Research and Ideation
At the beginning of each design process, it is necessary to fully understand end-users and their needs. Research helps a designer to get into users’ mindsets. Storyboards can be created to give a better picture when and how the product can be used. The most common modes of research include observing customers, interviewing and conducting online surveys.
With the data gathered from this research, personas or fictional representations of real end-users, are then created. Personas are designed to describe their motivations, needs, expectations and goals. In doing this, a designer can better understand the customer’s mindset. From here, personas evolve as we gather user data through the project’s lifecycle.
After that, a customer journey map is created which describes what actions must a customer take to reach the desired outcome. Journey map graphically portrays customer’s experiences with your organization or product. Issues discovered gave us opportunity areas for design to develop possible solutions.
Design and Prototyping
In this phase, the designer begins to structure and organize content to create a wireframe. Wireframes are sketches or simple structural drawings of the future digital product. They represent an illustration that demonstrates how a site, software program or app will look. The goal is to improve the effectiveness of page navigation and enhance the overall customer experience.
This is commonly made by using paper prototypes first since they allow experimenting with designs and easy repairing of inconsistencies and errors. First user testing phase is done here to check that products are functional and that they provide the satisfying user experience. Such tests consist of observing how the customer interacts with the product. If there are any critical issues they must be eliminated immediately.
After that, a digital prototype is designed and built. Design feedback and collaboration is much easier using online tools so the whole design team collaborates using the same platform for ideation, design, prototyping, and design management.
After a digital prototype is up and running, another phase of user testing can be conducted. Tests again can be as simple as observing customer-product interaction or as complex as presenting different versions (A/B Test) of a product to the public (usually using online testing platforms) to see which design is better received. The latter can include questionnaires which provide the designer with an interview-like result about their product usage experience.
Any issues discovered are then eliminated and design is updated.
Analysis and Iteration
In the end, it is important to identify key metrics that allow us to monitor a product’s journey. These can be implemented by your company’s software developers in coordination with Google Analytics expert to identify how certain areas of your website perform. Statistic analysis is then conducted to determine exact results. Product performance analysis gives valuable feedback for each new product iteration.
Finally, user experience design should be an ongoing process that continues for as long as a product’s in use and is one of the most valuable company’s assets.