The great idea is not enough. Creating a digital product is a difficult process in and of itself. Very competitive market drives up users expectations making it even harder to create a product that will sweep users off their feet. UX approach can help you boost products’ attractiveness at each stage of the creation process. Here is a set of guidance, based on our experience gathered during projects in Overlap.studio, on how you can implement UX to your new project.
STEP 1: Gather information about your business goals, potential users, resources and limitations
It will help you create a coherent vision of the product and determine project requirements. Holistic view on the product and its characteristics, as well as identification of factors determining the shape of the product, is really important. This is also a perfect moment to make a list of unknowns and guesses that still need to be revealed.
• What are your limitations?
• What resources can you use?
• What do you need to keep in mind while creating a product?
• What’s your value proposition?
• What do you already know?
• What do you need to find out?
• What platforms do you design for?
• What is your target group?
• How can you segment target group?
• What are the business goals?
Thorough and honest answer to those questions helps you avoid serious problems at the next stages of development. Properly established basic objectives are one of the determining factors for future success.
STEP 2: Scout out your competition
To win this battle you are going to need an action plan — a strategy to compete on the market. Finding good and bad patterns will help you avoid mistakes already made by your rivals and maybe can even inspire you to come up with a new solution.
• Who are your main competitors?
• What do they do better?
• What can you do better and how?
• How can you learn from their mistakes?
• What are their advantages?
• What are your advantages?
• How can you compete with them?
• How do you plan to differentiate from them?
STEP 3: Get to know potential users
Find out what needs should your product satisfy. People do not buy products, but solutions to their problems. Learn as much as possible about the context and the way that people will use the product.
• Who are your potential users?
• What needs do they have?
• How will they use the product?
• What do they expect?
• What problems do they have?
• What competitive solutions do they use right now? How and why do they use them?
STEP 4: Set the scope
On the basis of information gathered so far, make a list of exact features of the product. Then prioritize them.
• Which features are necessary?
• What is the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)? Which features are crucial to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development?
• What can be done in the next stage?
STEP 5: Define user scenarios
Think of all possible users steps while using the product. Some diagrams and initial drafts of screens may be helpful.
• How will the users behave while using the product? How many user paths can you identify?
• What will users do step by step to accomplish main tasks?
• What are possible user scenarios?
• What are the possible ways of using the product?
• What is the context of using the product?
STEP 6: Go into more details
Now it’s the time to put your concept on paper.
• What screens are needed?
• How to place particular elements on the screen?
• What information should be emphasized?
• Does your solution cover all possible user scenarios?
STEP 7: Test your concept on real people.
Check, if your idea is intuitive and attractive to your audience. Usability testing will help you identify any flaws on an early stage. Optimize your solution before implementation.
• Is this solution optimal?
• How users react to your proposition?
• How easy is it for users to complete particular tasks?
• What can you improve before implementation?
STEP 8: Make sure that the product meets all objectives
During graphic design and development stage, there can occur some discrepancies between findings from previous stages and designer or developer “vision”. Keep an eye on this process.
• Is the final look & feel fit to the users?
• Is the final design coherent with the vision of the product?
• Do actionable elements appear to be interactive?
• Does the product meet arrangements made at previous stage?
• Are the main call to actions (CTA) underscored properly?
• Is the hierarchy of elements the same as it was presented on mockups?
So as you can see this is a quite complicated process and any resource can be of help. Here we prepared for you easy-to-follow roadmap: UX Roadmap on Behance.