A UX and UI design approach can help you provide a solid basis for your work as a designer.
Here's a quick rundown of each of those phases, which you may use in a variety of settings, from tiny businesses to major corporations:
1. Business Research
Working with stakeholders to understand business needs, including what they want to achieve, how they want to solve the problem, and any assumptions (hypotheses) they have. Start by hosting a kick-off workshop and asking everyone to fill out a Lean Canvas – aim to include people from all sections of the company to obtain everyone's input: management, business analysts, researchers, designers, developers, and marketing.
2. Design Review
Examining the present system (website, app, service) to see what works and what doesn't - making notes on assumptions from a professional standpoint. Later on, these will need to be confirmed by study and testing.
3. User Research
Understanding your users' characteristics and proving your and your company's theories through surveys (using platforms like Google Surveys or SurveyMoney Audience), in-person or remote user interviews, and quantitative research (using systems like System Usability Scale). Make sure you share your results to your team, along with your ideas for how they should prioritise them, and that you have frequent show-and-tell meetings to do so.
4. User Journey
Visualizing the number of steps required for users to perform an activity and determining if they may be reduced (using tools like Draw.io or LucidChart). It's critical not to overlook unpleasant pathways and error states — those situations where things go wrong and users become irritated and abandon the project.
5. Content Design
Examining old content and developing new material. Creating a book cover without first writing a book is the same as starting UI design without first writing a book. If your organisation doesn't have a dedicated copywriter (also known as a UX writer), strive to raise the value of content with your business stakeholders, particularly your marketing team, as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may chose to teach yourself UX writing.
6. Information Architecture
Ensure that your system's material is well-organized so that it is simple to find and navigate. You may do card sorting with your target audience as well as internally to ensure that material is properly sorted and labelled (in person or using tools like OptimalSort). IA will assist you in creating a sitemap that outlines the hierarchy and structure of a system as a whole.
Using pen and paper, visualise potential ideas (preferably with a few modifications) as non-interactive low-fidelity mockups (or tools like UI Stencils or Balsamiq). You should concentrate on how your material is structured and how controls are put out at this stage rather than on design, colours, or branding.
8. Technical Feasibility
Confirming that the suggested design is technically feasible to implement using software engineers. The last thing you want to do is create a design that can't be implemented. Prepare to give up on some of your design ideas. It's critical that you have a positive relationship with your development team.
9. Visual Design
Producing high-fidelity UI design for each screen of your user journey (using tools like Sketch or Figma). Create a style guide (as a PDF or using Frontify) containing states of each UI component at this stage. This will assist produce consistent and familiar design across multiple systems and make it easier for designers and developers to collaborate. This will be a component of your overall design strategy.
Ensure that your design is ubiquitous and usable by everyone. Begin by ensuring that your system conforms with all of the industry's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. You may use Microsoft's Inclusive Design Toolkit to offer compassionate problem solving and gain buy-in from the business.
Creating an interactive mockup from static wireframes (using tools like Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, InVision or Framer). During the usability testing stage, it's a wonderful approach to display a tour of a whole user experience on a genuine device (desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone). Your end consumers won't even realise it's a fake quick prototype, allowing you to iterate on your design much faster without having to spend money on coding. It's what we call the "fake it before you make it" strategy.
12. Usability Testing
Validating all of your assumptions based on your design review and feedback from business stakeholders, as well as uncovering new information. You can conduct an in-person or remote usability test (using services such as UserTesting or PingPong) in which you ask your target audience to perform a set of tasks using your system. A/B testing can also be used to determine which design variant performs better (using services like UsabilityHub or Google Optimize).
13. Business Sign-off
Getting the stakeholders to approve your design so that the development team can go to work. It's critical that you can explain the business benefit of each design solution, backed up with user research and usability testing. Now that you've completed a technical feasibility study with the developers, you should be able to estimate the time it'll take to finish each step of the project, based on the business's priority list of work items.
14. Design Handover
Sending all of the design elements to your developers so they can start putting the system together. User journeys, sitemaps, content (copy, documents, photos, and videos in all required resolutions and formats), font files, icons fonts, wireframes, interactive prototypes, and style guides are all included. They could investigate your UI files using tools like Zeplin. Try to schedule frequent catch-ups with their team to determine if they require anything additional or if there is anything that may be improved or compromised.
Determine whether your design was a success or a failure (using tools like Google Analytics, Mixpanel and FullStory). These analytics systems allow you to set goals and track conversions, such as gaining insights into user behaviour while browsing your system, investigating why X percent of your website visitors abandon carts during checkout, and optimising those conversions by learning persuasive UX design techniques.