STRATEGY & DESIGN
UX/UI & PROCESS
Good UX/UI design creates a positive experience for your user by anticipating and fulfilling their needs.
Why is UX& UI design is important?
UX/UI design is the system designers create for that experience.
Any successful product or service, such as a website or app, needs good UX & UI design. With it, customers will remain satisfied and (ideally) loyal to your business. Without it, your user can be left frustrated and bitter with your product…resulting in, ultimately, fewer users.
UX/UI Design process are:
To understand the UX and UI design process, I will try and break down the phrase of how I see and work, but like all processes, there are often changes along the way and even if you try to follow the methodology that you have learned in school, or that most UX and UI designers considered the only way to work; I work with those in mind but they are not a bible and should only be used as a guide.
“UX”, or “user experience”, is how a user feels when they use a specific product or service, it can be a website or an app. It encompasses a variety of feelings including emotion, senses, and physical interaction. UX design, then, is the system designers create for that experience with the goal of having the user’s experience be satisfying and easy. And while it is involved in a lot of different products and services, it typically refers to the digital design experience.
“UI”, or “user interface design” is the process designers use to build interfaces in software or computerized devices, focusing on looks or style. Designers aim to create interfaces which users find easy to use and pleasurable. UI design refers to graphical user interfaces and other forms—e.g., voice-controlled interfaces, to keep in mind users are humans, with needs such as comfort and a limit on their mental capacities.
In the end I see that when I design any project the UX an UI are intertwined and the line between both are at times very thin. I always try to see the bigger picture and look not only at the UX side of things but also the UI when I am concentrating on the users experiences.
Good UX and UI design creates a positive experience for the user by anticipating and fulfilling their needs.
Any successful project or service, such as a website or app, needs good UX and UI design. With it, customers will remain satisfied and (ideally) loyal to your business. Without it, your user can be left frustrated and bitter with the final product…resulting in, ultimately, fewer users.
What I do as UX design actually is look at differ way to find a solution for every different project to give in the end and better product and every product is different for product to product and brand to brand. That means for example that Apple’s UX design is going to be much different than Google’s—so don’t worry about what the other team is doing.
With that, let’s take a look at the UX process itself and how I come to work though to the final deliverable products.
Remember, the UX and UI design process will be different from project to project that I take on.
That means I might stray from the stages that I outline, but that’s okay! What’s important is that you understand exactly what works for the project.
That means researching, iterating, and testing (aka everything I need is a good design process).
Let me jump to my process and how I will work on a project.
Stage 1: Understanding your project and Audience.
As the old saying goes: If you have four hours to chop down a tree, spend the first three hours sharpening your axe.
The same goes for design. Before you get started with any project, you need to get the basics down first. That means understanding two crucial elements:
- Your user
- Your brand
Since designing for the user experience is all about addressing your user’s pain points, I need to answer the question: What’s the problem?
Hunker down, because this brainstorm might take a while. What issue am I trying to solve for the user? What problem am I you trying to solve? And why am I the one with the answers?
When you understand what the problems facing your users are and you’re able to come up with the questions you need to answer, you’re able to create a strategy for design success (which will come in later).
Stage 2: Research
After you know that this project is in line with your core mission, and you know what questions you’re trying to solve, I’ll need to conduct research.
My user research is going to be the life blood of your project. The things you discover and unearth during this stage lays the foundation for how your entire project will turn out.
The most dangerous thing you can do as a designer is not challenge your assumptions. Good user research challenges all your assumptions and methodology that you have learned and used in the passed.
Some good methods of user research:
This is when you sit down with someone from your target audience and ask them pointed questions about their issues. What are they struggling with? What are they looking for in your product? Face to face interviews are preferred since you can gauge their verbal and nonverbal reactions but video or phone call can work as well.
- User and Focus Groups
This is when you have a group of 3 – 5 target users and have them discuss their attitudes, emotions, and frustrations with an issue or product. Remember: It’s a discussion—not just an interview. Encourage a dialogue between the participants and yourself.
