The goal of the user experience design process is to create simple and smooth experience on a website. The design process is oriented towards understanding the user’s goals and experience, and using this data to design or improve a site, app, or product. The steps in the design process can be divided into user research, designing or prototyping, testing and implementation.
Finding creative and intuitive ways to understand the user experience and to use these insights in the design process are the core of great UX design. UX can cover many different fields, and requires varied skills ranging from creativity and empathy to communication and programming.
Collecting User Research Data: Different Methods
The UX design process may vary for different sites, apps and products, but must follow some basic steps. Starting out, User Research is central to the UX design process. It helps designers to understand the needs and motivations of users, as well as their online behavior.
Well designed user research tools can highlight current user behavior patterns and problems. It can also provide clues to crucial and intangible things like the feeling of a product design. User research methods focus on two areas – listening to users’ views and observing their actual behavior. Some commonly used methods of collecting data are discussed below, but they are only the starting point for your own research.
Online surveys let you reach large numbers of users in your target demographic. A form or questionnaire collects the responses, and this data can be analyzed in different ways to yield actionable insights.
Interviews give you a chance to connect directly with users and find out what problems they face in interacting with the product, and how they feel it could be improved.
User data that reveals actual behavior when interacting with the product can provide guidelines for designers seeking to improve usability, usefulness and feel of the product or site.
Thanks to new internet technology and software, user research doesn’t have to be a one-time effort but can provide continuous feedback for design changes and improvements.
How to Design UX Using Data
Empathy is an important tool is understanding the user experience and then translating it into new or improved product design. User research is only meaningful if it can be translated into the design process, the next step of which is prototyping or wireframing. This focuses not only on aesthetics and visual appeal but also on usability and functionality.
Information architecture organizes site content to make it more accessible and functional for the user. Wireframing maps out the information architecture and communicates it to the team through a simple sketch or diagram, or even through post-it notes on a board. It can also be digitized. Building a prototype lets you produce a draft version that can be user tested to find and remove any bugs in the design.
The next step is User Testing, which is something like a test run with real world users before the final stage of implementation and production. It can be surprisingly effective and may help in preventing major problems. As with user research, user testing can be done using methods like surveys, interviews, and observations.
Once the results of the user testing have been analyzed and incorporated into the design, it’s time to move on to Implementation. Depending on the size of the company when you work, this could be done by a whole team or just by yourself, the UX designer.
Current UX design processes focus on being as user-centered as possible. Data gathered from user research and user testing plays an important part in the design process at every stage.