What does my UX process look like?

It depends on the type of product. Different projects require different approaches; the approach to a corporate website differs from the way we design a food app, for example. 

Design thinking is a UX process that has five stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. I apply design thinking to product design and follow a UX process with the following five key phases: Product definition, Product research, Analysis, Design, and Validation.

1. Product definition:
Before I can build a product, I need to understand its context for existence. During this phase, I brainstorm around the product at the highest level. I need to interview stakeholders and gather insights about business goals, key aspects, and value propositions of the product, such as what it is, who will use it, and why they will use it. Value propositions help me and stakeholders create consensus around what the product will be and how to match user and business needs. I usually create an early mockup of the future product on paper or Figma. In this phase, I usually have a kick-off meeting to bring all the key players together to set proper expectations for the product team and stakeholders. This meeting covers the product purpose, team structure, how we will work together, and stakeholders’ expectations, such as key performance indicators (KPIs). 

2. Product research:
Once I’ve defined my idea, I move to the research phase (both user research and market research). My product research phase is the most variable between projects, It depends on the complexity of the product, timing, available resources, and many other factors. It can include interviews with the target audience to understand their needs, fears, motivations, and behavior, as well as competitive research to help understand the industry and identify opportunities for the product within its particular niche.


3. Analysis:

The aim of the analysis phase is to draw insights from data collected during the research phase, moving from “what” users want/think/need to “why” they want/think/need it. I usually start with creating personas, which help me reference these personas as realistic representations of the target audience. Most of the time, I prefer to create user stories, which help me understand the product/service interactions from the user’s point of view. It’s usually defined with the following structure: “As an [user] I want to [goal to achieve] so that [motivation].” After that, storyboarding helps me connect my user personas and user stories..

4. Design:
Once I’ve figured out exactly what users want, need, and expect from the product, I move to the design phase. I start by creating an information architecture and then sketch (paper or digital). Then, I create a wireframe that helps me visualize the basic structure of a future page, including the key elements and how they fit together.

5. Validation:

It’s time to test the product. I suggest to the team that we all should try using the product on a regular basis, completing routine operations to uncover any major usability flaws. User testing sessions with people who represent my target audience are very important to me. It depends on the product, but I may use moderated/unmoderated usability testing, focus groups, and A/B testing.

It’s an iterative process.