The Ultimate UX Checklist: Creating Seamless User Experiences
There is much to consider if you want your users to have a seamless and positive experience with your product or service. Rather than attempting to juggle everything yourself, we’ve put together the ultimate UX design checklist to help you ensure that every aspect of your user experience is considered.
Our UX design checklist consists of 6 main phases: Discover, Plan, Explore, Create, Finalize, and Analyze.
This initial step involves crafting a better understanding of where you are now. What are your current users’ wants and needs? What is your competition doing through data collection and analysis?
Likely, you’ll need some help in order to develop a strong understanding of your current situation. You can use tools like analytics software to gather more information about where you are and where you can improve. If you are working on a product that builds upon an existing one, be sure to thoroughly research and test the usability of the existing product.
After that you can gather feedback from and about your users. If possible, find small groups of users to interview using more open-ended questions to elicit detailed responses. Continue on to do higher-volume research using tools like surveys to learn more about users and their needs.
Next, find similar products that have already achieved success and analyze what does and does not work for them. You can then apply these findings to your product.
Once you have gathered sufficient information, you can move on to the planning stage.
For the best user experience, this work must be highly user-focused. Building personas for various users, identifying who they are and what they want, will help you get more specific about both who the product is for and what they need.
Next, create a sequence of events to align each user persona with their goals and needs. This will help you identify what your product is about. You can then use these scenarios to follow the user journey and define how your product will work.
Once you understand the who, what, and why of your product, you can communicate this to users through identifying red routes, meaning the key activities for a user to complete along their journey. These red routes must be kept free of obstacles in order to deliver a smooth and seamless user experience.
As you enter the exploration phase, you can start to make more concrete plans for your design.
Start by developing information architecture. Your product can be intuitively organized and structured in a way that meets user needs, keeping information and tools easy to access and tasks simple to complete. A seamless experience can make or break a user’s journey.
Visualization is a powerful tool for developing basic concepts and ideas, allowing both your teams and clients to better visualize and discuss your product. Quickly sketch out your ideas with just a pen and paper, using as many alternatives as you’d like. Then, you can develop your concept even further through building a minimally detailed wireframe, using tools like Sketch or Balsamiq.
Once you have gathered data and explored how to implement it, you can start to build your product, beginning with visual elements.
What is your color palette? Rather than starting from scratch, research color schemes that have already been compiled and work from there.
What font are you using? Users prefer a limited number of fonts, and a 12-point font is generally most readable for large chunks of text. Both fonts and text size can send different messages, so keep the context of what you are trying to communicate in mind.
Are you implementing patterns? Consistent and repeated design elements can help users navigate and understand your product.
Then, choose what language to use by evaluating what your product is being used for, who is using it, and why. If possible, bring in a copywriter to optimize the wording.
Once you’ve landed on your visual and design elements, create a guideline for them to keep continued updates and iterations consistent. Then, develop a prototype with clickable mockup tools and layers of interaction. Be sure to create adaptable designs that can be applied to the devices your product will be used on, like smartphones, TVs, smart watches, or desktops.
Once you are happy with your product, you can finalize your design.
Before presenting it to customers, have your team optimize and improve the existing design work, making any necessary final touches. This includes developing feedback, such as error messages, that can be communicated to users inside the product if something goes wrong. Other examples include indicators that the page is loading and confirmation for successful actions.
Finally, pass the designs to the development team to be translated into code.
One key to a successful UX Checklist is understanding that the work doesn’t finish with the development of the product. It must be continuously tested, analyzed, and improved upon.
Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure when and if a project meets its goals. Develop a testing plan and continuously gather feedback to keep improvements up-to-date and seamless.
As you monitor your product’s success and improvements, keep the development team informed and communicate on how to further develop your product.
A user-centric design approach is crucial to your product’s success.
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