So, this is the second blog in the series of 10 blogs where I explain all the aspects of the UX Design process and how they contribute to the whole design process. Also, I attempt to make my clients understand what an ideal UX Design partner must offer them. My first blog was about UX Research, and now, I am moving towards UX Plan.
Once you have completed the research phase, the second step of UX Design is designing the blueprint of the whole project. Basically, the UX Plan is about deriving outcomes that would shape the IT Solution by combining the User Expectations, Client’s Expertise, and Designer’s Knowledge. The outcomes will be defined User Persona, impeccable user flow outline, and defined Red Routes of the Application.
To help you understand how all the outcomes are achieved, I have defined the outcomes below, along with the role of each peer in the UX planning process:
Derivatives of UX Plan (Effective Blueprint Formulation):
User Persona is basically determining the Users of the Application and their likes, dislikes, preferences, and expectations. The data that we have collected in the UX Research Phase, in this stage, I will process to understand the most common traits of the users. Keeping them in mind, the user's persona is created, which will then become the cornerstone of the whole UX Design.
Many different techniques like secondary study, observational study, one-to-one interviews, and qualitative and quantitative research are carried out to accomplish this task. Also, below are the inputs of all the three peers:
In this stage, the client will help define the user criteria, i.e., what kind of users the researchers and designers must target. This means that based on his idea and business model, he will determine the age group, category, occupation, and other such imperative details of end-users of the application. Based on that information, the professionals will carry out the task of identifying the potential users of the application who can be interviewed and observed.
Here, users will provide all the minute details about their likes, dislikes, preferences, and expectations, which will then be used to define the user scenarios and understand how they will respond to certain content, design, and processes.
UX Designer’s Input:
The Designer will define the set of questions that will be asked to the users and will also be an integral part of the whole interviewing and research phase. Also, once the data is processed, he will define the user scenarios as well.
Basically, User Flow defines all the steps that the users have to take to complete one task. For instance, to register or create a website, the user first has to land on the Sign-Up screen; they can either log in via Facebook or fill the required fields and create an account.
To make the User Flow ideal, the designers have to rely upon the data gathered while defining the User Persona. One of the biggest myths that I would like to address here is certain standards and rules that one needs to follow to design User Flow. An ideal User Flow is always user-centric and must be designed based on the User Persona and Product Market.
While there are no set standards for User Flow, there are few aspects that you must cover! They define User Scenarios to determine actions to be taken at each step of both success and failure of tasks, Optimising Conversion Funnels to improve the task completion ratio, and defining stack flows that will ensure completion of beneficial tasks for the businesses. So, below are the inputs of all the three peers:
The client will help define the tasks that are beneficial for the business.
The data provided by the user will shape the whole flow.
They will analyse the data and based on the outcomes, they will then design the User Flow.
Red Route is a list of the frequent and critical paths that users take to complete a task on the application. Here the most critical functions of the applications are marked dark red, which is called red routes, and those that are not an essential part of the application are marked without any color, which is called normal routes.
For instance, the Red Route for Uber will be booking a cab, and Red Route for Snapchat will be clicking a Snap. The normal routes for the same can be choosing a payment method and sending a streak, respectively. So, below are the inputs of all the three peers:
It is the client who will determine the tops and the bottoms of the list to ensure the users act in the favour of the business.
Based on the preferences and likes of the Users, the list and the sequence are derived.
Based on what is best for users and the client, the designer will then finalize the list from top to bottom and will pass it to the developers and UI Designers as the base for the design and development of different functions of the software application.
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The blueprint of an application is the basis of whole development and design. Thus, it is essential that you choose a UX Designer that not only has the technical knowledge but also has the interpretational skills to derive the best from the research, the User Data as well the client’s requirements.
Also, I am covering all the aspects of UX Design here in my blog section to help my clients in choosing an ideal UX Design partner, and if you wish to understand how important the whole UX design process is, stay tuned to this space.