User Experience design is a process; no matter what others say. Design is more than making it look pretty, it’s a solution to the problem. If only there was a magic wand, but since there isn't, how do we get these wonderful ideas? Let me give you a brief introduction and look into the mind of a UX Designer.
"Design is more than making it look pretty, it’s a solution to the problem. "
We begin with the discovery of an idea or a problem, normally working with an Information Architect. This is done with a creative brief or a meeting to see what the client wants to accomplish. We also look for limitations, roadblocks, and review where the client is at the moment and where they are trying to go. Once we establish what needs to be accomplished, the designer will research and analyze the information.
To really get things moving, now we may begin sketching out ideas. The sketches could be on a napkin, notebook, pocketbook - on anything when inspiration strikes. During the sketching phase, we may research what others have done, what's popular, or maybe just take a walk to think of something new to create. Once we have tons of sketches and ideas on paper, we begin to clean them up and refine them even more. This irons out any mistake and may bring in new ideas.
Upon getting everything established, we begin the wireframing. What is wireframing? Think about it as a blueprint, but for the Web. Wireframes are grayscale layouts to provide focus on functionality and placement. It helps establish the location of key elements like buttons, sign-up fields, important noticing, etc., Completing the wireframes allows for revisions and edits, prior to actual development, which could waste time and money.
Getting everything to a great point, we begin to design out the wireframes. Within this process some changes may be needed. When defining the design with the colors and brand there are several pieces to keep in mind, like accessibility, contrast, and clarity. During the process, more areas of concern may be discovered.
While getting the design completed and ready to deliver to the developer, we may review and test by prototyping the product to make sure we have a design that meets the requirements established in the discovery stage. Even during the testing process the designer will find improvements that could make the experience even better.
Finally, we await feedback for discussion, improvements or missed events during the process!
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