UX refers to the User Experience design process. Teams of design for product creation use it. Such products provide users with experiences that are relevant and meaningful. This process includes the acquisition and integration of the product, its branding and design aspects, product usability, and function. Aspects of UX also include usability and user interface design- UI design.
The process has five primary phases.
1. Studying the audience/users.
2. Identification of the needs of users.
3. Generation of design ideas.
4. Coming up with concrete examples from the generated ideas. (prototype)
5. Evaluation/testing of the design.
These five phases require tools and methods to be used in each, and output is produced in return (UX deliverable). The first two phases are combined and referred to as User Research in one term because users’ nature is what affects their needs. This User Research phase produces deliverables.
1. Deliverables of the User Research phase include:
A persona is a fictional character built to represent user stereotype. Its representation includes a real and complete user with goals, skills, frustrations, demographic background, motivations, and educational background. A designer is likely To capture a broad audience by developing several personas- based on its scope. The purpose of this whole persona process is to enable designers to have a clear understanding of the users of a particular product and what these users need to achieve.
A storyboard consists of the persona’s behavior in drawing- it demonstrates the actions of a user and the environment and circumstances characterizing these actions.
• Journey Map of a Customer.
It is a diagram meant to give a representation of the steps in the design process. The steps belong to users in their attempt to meet their goals. This diagram enables designers to understand users’ challenges and needs and relate them to where products and services might fit in.
2. Ideation Deliverables.
These belong to the phase of generating ideas. They are:
It involves several designers together to address the outcomes of the first deliverable. These designers generate uncountable ideas of all kinds from all points of view. Later, ideas are weighed and sifted through, the most promising remain- those that are found to be promising are used in a map to come up with solutions to solve problems in the design process.
• Flow Diagrams.
Flow diagrams refer to a representation of steps involving a user and a service or product to meet a specific goal. Whereas the customer journey map includes external factors surrounding a user, this user flow only focuses on the product/service and what happens to it. The user flow diagram aims to execute ideas from brainstorming and evaluate the use of a product/service in meeting the goal(s) of the user(s).
3. Prototyping Deliverables.
In the fourth phase, which comes up with concrete examples from the generated ideas, the prototyping deliverables are the output. It includes the following.
• Maps of Sites.
These maps expose the possibility of the user transiting between service sections. They are the kind of maps that are available in phone apps.
• Low-fidelity Prototypes.
With ready map sites, sketches with contents can be laid out. The low-fidelity prototype is a rough guide for designers on the placement of content- they omit visual design details. These same prototypes can begin as sketches that are hand-drawn and later advance to computer-drawn wireframes. Although the computer-drawn also lacks visual design details, their presentation of data and information is more actual than the hand-drawn.
• High-fidelity Prototypes.
These kinds of prototypes are also referred to as pixel-perfect. Unlike the low-fidelity, this high-fidelity is a little bit advanced and shows product details, both typographic and visual. They also require more production time, and their size is similar to that of the device in use.
• Interactive Prototypes.
Both the low and high-fidelity prototypes can be turned into a demonstration that interactive to evaluate designs better.
4. Evaluation of Deliverables.
Under the phase of testing designs, deliverables are,
• Usability Report.
With an implemented design, evaluations using real users can be carried out- this applies to even with an interactive prototype. Evaluation can be qualitative, where users are asked to complete a task, and things to aid in the evaluation are measured. These things are the time the users take, the number of clicks, and errors. For such things to be observed, the use of special equipment is required. There is also another mode of testing referred to as A/B. It requires giving users tasks, but instead of watching them perform, you wait for the result, make comparisons, and identify the better design. It does not matter the method you use for evaluation, provided you give a summary of findings in the form of a usability report- and a complete one contains individual sections.
Background summary summarizes what was tested, the place and time of testing, what was used for the testing (equipment and tools), and the people involved in the process.
Methodology- refers to the evaluation process, tasks are given to users for performance, the data collected, scenarios used, and participants together with their demographic backgrounds.
Test results. This section involves collecting data analysis, finding descriptions in text and bar charts, and user comments. Based on the report’s recipient, the test results section may also include advanced details, for instance, statistical analyses that were used.
Findings and recommendations. Recommendations have to be based on your findings. What went well and what did not should be stated, together with the next step to be taken.
Different audiences will be interested in various sections of your report; it is essential to ensure appropriate wording and structure.
• Analytics Report.
Having released the designed product and run it for a while, a company might avail data on the usage. It is this data that provides insights on usability improvements. The report is an essential record in that it shows the impacts of the design changes on your website after identifying and addressing issues.
UX designers are supposed to improve their skills in the following.
- UX research
- Collaboration with other designers- a UX design process is not just something one can do alone. A designer should, therefore, improve skills in collaboration.
- UI prototyping and Wireframing is necessary to get used to the two.
- UX writing. It requires words to be crafted perfectly.
- Visual communication.
- Empathy for users. As a UX designer, you have first to put yourself into the shoes of users to understand their challenges entirely and for you to also come up with solutions to the challenges.
- Interaction design.
- Analytics enables a designer to understand a user, a product, and the relationship between the two.
- Communication skills- remember, as a UX designer, you have to explain your ideas to other people who are not even designers, which is not easy. It, therefore, requires you to step up your skills on the same.
- Having an efficient laptop for web design
Sometimes both UI and UX designers may be caught up in the same tasks although they are different. The two have different roles and skills. UX designers focus on quantifying, gathering, and understanding the gathered data on user research while UI designers focus on the analytical and psychological side. With the skills of the UX designers above, below are the UI designer skills.
- Photoshop and Sketch tools of design.
- Typography and design elements knowledge.
- Graphic design skills.
- Design principles of knowledge.