- Surveys and Polls
These are questionnaires you send out to your target users. These are good for finding out your users’ attitudes towards a specific topic with the added benefit of receiving the data as soon as the users are done with the survey. However, you have to be careful not to use leading questions that could disproportionately impact the results.
- User Testing and Usability testing
This is the practice of observing your target audience using a program or product. For example, if you were a designer for the app, you might ask your user to pull up the app and interact with it for example if the app or website allows to place and order. As they do so, you observe how the act and react to the app. When they’re done, you can ask them questions about their experience. This is a great opportunity to see how happy your user is with the app and if it adequately addresses their needs.
Stage 3: Analyzing
In this stage, I’ll be using all of the information I gathered in the previous two stages to analyze and distill the most important elements.
Some good methods of user research:
This is where you create a personas that would be the ideal customer or user.
Designers use them to help understand a number of things about their customers including their:
Think of personas as your North Star when it comes to all your decisions. If you ever encounter a tough problem, you can always refer back to your persona and ask, “What design best services this person’s needs?”
And you don’t have to distill all of your target users into one persona. You can create multiple personas to represent the varied users you have.
There are times when it is harder to find the ideal persona as at times your clients audience will be very large and I have had debates with other UX and UI designer where we do not see eye to eye as they are hardcore to only follow the methodology and that my vision is all over the place, the thing is I have at times see things that others UX designers haven’t see because they are blind folded and don’t want to stop using they only way they know, but at times you have to step out of what you know and look beyond.
Stage 4: Designing and Wire framing
Now, it’s time to actually build out the design. That means building things like:
One of the most important things you can create at this stage is the wireframe. A wireframe is like the prototype of your product—a bare essentials representation of your product.
It’s a low fidelity version of what your product will eventually look like. They’re typically notable for the block layouts and and “X” placeholders to represent future images, and help accomplish three things:
- Presents information that will be displayed on the page
- Gives an outline of the structure and layout of the page
- Conveys overall direction and description of the user interface
Like a user journey map, this will give you a comprehensive look at your users’ experience with your product.
This is an iterative process. That means you won’t get it all done in the first go. You’ll have to design, redesign, scrap it, and design it all again.
Hyperventilation and overconsumption of coffee is completely natural at this stage.
Stage 5: Launching
After designing and redesigning until you go cross eyed, you’re going to reach a point where all your assets are ready to ship.
Transform the static designs into clickable prototypes, using some of the tools such as Figma or Adobe XD are my preferred ones.
That means it’s time to implement; pass everything to the development team when I work within a company or as most of the time I will be using WordPress and Elementor pro builder or coding it in HTML and CSS Bootstrap and then I will hand over to the dev team who will implement the rest and code the other parts.
This process will feel much like being in the waiting room while your significant other goes into labor. You’re nervous, stressed, and just hope the baby isn’t weird looking when it’s delivered.
Once it is delivered, there are several ways you I go about making sure that the product is perfect (or close to it):
- User testing. Like the usability test, this involves you observing your target audience using the actual program.
- Beta launch. This is a limited release of your product to a small amount of people with the goal of finding issues and cleaning them up before you launch it to the world.
- Internal testing. When your own team uses the product and tests out each facet of it.
Feedback with the development team is crucial at this stage. You want to make sure that you clearly communicate any issues that arise and make sure that they are addressed before your product launches.
Stage 5: Analyzing and reevaluating
Once your product launches, it’s time for another round of analysis.
Instead of looking at the results of your research, though, I’ll be taking a look at the overall final product.
Some questions you might ask yourself:
- Where did our process go right? And why?
- Where did we struggle? And why?
- How are our users responding to the product?
- Did it solve their issues and pain points?
- Where can we improve the product?
- What lessons can we take away from this process for future products?
By thoroughly analyzing the product and the UX and UI process, I’ll be able to get more out of the experience than just a product you also gain invaluable knowledge you can leverage for the future.