My process is user-oriented and my goal is to anticipate what the user could desire.
RESEARCH + STRATEGY
Before I begin a project, I prefer to understand who and what I will be working with. Who is the client? Is this a new technology or something I am already familiar with? What are their goals for the business? Is their product unique and/or proprietary? If not, what other companies do they most closely relate to? What problem does their product or service solve? We can define the current needs of the potential users through research and then work to provide a solution by anticipating desires and thinking into the future. All of this will help make for an impressive experience for the users.
When enough data has been compiled, the UX process begins:
- Personas: Based on your research findings, develop user personas that are representative of the typical user and then create features and design the product with their needs in mind as well as looking to the future for what these users might need.
- User Flows: Determine all of the interactions that will need to be designed. Establish a library of digital assets or find another way to maintain consistency and foster user intuition. Is there the potential for error or confusion?
- Wireframes: How do we envision user interactions? Simple sketches to high-fidelity wireframes are ways to visualize user flows and start planning for placement of features.
- Testing: Test interactions own their own and together in the whole process. Are prompts clear and concise? Is there anything we can remove from the design without it effecting usability? Can any interactions be eliminated to streamline the procedure? Are all steps complete?
Instead of jumping right into the visual design process I find it helpful to have the following questions answered:
- Is there a pre-existing brand identity or style guide to follow.
- Are there pre-existing visual elements to be considered and incorporated (ex. logo, font, etc.)?
- Is there a color palette or mood the client has requested?
After establishing the design direction, I then will begin the visual design process:
- Visual Design: Experiment with different styles involving various colors, typography, and patterns
- Mockups: Here's where everything comes together. Visual elements are applied to wireframes and modified until the desired aesthetic is achieved.
- UI Kit: All icons, symbols, colors, patterns and images are compiled together to be used for future reference.
TESTING. AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Product testing is and should be an ongoing process when the UX design process begins. Bugs and holes can be caught, reviewed, and addressed as needed while other features are being worked on. Catching these issues early on will improve the user's initial experience with the product. Keeping pace and constant communication will be essential to a successful product launch.