What does my UX process look like? Well… honestly… “it depends”.
Budget, deadlines, clients, and suitability all play a huge factor in deciding which UX methods are to be used in a project.
Whilst what follows probably looks very much like a waterfall methodology (boo!) – the reality is that the process is iterative and agile.
Stages are iterative and go back and forth between phases as new information from research becomes known.
Methods are used in multiple places as things like user testing and a/b testing are useful at different times in the UX process.
A good full UX project will pick 3 or 4 of the methods mentioned in each stage, depending on what is suitable. Each stage can also be it’s own project, again – depending on the suitability and goals of the project.
My [ideal] Full UX Process
1 – Strategy
At this stage the key goal is to understand the project – how it fits into the company, it’s intended purpose and goals, and how the project success is measured.
- Competitor analysis
- Expert reviews
- Stakeholder interviews
2 – Discovery
Here the goal is the understand the user and their goals and motivations for using the product. By the end of this stage the goal of the UX designer is to understand the product from both the client/owner and users points of view.
- Focus groups & workshops
- Contextual inquiry
- User testing
- Content audit
3 – User modelling
No, I’m not looking for the next Cara Delevinge here, what we are doing is taking all the research concluded so far and crafting it into usable insight about the users and build some solid understanding that can be shared to the project team.
- Use cases
- User journey and flow diagrams
- Accessibility requirements
- Card sorting
4 – Content design
No great project starts with the designer jumping straight into Axure/Balsamiq/Sketch/[your tool of choice]. This stage is all about taking everything learnt so far and designing a solution to meet those needs and goals.
- Site maps
- Taxonomy design
- Device testing
5 – Optimisation
A successful product is one that continues to work for the user for as long as it is active. Nothing is ever perfect first time, so in this stage the major goals are to be continually improving the user experience and site performance. It is important to note that this stage can happen years after the initial Strategy and Discover phases were done – so it’s important to revisit aspects of those if possible.
- Conversion rate optimisation
- A/B testing
- Multivariate testing
- User testing