In this day and age, when a company wants to succeed, it needs to have a robust online presence. It leads to the need for great design solutions. But, it’s not enough to design something. Today, if you want to be a successful brand, you require the assistance of UX design specialists.
UX design focuses on the end-user by making sure they get the best experience while using a particular digital product or service. While it all sounds well and good, the thing is you won’t be able to handle a proper UX design, if your company is dealing with something else or if you don’t have a UX department. That is why you need a UX design agency to take care of it for you.
But how do you choose a relevant UX company? How do you choose an agency that will provide you with professional assistance and make your product or service user-focused and user-friendly? There are tons and tons of factors that can influence UX outputs. Such things as utility, design and aesthetics, usability, and performance are among the crucial aspects. To make sure these things will not bring a negative effect on their plans, here are a UX design process experts follow.
Phase One. Research
The very first thing a reliable UX agency should do is conduct an interview (or several of them) with a client to understand initial demands. Experienced companies get prepared in advance, and do their research. This stage allows figuring out issues that the client wants to solve, their target audience, their competitors, and so on.
After receiving the necessary information from the client, the agency sets to create user personas. What are user personas exactly? A user persona is a representation of the end-user. UX designers use these personas as tools to get acquainted with all the collected data.
Once user personas are in place, some designers draft storyboards that show users’ actions and the environment, where it can take place. Some specialists skip this step when the deadline is very tight.
After that, follow customer journey maps that will represent user actions when they try to get particular results via the app or site. This stage helps designers to understand the user’s needs and motivation, among other things.
Phase Two. Sketch
After the research phase, the UX team focuses typically on the generation of ideas for user experience flows, actions, and performance. Brainstorming meetings involve design teams, technical experts, and product managers alike.
After brainstorming, the team develops an interaction map, which is meant to create the product’s flow and navigation from screen to screen.
That is when the UX agency starts to draw wireframes – mockups for your product or service, in a nutshell. Wireframes will show how various elements should look and where they should be on the screen. Some companies use tools like PowerMockup, while some prefer doing it on whiteboards, as this process is purely schematic.
At the last stage of the sketching phase, the team will test and appraise the wireframe and will introduce the changes, if needed.
Phase Three. Design
At this stage, the UX design team transitions from wireframes to their physical representation as paper prototypes. It may involve printing out designs, using sticky notes, or even hand sketches. The team may also invite you and have a testing session, physically “tapping” on prototypes and seeing how your product will flow and work. The goal of this seemingly strange exercise is to see how good the interaction flow is and introduce the final changes to the user experience design.
Finally, the agency will proceed to the high-fidelity design of your product, placing the UI and UX design into one framework. This stage takes the most time since it’s actually about designing the screens and all the elements and making them work to provide the needed result. Once this stage is over, the complete design of your product or service will be used to build it by the development team.
UX Processes May Vary
Above is the necessary UX design process. It may be different from agency to agency, but its main concepts and goals remain the same among all the reliable UX design companies. But, this is something you should understand before hiring one, so you know what you should expect and what timeline you should shoot for.
Whatever UX agency you choose to take care of your digital product, you should make sure they focus on your audience, its needs, and solutions for their problems. These three things will be the foundation for the agency’s process. They will help them focus on the necessary things that will make your product or service valuable, accessible, and demanded. High-quality products with a great user experience design will help you put your brand on the map and stand out in the crowd.