A successful product should consist of user experience (UX) that meets the needs of the targeted users and ensures business goals are met. UX designers focus on how to align the product’s user experience and business goals together, which is the key to the project’s success. In this article, we’ll break down how the UX design process can help improve the product’s development and explain the importance of product development’s key phases.
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Role of Product Managers
Product Managers are important players in the development of the product. They are a bridge between different teams (including design, development, business and marketing). They are a thin balance between different teams and focus on achieving business and user goals effectively through planning and management.
Product Managers define the goals and objectives of the product and how to achieve those. They know the product inside out and are able to define the type of users effectively.
There are 2 ways Product Managers roll out their product:
- The product is directly released to the assumed users and get feedback
- The product starts with an idea, get it user-tested and then work on creating the product.
Everyday UX for Product Managers
Product Managers need to know a lot about the product which includes business and user objectives. For example, an app that provides healthcare advice to women. The product should be able to understand women’s needs and health issues and provide the right solutions to their customers. Better the app is able to understand the women’s health issues, more users will be using the app.
For Product Managers, UX has become an essential part of product development. They have to look from the user’s perspective if they want the product to be successful. If Product Managers understand the user needs and thinking, they will be able to solve the right problem and reduce the number of re-dos and or worse stop from making the product failure. With a better understanding of the UX, Product Managers can help in
- Growth of the product,
- User retention and engagement,
- Customer loyalty,
- Increase conversion rates,
- Save time and money.
What Does a UX Process Look Like?
When thinking about digital products or its features, Product Managers should understand the business objectives and be able to answer the below questions first:
- What problem are we solving?
- Who has this problem?
- What do we want to achieve?
By answering these questions, product managers and UX Designers will be able to create an amazing user-friendly experience.
By following the UX design approach, it will help digital product’s reach it’s maximum potential. UX design process can be beneficial to all types of companies (big or small, corporate or startup) and at all stages of the product’s life cycle.
Different projects might require different processes but overall below process is usually standard.
The human-centred design is the practice of implementing human perspectives throughout the design process. The UX design process begins with empathizing with the users before the ideating solutions. UX designers take into consideration the needs of both the clients and to build a successful product.
PHASE 1: EMPATHY PHASE
Step 1: Understanding Your Business Needs
Gathering information from the business and their needs can help UX designers to determine further steps. It can provide insights such as:
- The issues and needs they identified.
- Insights on what matters to them.
- Their needs and wants from the project.
Identifying business needs help define the project’s success, such as providing insights into what the success metrics would be for the project. Stakeholder interviews and focus groups are research methods that help identify those insights.
Step 2: Understanding Your Users – What Users Need
This phase primarily focuses on user research to gain a better understanding of the targeted users. Understanding the target users is crucial, as it helps develop solutions and design decisions. Your product will likely have users from a variety of backgrounds, demographics, behaviours, needs and pain points.
As a result, your product should ultimately accommodate to those factors. Below are the tools that help UX designers to empathize with users needs and concerns.
Empathy design ensures that UX designers are ideating solutions and design decisions that are unbiased, but rather focuses on designing a human-centred product. UX designers’ role is to provide creative and meaningful solutions for the users, which can be achievable by first understanding both the business goals and users’ perspectives.
PHASE 2: UX DESIGN PHASE
After establishing the business goals and user needs, the next phase into the product’s design is user experience (UX) design. UX design is not only about creating a product that is beautiful, streamlined, and easy to use. Instead, it takes a step further to design experiences to achieve specific goals with effectiveness and satisfaction. User experiences should also solve the issues that were identified in the empathy phase.
Iterative Process: May require further iterations and refinements to the solutions before developing. Usually occurs after validating the solution in user testings.
Step 1: Ideating
Ideating means to generate multiple ideas or concepts, for the identified pain points. The ideation stage is an effective method that challenges UX designers to think outside the box and explore uncharted areas. The ideation stage is where innovative, groundbreaking and creative solutions are created that can fill the missing element in the users’ experience.
Step 2: Rapid Prototyping
This step consists of quickly creating visual representations of the functional elements and user experience flow, through wireframing and wireflows.
Step 3: Feedback Session
Feedback sessions validate and prioritize the solution(s) to the intended users, to ensure that users find it useful, meaningful and solve their problem. If the solution(s) are not meeting users’ expectations, UX designers will return to ideation. To conduct a successful feedback session, consider using user testings methods to gain feedback.
PHASE 3: USER INTERFACE (UI) DESIGN PHASE
The final designs of the product are developed in a graphical layout. UI focuses on the look and feel, interactivity and responsiveness. UI design helps guide users through their journey with the product using visual elements.
List of deliverables for UI Design Phase:
- UI Design
- Design Research
- Style Guides and Assets
- Clickable Prototype
PHASE 4: USABILITY TESTING PHASE
The purpose of usability testing is to ensure if the targeted audience is able to use the product effectively. The goal is to ensure that the product is convenient, easy-to-use and intuitive.
Now that you have a better grasp of common UX myths and misconceptions, you should have a better idea of how user experience design is important for achieving business and product goals — it’s not just about making things look good. To learn more about how UX design can help your product grow, download our Product Manager’s Guide To UX.
Idea Theorem is Toronto based UI UX Agency. We create simple and usable products for web and mobile. Our human-centred design approach lets us understand your customers, identify their pain points & deliver solutions that enhance their experience with your brand. Contact Us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.