UX Design Process – Principles and Tools

The Experience that a user receives after using a product, a service (physical or a system). The experience can be both positive or negative. To make that experience a good one, we will be learning about the process, principles, and tools for enhancing the user experience.

What is User Experience Design?

User Experience Design is the process for designing products that are easy to use, understand, and interact. The primary focus remains on the fact of enhancing the user experience.

What is a User Experience Design process?

The 4 major parts in which the UX Design process is divided are- Research, Design, Testing, and Implementation.

Research- User Research, the starting phase, where we understand the user, the real problems they are facing, and gather all the ideas. Empathy plays an important role here. To understand your user, you should be able to empathize with them first. There are various methodologies, starting from conducting user interviews, online surveys, creating user-personas, field-study, etc. which are used to gather the necessary information and move a step close to finding the real solution.

Design- The next step involves wireframing and prototyping the ideas that you have identified so far. It helps you identify how tangible your ideas are. Meanwhile, you can look for the usability issues by designing wireframes; it can be a paper wireframe or a digital one as well. There are techniques such as job stories, card sorting, which helps identify the Information Architecture for your website or application. You decide how a specific navigation flow would be like in this phase.

Testing- After creating successful wireframes or prototypes, it’s time to enter the testing phase. You’ve got to enter the field and start the testing among the real users. Usability testing plays a vital role at this stage. To test- how your product is useful to the user. There are various to conduct it. Hallway Testing, Eye Movement Tracking, Remote Usability Testing are some of them. It’s an iterative process and gets refined every time we incur some issues.

Implementation- The last stage, where the final design is implemented. It comprises implementing the design and the handoff process to the next set of teams, which can be the UI designers or developers or both, based upon the process you are following.

What are UX Design Principles?

Many vital principles can be followed for creating a UX design.

1. The User is in charge.

While interacting with the product, the user should feel that he has the control. He should be able to control better and use functionalities and recover from any errors if committed.

2. Hierarchy matters. 

For seamless navigation across the website, the content or information on the screen must be properly organized. It should be easy to navigate from one page to another. The linking should be relevant.

3. Required Feedback.

It should feel like a conversation when the user is interacting with the product. The user should always be informed about the response to their actions. The change in color, sound, or even displaying the relevant content on the screen could work.

4. Learnability.

The design that you are creating should be engaging, and users are able to learn and perform their tasks. For example- adding the FAQs section in the product makes it easier for them to look for the relevant help topics and continue with the job they were trying to accomplish in the first place.

5. Consistent Information.

It is always recommended to use some of the established design conventions. It is easy for both users and the designer to understand it and even implement it. Users are familiar with the use case of the specified button, link, or icon, which makes it easier for them to interact with the product — for example, the hamburger menu.

What are the Various UX Design tools used by Designers?

Thanks to technology, there are varieties of tools that are available for UX Designers, making their life more comfortable.

  1. Sketch- For creating wireframes
  2. Balsamiq- For creating wireframes
  3. Crazy Egg- Usability Testing
  4. Appsee- Usability Testing
  5. InVision- Design Handoffs and prototype creation
  6. Zeplin- Collaborative tool

There are many UX tools which have their free versions available.
Origami, InVision, Weld, etc.
Various UX workflow tools are used by designers to create the flowcharts, diagrams which helps them in understanding the final flow of a website. Like- Smartflow, Whiteboard.
We have added a few reference links for your ease and understandability.

Sandesh Subedi