UX Process: Requirements & Goals
The UX process can greatly vary from team to team. User experience design (UX), interaction design (IxD), user interface (UI) design, and other web/application design professionals often craft their own UX process for planning and creating a successful, user-centered design.
User-centered design puts the user’s own goals and enjoyment ahead of business goals and personal assumptions.
Requirements Gathering: The First Step in the UX Process
The requirements gathering phase is the first step of the UX design process. During the requirements gathering phase you and your UX team will spend time determining the needs for a new or altered product design. This usually involves answering the following two questions:
- What does it need to do?
- How will we measure success?
Keep It Simple
Your answers don’t need to be overly complex. They can be brief and informal. Don’t be afraid to adjust and tweak your answers during the UX process, so long as the core goals are preserved.
Focus on breadth, not depth, and get final sign-off from all departments involved in the product process. Usually this is product management, interaction design, and engineering. It’s also strongly recommended that you get sign-off from executives and other key stakeholders.
Write Them Down!
It’s very important to physically write these answers down so that they are ingrained in your team’s mind throughout the UX process. That will also provide leverage down the road when it comes time to present designs to upper management. If a manager doesn’t like a specific design outcome, you can refer back to the overall goals of the project to explain your motives and reasoning.
Real World Examples
It’s easy to describe the process of writing requirements for a UX design project, but what do they actually look like?
Hopefully this fictional example provides you with some insight:
- Strengthen the company’s brand to provide a trustworthy, sophisticated, and memorable experience.
- Increase the registration funnel completion by 20% using AB testing against the current design.
- Provide users with 1-click access to all major services
- The reservations module should allow users to view their current reservations within a 2 second load
- Provide quick 1-click access to Live Chat support to minimize frustration and increase customer support quality
Notice that we’ve included measurements into some of our goals — this is a productive way to measure the effectiveness of our design decisions. AB or multivariate testing is often the best way to test out the effectiveness of a design.
Now that you have a solid set of UX design requirements built into your , you can work against them to keep your experience design project productive and on track.
The next step in the process is to create realistic user personas. Jump to the next article in the series to learn how you can create simple, effective user personas without breaking the bank.
Other UX Process Resources
- Lean UX Is Dead. Long Live Lean UX
- Lean UX: Getting Out Of The Deliverables Business
- Design and UX in an Agile Process
- Mission Impossible: Shrinking the UX Process
- Design Studio and Agile UX : Process and Pitfalls