UX design is considered to be an integral element of the contemporary software and website development domain. “UX” or “user experience” basically refers to what the user feels when they use a particular service or product. This term encompasses the aspects of physical interaction, senses, and emotion.
The term UX was coined by the former vice president of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, Donald Norman. He mentioned that he ended up creating this term as he thought the concepts of usability and human interface were too narrow. He wanted to cover all aspects of the experience of a person with a system, including its graphics, industrial design, interface, and cover the component of physical interaction as well.
While UX design is involved in a lot of products, it largely refers to digital design experience. Following an effective UX design process provides designers with a chance to iterate and improve their designs, and provides the discerning users with an intuitive and pleasurable experience.
To an extent, the design process of UX tends to differ from one business to another, depending on the product approach, priorities, and user demographics. Here however are some of the broad stages of UX designing that designers can follow to get the best results:
- **Understand**: Acquiring a good understanding of a brand and the user would be the very first step involved in the process of UX design. Designing for the UX largely deals with addressing the pain points of the users. Hence, before starting with the UX design, people have to identify the key concerns of the users and think how much those problems can hinder their experience with the product. In addition to taking the issues of the users into account, the designers should also ponder upon how the design solutions for those problems would align with the goals and mission of their brand.
- **Research**: After finding out the issues and problems they are trying to solve, the designers should ideally dive into research. User research is an indispensable element of the design process of UX. The elements that the designers unearth and discover during this stage tend to lay the foundation of how their whole project would ultimately turn out to be. Personal interviews, user/focus groups, surveys, and usability testing are some of the best ways to conduct user research.
- **Analyze**: At this stage, the designers would be using all the information gathered by them in the prior two stages in order to properly analyze and distill the most crucial elements of their project. Creating user personas and developing user journey maps would be two of the great ways to do so. These two methods would help the designers to step into the shoes of the users and get a better insight into their experiences.
- **Design**: After analyzing comes the actual designing stage. Designing would involve developing the components of a site map, user flow, mockups, images, icons, and colors. At this stage, it would be a prudent idea for the designers to create the wireframe. A wireframe basically is the prototype of the end product that provides the bare essential representation of the item, and similar to the user journey map, can provide the designers with a comprehensive look at the experience the users might have with the relevant product.
- **Launch**: The product ultimately reaches a point where it is all set to be launched after going through the process of designing and redesigning multiple times. The designers have to pass everything they have learned through the stages mentioned above to the development team so that they can create a high fidelity version of the UI or the user interface.
The work of the UI designers, however, does not end with the product launch. They have to also analyze the reactions of the users to the new and improved product. This would provide them with valuable knowledge and insights that they can leverage for the future.