UX for beginners: Strategy, Process and Examples

What makes a good UX?

Because UX is intrinsically tied to human emotions, you might think measuring UX is subjective. Over the years, many have attempted to quantify what makes a great UX. The Nielsen-Norman group identified 10 heuristics, or guidelines, for an interaction design. They include user control and freedom, recognition rather than recall, error prevention and a design that matches the real world.

What makes a good UX? The UX Design Honeycomb
  1. Useful — users can achieve their goals when using your product.
  2. Usable — users find your product easy to use.
  3. Desirable — users are attracted to your product.
  4. Findable — users can find what they want and need.
  5. Accessible — users of all abilities can use your product.
  6. Credible — users trust your product.
  7. Valuable — users see your product as adding value to their lives.

What are examples of bad UX?

If you want to know why you need good UX, you just need to look at what happens when you launch a product with bad UX. There are plenty of examples, even from behemoths like Google and Microsoft.

1. Google Wave

2. Clippit the Microsoft Office Assistant

3. DeLorean Cars

What is a UX strategy?

A UX strategy is an approach to UX design that would satisfy the customers, business goals and the capabilities of the business. Your UX strategy is like a high-level plan or roadmap on how you want to create and deliver the best UX in your product. It involves establishing goals, creating a process and teams, and establishing key UX metrics.

What is the UX design process?

A UX design process typically has between 5 and 7 stages. The basic process flow starts with understanding and defining the problem and goals. You’ll dive into research and then map out the user experience. Next, comes prototyping and user testing. Once satisfied, you will proceed to build the product, launch, and check the results.

UX design process

1. Understand

Research is a crucial part of this stage. You’ll cover:

  • User interviews and feedback
  • Focus groups
  • Previous usability testing
  • Market research
  • Surveys
  • User personas

2. Mapping

Based on what you have, it’s time to map out the UX you want to design, drawing from past experience and inspiration from others. You’ll be creating or improving assets like:

  • Empathy maps
  • Customer journey maps

3. Design

Now’s the fun part. You will design a prototype for the next stage, building:

  • Mock-ups
  • Wireframes
  • User flows
  • Site maps

4. Test

You will test your prototype with up to 5 users. This article explains clearly why you only need 5, and anything more is an overkill. There are different types of testing:

  • User testing: designated users are called in to use the prototype
  • Guerrilla testing: walk up to anyone in a public place and get them to test your prototype
  • A/B testing: give users two options, called A and B, and see which one they prefer.

5. Build

UX experts will work with UI designers and developers to build the product. Constant testing, feedback and close collaboration needs to happen throughout this stage.

6. Evaluate

After the launch, assess the wins and losses. Document user feedback, stats, and issues for the next UX design cycle.

What is Lean UX?

Lean UX

Spotlight on your users

Contrary to popular beliefs, UX is not a highly technical field. It’s not difficult to get started in the UX world. And you will find that there is a fine balancing act between design, development, and the business. At the end of the day, if you focus on your users, their needs and wants, you will be all right.

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Alvin Hermanto

Alvin Hermanto

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Family first // Principal @relabstudios // Customer-obsessed digital design agency // Design sprint advocate // Melbourne // Say hello @alhermanto