As a UX designer, it is likely that you have a ton of tools in your UX tool belt. However, in every project, you can’t use them all. Every project is different, which means that your UX process will likely be different as well.
One UX process may need 3 months of research, while another may need 3 days. Think about how many techniques and strategies that you could use. The list can probably go on forever.
At Codal, some of our ‘offerings’ include:
Information architecture, ethnographic research, market research, focus groups, persona creation, user interviews, user surveys, data analysis, observational reviews, competitive analysis, journey maps, empathy maps, sketches, DoGo mapping, paper prototyping, card sorting, content audit, sitemaps, user flows, user stories, heuristic evaluation, usability testing, mood boards, and annotated wireframes.
Still, this is only some of our UX offerings. If you did this entire process on each of your projects, you would be working on each project for a very long time. Put simply, it isn’t realistic. Each project has different needs.
It’s up to the designer to decide which techniques are appropriate for certain projects. One of the many goals of every designer should be mastering when and how to use every tool in their user experience tool belt.
Although every process is different, there are some key guidelines that every process should contain. Here they are:
Research and Analysis
Some sort of research is helpful for every user experience phase. Complex projects will need more, while a more simple project will need less. Whether you conduct 3 user interviews, or you use 6 different research techniques, the information you gather will likely to help you in the next UX step.
This stage is where the UX designer takes the research findings and starts creating the design concept through sitemaps, card sorting, sketches, or low fidelity wireframes. At Codal, we use Axure to craft our wireframes.
Once the design concept has been finalized, it’s time to put some visuals and details in it. Sometimes, this stage is passed onto a graphic designer, but not always. The deliverable at the end of this stage is typically the finalized prototype or PSD’s. At Codal, we use RedPen and Invision for this last step.