for whom the product or service is being designed)
- Wireframes (screen blueprints or storyboards)
- Prototypes (for interactive or in-the-mind simulation)
- Written specifications (describing the behavior or design), e.g. use cases
- Site audit (usability study of existing assets)
- Flows and navigation maps
- User stories or scenarios
- Site maps and content inventory
- High-fidelity visual mockups (precise visual layout and design of the expected product or interface)
General design process
While designing a product or service for a client, it is of utmost importance that the designers are on the same page as the client. All the information collected, plans made, design executed will reflect on the final product. Rigorous analysis must be done before proceeding to the design stage and then numerous testings done to optimize the site as per best standards so that the competitive edge is maintained. Leading Digital marketing companies combine three elements to provide the best responsive product to the customer. These are:
- Researching about the target audience
- Understanding the company’s business goals
- And most importantly apply out of the box thinking.
Brainstorming and testing ultimately leads them to finalize the design for their customers. Let’s have a detailed look at the step by step process of product design:
Collecting information about the problem
The UX designer needs to find out as much as they can about people, processes, and products before the design phase. Designers can do this by meeting with the clients or business stakeholders frequently to know what their requirements are, or by conducting interviews with users in their home or work spaces. This kind of qualitative research helps designers create products and services that better serve user needs.
Getting ready to design
After research, the designer must make sense of the data they’ve collected. Typically this is done through modeling of the users and their environments. User modeling or personas are composite archetypes based on behavior patterns uncovered during research. Personas provide designers a precise way of thinking and communicating about how groups of users behave, how they think, what they want to accomplish and why. Once created, personas help the designer to understand the users’ goals in specific contexts, which is particularly useful during ideation and for validating design concepts. Other types of models include workflow models, artifact models, and physical models.
When the designer has a firm grasp on the user’s needs and goals, they begin to sketch out the interaction framework (also known as wireframes). This stage defines the high-level structure of screen layouts, as well as the product’s flow, behavior, and organization. There are many kinds of materials that can be involved in during this iterative phase, from whiteboards to paper prototypes. As the interaction framework establishes an overall structure for product behavior, a parallel process focused on the visual and industrial designs. The visual design framework defines the experience attributes, visual language, and the visual style.
Once a solid and stable framework is established, wireframes are translated from sketched storyboards to full-resolution screens that depict the user interface at the pixel level. At this point, it’s critical for the programming team to collaborate closely with the designer. Their input is necessary to creating a finished design that can and will be built while remaining true to the concept.
Test and iterate
Usability testing is carried out through prototypes (paper or digital). The target users are given various tasks to perform on the prototypes. Any issues or problems faced by the users are collected as field notes and these notes are used to make changes in the design and reiterate the testing phase. Usability testing is, at its core, a means to “evaluate, not create.”