Here is a bit about my design process…
“What are the desired outcomes?”
Interview, Observe and Empathize with users.
I think it is vital to job shadow, interview, and talk to users. I will then talk to stakeholders about requirements and User Stories we want to build out. I have created interviews, surveys, and task-based user test prompts to see how the users will be using the product. I will typically work with Users, Subject Matter Experts, Business Analysts, Project Managers and Lead Developers in the initial phase. Getting knowledge from support staff, managers, and trainers is also super important. Stepping away from my desk and talking to as many people as possible about the problem will help immensely in the long run. Collecting and weeding out user stories and requirements also is a part of this step.
Define the Problem.
What are the desired outcomes? What are the goals for this project? What are the KPI’s? Sometimes this means a simple UI refresh, adding features, eliminating steps for the User and eliminating friction in their work flow. There is always an aspect of a piece of software that needs improving and based on the qualitative research, we can run quantitative tests.
Sketch out Ideas.
This happens on pen and paper or on whiteboards. We can quickly iterate through designs and layouts with simple boxes and rectangles. Nothing fancy, just getting ideas out of our heads. Capture these and save for the next step.
I use Balsamiq, Axure, Photoshop, Illustrator, InVision, and Sketch. I usually just mock up a new feature to quickly test, or build a full scale clickable app mockup.
Test out Hypotheses.
Bring these prototypes back to the initial interviewees and Users and see what they think. Does this make sense? Can you find an member account? Can you book a reservation? Can you Order a Cake? Can you add new Churro Cart’s Revenues to the financial tracking software. Sometimes to test I will run an A/B test to different groups of users and measure the results.
Implementation and Repeat the Cycle.
Lean UX / Minimum Viable Product mixed with the Agile process is a great way to work. Breaking up a large scale project in to manageable 2 week sprints is a key to this. Bringing the work back to the team in a collaborative environment and presenting and sharing our learnings. Tackling a set of UX Users Stories at a time, and progressing through the development cycle. Testing, Demoing, logging defects, and communicating with team throughout process.