The importance of UX design cannot be overstated.
While UX design extends into multiple industries and disciplines, it is most commonly associated with digital design for websites and apps.
This article looks into the essential steps of every UX design process that results in a digital product that captures the user’s attention.
We will begin by establishing what the UX design process is and why it matters.
UX (user experience) design is the process of enhancing the user’s satisfaction with a product through a design that aligns with their journey, which provides value and improves usability and accessibility.
User experience design encompasses all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product and how they feel when using it. The goal of UX-designed systems is to make the user experience simple and satisfying.
The term “UX design” is often used together with “UI (user interface) design”. UX design deals with the entire product experience, while UI design is mainly focused on its visual aspects like buttons, typography, hierarchy, images and others.
UX design typically refers to digital design, like web design or app design, but it is also involved in a lot of different products and services like industrial design.
Although UX design focuses on the end-user by creating value and providing the solution to their needs, it also delivers numerous advantages to your business, too.
Each $1 you invest in UX can earn up to $100, which is an ROI of 9,900%! Also, companies that have the best UX design boost their revenues and shareholder returns at almost twice the rate of their niche competitors.
ROI is one of the core metrics all businesses prioritize, as it determines the future of the brand: if it can thrive in a competitive landscape or not.
UX helps avoid the wasted product development time by 50%.
McAfee, for example, cut down their support calls by 90% as a result of their UX design overhaul.
Prioritizing user experience and keeping it central to your product design efforts helps you get in front of potential issues even before they happen, which reduces the friction later on, including the company costs.
Building relevant product features take less time, customer support handles fewer calls and engineers have lesser errors to fix.
Investing your time and resources into UX design improves relations with customers, builds their trust and, ultimately, boosts brand loyalty and customer retention.
As previously stated, a great user experience design can increase conversion rates by 400%.
A good UX design differentiates quality products – including websites and apps – from the average to the bad ones.
Apple’s design-first mentality and UX focus helped them attract a huge chunk of users, even though its products are not among the most affordable ones on the market.
You can also check out DesignRush’s interview with one of Los Angeles’ leading UX design agencies to find out more about their B2B web design process for high conversions.
It is time to define the 5 essential phases of every UX design process resulting in products that engage users and solve their pain points.
The first step of every UX design process is creating a plan to ensure all stakeholders and interested parties are on the same page.
Your plan of action should consist of:
Getting feedback from potential users at every stage of the UX design process is instrumental, as this will help your UX design team build the end-product your target audience wants.
Before getting into the actual UX design, you should conduct thorough research of your target audience, including their pain points, desires, habits and expectations, to better understand their goals and how your UX design can help them reach those goals.
To research on your end-users, there are several methods you can use:
If you don’t carry out in-depth research on your target users, you risk creating your UX design on assumptions which results in a poor market fit for not addressing the users’ problems.
The actual UX design phase consists of these steps:
UX designers create sketches to propose designs concepts as well as refine them for future stages. Sketching enables them to execute their ideas as they come and make collaborative decisions on which path to pursue.
Wireframing is creating a “skeleton” for the final product or a simplified representation of the end product.
For example, in website UX design, a wireframe contains the proposed look and layout of every website page, with placeholders for all suggested elements, modules and content on certain positions on a page.
Wireframes help communicate the design ideas and suggestions to stakeholders in order to collect feedback on the design before moving on to prototyping.
In digital UX design, an Information Architecture (IA) classifies, organizes and structures the content flow of a website, app or any other digital product.
The purpose of IA is to support the design’s usability and navigation to provide the users with the exact information they need at the right time.
A good IA is defined by card sorting and tree testing. These two principles reveal how the users see the product’s information and content and at which stages of their journey they expected them to be located.
This particular step of UX design lets you visualize the user’s different journeys and interactions to help you understand where you should direct the user at each stage of their journey.
For example, one user journey may require directing them from the home page to the product purchase or sign-up page.
A prototype is the mockup of your product with the final design implemented.
Much like wireframes, prototypes are used to present ideas and design concepts to target users and stakeholders, albeit in a much more advanced stage of product creation.
There are three types of prototypes, according to their complexity and stage of development.
During the final stages of the UX design, performing usability quality assurance testing will help you identify issues, track vital metrics and evaluate the usability of the product.
Testing is a vital part of the UX design process, especially during the final stages. It will help you assess your current performance compared to its previous versions or your competitors’ products. This summative testing should entail a focus group of 10-50 users in order to collect reliable and conclusive results.
To make sure your final product meets the requirements, the testing & launch phase usually consist of:
Once the product is launched, another round of analysis is required to evaluate the final product’s UX design.
At this stage, the questions you should ask include:
This post-launch analysis of your UX process and the final product will shed light on the product’s real value and user experience, which provide knowledge and insights for future developments.
To be successful at UX design, there are some core qualities that a UX designer should have to set them apart from the rest.
Soft skills (non-technical skills like personality traits, situational and emotional awareness)
Industry skills (specialized skills, knowledge and abilities unique and important for the UX design career)
Crossover skills (skills that a UX designer can bring from previous or related occupations)
User experience is a crucial consideration in the development of digital assets like websites and mobile apps.
Providing good usability and an overall enjoyable user experience result in better user retention, boost in conversions and greater ROI. The five vital steps of the UX design process are:
It takes more than just skills to become a successful UX designer. Therefore, it is a task best left to experienced specialists who also have the tools and qualities to develop user-centric digital platforms.
DesignRush has hand-picked and ranked the leading user experience design agencies on the market to help you find the right fit for your business needs.