The UX Workflow: The Ultimate Guide to Tools, Processes, and the 6 Steps of UX Workflows
Written by Alexander Rådahl

The UX Workflow: The Ultimate Guide to Tools, Processes, and the 6 Steps of UX Workflows

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UX workflows are the key to getting things done as efficiently as possible. Workflow is the crucial element of UX design, and it is important to do it right for your team. Whether you are working on a new project or attempting to optimize an existing one, we have some tips that help you find the best workflow for your needs and ensure that everyone in your team knows what to do.

Introduction to User Experience (UX) Design Steps

Recently, user experience has been reclassified as an independent area of design and technology. Donald Norman invented the term when a student in cognitive psychology joined in 1990. From then on, UX design became indispensable for software development companies and start-ups who wanted to create an attractive and comfortable product. In modern times, companies should strive to be design-oriented - that is, to offer functional versions of their products at a cost that is reasonable for end users. A potential customer can be motivated by having an enjoyable customer journey, while simply purchasing products. This is achieved through UX design.

Steps of a design process
We have talked about the essential parts of the design process in one of my earlier articles!

With a focus on the customer experience, a UX designer create user-friendly products that meet the needs of end users. It is not enough for them to be technically functional - they must also offer a pleasant and convenient way to interact with the product. A good example of this would be Apple's iPhone: it was designed so intuitively that its use is not only easy but also pleasant.

What is usability?

Usability is the extent to which a user can use a product for their intended purpose. It can be measured through time, effort, errors, and satisfaction. To achieve usability in UX design, designers need to understand how users interact with products and what they want from them. Workflows are an integral part of UX design, and they help designers create software that is both practical and usable for end users.

Why does usability matter?

In UX design and product development, usability is important from start to finish. Good usability can mean improving a person's job effectiveness, leading to a more productive user, a better-designed application or website, and greater customer satisfaction. But what does this entail?

A good user experience designer often draws conclusions about the user's situation and how they wants to interact with a product or service based on insights from data and research. They will also ask themselves questions, such as "who am I designing for?" and "What problem is my design trying to solve?" To get the most out of their time, they must create an optimal workflow that will lead them from start to finish in the project.

Usability is key to any ux workflow and project!
Usability is key to any UX workflow and project!

Many website visitors simply leave the company's website because they lack understanding of its products and services. Usability not only helps to make the product easy to use, but also to convey the overall message of the company.

Factors that influence the UI/UX workflow and process

UX Workflow is a process in which the user interface for a software application or system is designed, developed and tested. It allows you to navigate through an app or website with ease and without confusion. But how does it work? What factors affect the UX workflow and process? What are the various aspects of UI/UX workflows you need to consider? And how do you use them in your design process without spending hours on research and testing? This next part of the article will help answer all these questions.

CRO & UX are a big field, it can be difficult to know where to start 🤔

Most of the guides out there are either too long, too short, or generalize things so much that they do not help you at all.

What steps should UX designers follow?

A UX workflow is a series of steps or stages that take place throughout the UX design process, from user research and analysis to UX design and development. Project requirements determine the workflow, customer needs and industry in which you work. All these factors affect your workflow design process.

These stages could be something like:

  1. Ideation & Research
  2. Wireframing
  3. Prototyping
  4. Usability Testing
  5. User Interface Design
  6. Visual Design

#0 - Do you have everything you need?

It is important to have everything you need at the beginning of your UX design process. You need tools for research, insights, and strong industry knowledge to avoid spending too much time and understanding the most basic things. By having everything you need at the beginning, it is possible to take your UX design process faster and more efficiently from inspiration through ideation and implementation.

Is your coffee cup filled up and ready to tackle the ux workflow? ☕️
Is your coffee cup filled up and ready to tackle the UX workflow? ☕️

#1 Inspiration and creativity based on user data

Inspiration is an essential component of the UX workflow for a UX designer. Inspiration can come from anywhere, it doesn't have to be an original idea. Start by taking time for yourself and going through your Dribbble, doing some research on the Internet, or even starting a mood board to help you inspire. We all have different ways to find inspiration, so it's up to you to find what works best for you. The key here is to understand the problem and, above all, to fall in love with the problem and how to solve it.

From there, when inspiration strikes in a conversation or meeting, take that thought and create a quick sketch in one of your design tools, such as Sketch or Figma. It does not have to be perfect at this stage, because we are just capturing thoughts and ideas here.

Here are some tools I like to use in this stage of the UX workflow:

  • Interviews - Talk to the experts, users of the existing tool/software (if any).
  • User surveys - Survey possible clients or users in the target market.
  • Mood boards - Collect images, videos or text that you find inspiring for your project. Test different sources like Behance, Pinterest or Google Images.
  • Sketches - Work out your ideas in a sketch or wireframe.
  • Market research - Research your competitors and the market to collect user data you can use for personas.
  • User personas - Work out the user persona of the main target group for this project.

#2 Ideation - Have fun with UX!

In the previous phase, we have created an understanding of the market and possible solutions to the problem, and now we will develop those thoughts into a more developed solution. This is a process in which a plan or idea is drawn up before it is developed, so you can see how it could work if it is implemented.

