How the Pointwest UX Team Curates User Experience: The Pointwest UX Design Process

Pointwest
October 30, 2019

The Pointwest UX Design Process

Written by Abigail Lampa, Pointwest UX Designer

 

Pointwest UX Design Process

The term “UX” or User Experience was coined by Apple’s former Advanced Technology Group Vice President Donald Norma. He once said that good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible”, highlighting the important role user experience plays in fulfilling customer needs.

Good UX Design requires expertise and patience. For a better view of what goes on behind the scenes, here is an introduction to how the Pointwest UX team curates user experience for clients. 

 

  1. PLANNING & DISCOVERY

Before starting any project, collaboration is crucial to ensure that the team and the client are on the same page. This phase is usually done with the help of the project lead and the assigned business analyst. Here, the team will start learning about two factors from which the design will be based on: the brand and the users. The team also gets to know the client and how they measure the success of the product.

Activities

  • Initial UX Meeting
  • Stakeholder Interview
  • Requirements Elicitation
  • Defining Proto-Personas
  • Use Cases, User Flow

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Product Manager/Owner

Output

  • Proto-Personas (persona/s based on client assumptions)
  • User Stories
  • Business Requirements Document
    Planning-and-Discovery-UX-Process
  1. RESEARCH

Companies may think that they know their users through assumptions, but these can only go so far. The inputs gathered from the users firsthand is gold, and are the keys to truly knowing the customers. These can save companies lots of time compared to figuring out which works best through mere guesswork. 

User Research involves seeking out the target demographics, hearing their pain points, and observing how they use the product.


Activities for User Research

  • User Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Surveys
  • Customer Journey Map
  • Usability Testing

Learning about the competition also falls under this phase. The following methods are used to give full insight as to how the competition differs, what they do well, and what they lack: 

Activities for Competitor Research

  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Competitor Analysis

The Pointwest UX team utilizes Jakob Nielsen’s 10 General Principles for Interaction Design for grading the competition’s design.

 

  1. ANALYSIS

From the user insights gathered from the previous phase, the team thinks about how the users integrate the product into their daily lives, what they think about the product and how important it is for them, how the product can be improved, etc. The team also has a clearer understanding of the client’s vision for their product, which is then synthesized with the user insights. The synthesizing process involves clustering the gathered data into themes, creating insight statements, and formulating “how might we” questions.

Activities

  • Ideation Design Synthesis (how might we questions, clustering into themes)
  • Creation of Final Personas
  • User Journey Map
  • Storyboards

Stakeholders

  • Design Team

Output

  • Persona/s
  • Moodboards
  • Design Synthesis Document/s
  • Revised User Flow
  • Research on latest UI and UX Trends for Product

Analysis-UX-Process

  1. SKETCHING

The fun part starts here! We’re getting closer to building the “face” for the product during this stage. This starts with creating wireframes, the barebones of the product. These are the basic visual representation of the UI without including the design and branding elements yet. Wireframes test the product’s actual user flow without the distraction of wondering if the design is pixel perfect, or which colors were used.

A few tools that can be used for wireframing are Balsamiq, Sketch, and Adobe XD. Wireframes can also be simply sketched out on paper. There are also tools available that can turn sketches into interactive prototypes like Marvelapp’s POP mobile app. 

Activities

  • Sketch Ideas with Design Team
  • Wireframing
  • Wireframe Feedback with Stakeholders
  • Usability Testing

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Project Manager/Owner

Output

  • Initial Wireframes
  • Final Wireframes
  • Sketches (if any)
  • Prototype

 

  1. DESIGN

Time to get creative! It’s time to put a “face” on all that research, validation and wireframing. This is where the UI (User Interface) gets made. Site maps, User Flow, Branding, Colors, Icons, Images are all needed at this stage.

Here, design mock-ups are created. These need to repeatedly undergo Usability Testing with the target audience. The mock-ups are then repeatedly revised with the users’ insights in mind. This is important because once the product reaches the market, it’ll be harder to make revisions. 

Testing the product with actual customers will give unbiased feedback compared to when testing the product with the team alone. This process will also give a good preview of how the target audience will react with the design. For example, the UI may look good but it may be too distracting for the users. Then, the UI needs to be revised.

Activities

  • Visual Design (high fidelity design)
  • Prototyping
  • Design Revisions
  • Usability Testing
  • Developer Handoff
  • Interaction Design

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Product Owner/Manager
  • Technical Experts

Output

  • UI Design
  • Interactive Prototype
  • Design Specs/Guidelines
  • Interaction Design Specs (c/o Interaction Designers)
  • Assets Creation (icons and images, c/o Graphic Designers)

 

  1. POST RELEASE

When the designs are approved, the product is finally released to the market. But the UX Designer’s role doesn’t end here. The post-release phase involves the analysis of the metrics to see if users responded positively to the UX Design. Did it solve their pain points? How is the learning curve for added/removed steps? How is the team going to maintain the design?

 

Stakeholders

  • Design Team
  • Technical Experts
  • Developers
  • Project Manager
  • Product Owner/Manager

Output

  • Metrics Reports
  • Analytics Reports

 

This is Pointwest’s take on the UX Design process. It is a tedious but necessary process to ensure the best possible user experience for the customers, so your company may achieve the benefits of good UX Design such as boosted customer loyalty, profit gain, and saved cost.

 

About Pointwest

Pointwest is an IT company in the Philippines. Founded in 2003 by pioneers of the Philippine Global Sourcing industry, Pointwest creates value for its list of satisfied clients — including top Fortune 100 and local companies — with world-class digital innovation and IT modernization services backed by international-standard methodologies, and innovative practices.

For Inquiries, contact us:

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