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How to be a UX Design Boss in 10 steps

A simple but solid UX workflow

When designing for the User Experience (UX) it’s quite possible that every design team uses different (confusing) techniques. However, without a solid UX design process in place, a design team works completely in the dark. You need a clear UX process to craft amazing experiences for the user. Which steps to follow? Read along my children…

  1. Define your problems 🌨
    Define the problem(s) first! You need to understand clearly what you’re trying to fix: ask your clients about their business’s biggest problems first. Are they not generating enough leads through their homepage? Could be a problem with Call To Actions. UX design is a problem-solving discipline and helps the end users to achieve their goals with ease. So discovering if your product idea will fulfil these needs is your first step.

  2. Gather data from real users 📊
    Surveys enable you to get a nice amount of data from real users. By using clever questions, you can discover about who they are, where they are and what their needs and goals are. You can use many available tools to carry out surveys, such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms.

  3. Analyse your competitors 🔎
    By looking at who your competitors are, you can get a much better feel of how you can create something unique. Don’t spend too much time on this though, as all you’re doing is seeing how viable your product idea is and whether or not it has a place within the market.

  4. Create personas 👥
    Ok, we’ve got a ton of data from the user surveys and competitor analysis, now it’s time to create personas! Even though these personas are fictional, they should represent real people’s behaviors, motivations, goals and needs.

  5. Define user flows
    With the information we now have within our personas, we can start with mapping out the flow our users would take. This is called a user flow – the path taken by a prototypical user on a website or app to complete a task. The user flow takes them from their entry point, through a set of steps towards a successful outcome and final action, such as purchasing a product or subscribing to a newsletter. In most cases, a user flow is a visual chart that shows each screen a user will or could find themselves at. Even though this is a great way for designers to visualize and work with the site, it can also help developers see and understand the typical user journey. It’s best to make a rough sketch about this first before working on your computer.

  6. Brainstorm 🗯
    This is a great way to generate ideas that you would not be able to come up with by sitting down with just a pen and paper. It’s a hard step since it requires you to step outside of ‘logical thinking’, you should enter a world where the rules differ, also called ‘thinking out of the box’. Firstly, avoid the ordinary, go outside and look around for patterns as small scenes can lead to big ideas. Getting fresh perspectives can spark all kinds of ideas. Now using sticky notes or a blank sheet of paper, spend 15-30 minutes writing down as many ideas as you can. Don’t judge them; just keep writing down what you’re thinking. When you’re done you can categorize them to bring some structure in the post-it note mess we’ve just created.

  7. Wireframe time 🖊
    We start with sketching out some Low-fidelity wireframes first, these include the most basic content and visuals. They are often used to help map out the shell of the interface, its screens and basic information architecture. After the low-fi wireframes it’s time to transform them into high fidelity wireframes. These will share the same layout and content like the low-fi’s but we will add more detail to them. Ideas for images, words in Call to Action Buttons etc.

  8. Time for the visuals 🖥
    The high-fi prototype will serve as benchmark for our visual designs. You can use a tool like Photoshop, Illustrator or Sketch to bring your high-fi sketch to live. Use color, text, imagery and more to create visuals for every webpage.

  9. The prototype 💫
    Visuals done? We can use a tool such as InVision to create a working prototype for free. This prototype will be a simulation / idea about how our website / app will interact. It turns the design ideas into testable and tangible artefacts, collecting and analyzing the user demands at this early stage, refining your product as you go.

  10. Keep iterating! 🔁
    I’m sure that if you present your research backed and good looking prototype to your client it’ll put a smile on their face. They might want to change some elements here and there, so be prepared to edit your designs. It’s also possible that they add some info about a new group of possible users, or edit current info etc. It doesn’t matter what changes, the most important thing to remember is to keep iterating. Endproduct 1.0 > Feedback > Edit design > Endproduct 1.1 > Feedback etc.

Tip from Rick:
Stuck during any of these steps? Don’t force it. Take a break; take a walk, play a game, meditate a bit, watch your favorite show, and come back to it later.