Have fun in the ideation phase of the ux workflow! Bring out the creative side of yourself and your inner child, no idea is too crazy at this stage.
Have fun in the ideation phase of the UX workflow! Bring out the creative side of yourself and your inner child, no idea is too crazy at this stage.

The ideation phase of the UX workflow is based on all the research and insights collected in the previous step. We have now gathered enough knowledge of the problem, users, industry and other factors to get started.

Here are some tools I like to use in this stage of the UX workflow:

  • Sketching - Work out your ideas in sketch form.
  • Wireframing - Work out the structure of the product or page/screen you want to create.
  • Prototyping - Work on creating a prototype of your wireframes, if necessary.
  • User testing - Test your wireframes and prototypes on potential users.

#3 - Implementation - The user interface comes alive!

The implementation of the UX design process is about turning this awesome idea into reality. You will need to work out the details and turn your sketches and wireframes into a prototype, and allow yourself to be flexible and ready for anything. Work through problems when they arise to ensure you don't miss details. Remember to always give yourself time to explore and research how you can improve your solution.

An important part of this stage for many is to present the solution to stakeholders, project managers, and anyone else involved in the project. This can be a daunting task, and you can get it done using tools like Invision (a prototyping tool), Keynote, PowerPoint or Google Slides. This is where you have to sell the solution and present the facts and findings from previous stages. Make sure you have your facts straight and have explained the "why" throughout the process, and make it clear which problems you solve and how.

Why, what and who is key questions you need to be able to answer with your solution.
Why, What and Who is key questions you need to be able to answer with your solution.

As I have discussed in some of my earlier articles, UX designers are not UI designers, so you should not feel the pressure to create high-fidelity sketches at this stage. Work out what information you need to present and make sure the prototype is doing that. Work with any tool you feel comfortable using, as this should be a collaborative process in your company or customer team.

Make this process collaborative and flexible, because the implementation of your UX design will also change throughout this phase. Write down how much time you allocate to each step - whether it's iterations, communication, prototyping, etc.

Here are some tools I like to use in this stage of the UX workflow:

  • Prototypes - Work on creating a prototype that can be tested or used by others for feedback. At this stage, they are usually more refined and high-fidelity, so work with a UI designer at this stage.
  • Usability tests - Here you test the prototype with users to refine the usability of the product you have created. Work with someone who can help you recruit testers for your studies, and have some questions prepared in advance to ask them when they meet.

Coding

Some coding skills are often an advantage in the UX design process. For example, if I know how to write code, you can create very specific prototypes that customers can use for feedback. It is also helpful for UX designers to speak the language of developers, and vice versa, which means communication is more fluid.

#4 - Testing, testing, and more testing!

The importance of testing is the next point in our UX design workflow. At this stage, you have carried out many user and usability tests, but there is another step crucial: the tests carried out by QA. This can, for example, be automated tests that allow bugs to be detected, but also inability problems.

#5 - Action!

At this point, you have done all the work to design for your users and customers. You have iterated through several ideas, you have a firm grasp of what makes your user happy - and now it is time for the world to appreciate what you and your team have built.

Have a great time and celebrate the achievements you and your team have!
Have a great time and celebrate the achievements you and your team have!

Here you should take some time to celebrate teamwork and success. Work with your client or boss to create a plan that will bring you into the world and show everyone what excellent work has been done.

But before you go too far ahead, take some time for yourself, because it may take some time until you have another chance to think about this project! If you are something like me, then reflection is something you are always looking for - even if it's simply 30 minutes with your team.

#6 - Feedback loop

You should always iterate based on feedback. Feedback can come from one user, or a thousand users. It doesn't matter! Always make sure to carry out an iterative process and make changes to your product according to what people tell you is wrong with it, even after the initial release.

This is where many companies fail. They simply never go back to the drawing board. Instead, they are content with what they have achieved and move onto their next project without taking time for reflection on the site or app you've created.

Conclusion

An efficient workflow in UX can be a challenge, but if the right workflow is in place, you will have a better idea of what to do and who will do it. Workflows are important to ensure that your time is spent wisely by focusing on different tasks at different stages of the design process. Workflows should also be flexible so that they work well regardless of the project or company size you work with.

The ux workflow will never look the same for everyone, but i hope that this article can at least serve as a pointer in the right direction!
The UX workflow will never look the same for everyone, but I hope that this article can at least serve as a pointer in the right direction!

I hope this UX design workflow example will help give ideas about how to create an effective workflow for yourself and your team! If you would like more information on creating a successful UX strategy, please contact us - our team will be delighted to help you!

Get ready to skyrocket conversion! 🚀

Article written by Alexander Rådahl
Alexander is a 26 years old Senior User Experience designer specialized in Customer Experience and Conversion Rate Optimization. He loves problem-solving, and as we all know, UX design is a process of solving problems. He likes to think of himself as a Design Detective, getting to the root cause of why people have certain feelings about your product. It's not just what you do; it's also what you don't do.

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