How the UX Design Process Works [Steps, Examples & Tools]

Bring the UX design process into focus and learn which tools and methods you need to use to achieve an absolutely superb user experience.
Yevheniia
Yevheniia

Copywriter. Yevheniia understands various CMS systems for e-commerce, such as Magento, Shopware, Shopify, as well as marketing and customer acquisition strategies.

According to Toptal, almost 90 percent of purchasers claim that they are less likely to come back to the website after an unpleasant UX.

Branding, design, usability and functionality—all these things contribute to creating meaningful and relevant user experiences. But where to start?

UX Audit: Where It All Begins

In a nutshell, a UX audit (usability audit) is an expert evaluation of how users interact with a website based on analytics of their behavior. As a result, an expert finds interface bottlenecks critical for the conversion path and recommends their elimination.

A UX audit usually takes a couple of weeks and consists of the following steps:

  • ✔Deep dive into the business processes and specifics
  • ✔Analysis of website analytics metrics, target audience, niche, and competitors
  • ✔Examining the website interface for bottlenecks and areas of improvement
  • ✔Hypotheses creation connected to the customer experience
  • ✔Report creation with a list of recommendations

As a result, it turns into a detailed and well-structured report with all the interface issues and recommendations to solve them, methodologies used during the analysis, best practices and competitors’ experience.

A well-made and in-depth UX audit is a practical action plan for a merchant to increase conversion rate, reduce bounce rate, boost average session duration and finally improve an overall shopping experience.

‘With the help of the most effective design solutions, you can influence key website metrics and increase your revenue. We have already proven this fact by increasing the conversion rate of our ecommerce clients in the last four years.

You just need to determine what type of website redesign that you will need. You can choose either the evolutionary approach or revolutionary approach. The revolutionary approach involves creating a new website design from scratch, and the evolutionary approach involves the method of improving the interface gradually, then measuring the KPIs and testing the results. Performing a UX audit is a good starting point to identify what approach will work the best in your case. Start eliminating interface errors now and then continue improving your website design on a regular basis.’

 

 

Denis Studennikov,
Head of the UX/UI Department at Turum-burum

UX Design Process: Step-by-Step Guide

For a general understanding of how the UX design process works step by step, check out the figure below:

Next, we’ll take a closer look at each step and analyze their contribution to the final result.

  • #1 Requirements gathering. Collect and analyze information on the business specifics, niche, competitive landscape and industry trends analysis. It’s also crucial to learn more about the target audience and gather user feedback.
  • #2 Information structure. Analyze information on the previous step and create the high-level structure of the website that contains the most important sections of the ecommerce lifecycle—homepage, category page, product details page, shopping cart, checkout, personal account, etc.
  • #3 Navigation architecture. Create intuitive navigation according to the user scenarios, which covers choosing a product, making a purchase decision, placing an order and submitting a review, etc.
  • #4 Competitor benchmarking. Research the leading market players to learn more about general trends, strengths and weaknesses of competitors. Focus on usability and mobile-friendliness of each page, bundled and recently viewed products, search options and suggestions, filters, cross-selling and upselling opportunities, fast checkout, etc.
  • #5 Customer journey mapping. Analyze user behavior to identify pain points that customers may feel while using the store and solutions and ideas that could help overcome them.
  • #6 User portrait. Use surveys to learn more about your customers and create a general portrait highlighting their intentions, pain points, drivers and expectations.
  • #7 Prototyping. Develop static and dynamic prototypes of the templates to create a basic appearance of the website with the main blocks on the pages to see how the website is going to look to keep up with the competitive market conditions.

The aforementioned process is exactly how our agency functions when providing UX design services for ecommerce businesses. Also, you can see how we deal with different tasks separately for each project in the Case Studies. Take a look if you’re interested in how you can achieve similar business goals step by step.

If you’d like someone to work on the UX web design for your business, hit us up and we’ll get back to you right away and suggest suitable and cost-effective options to achieve conversion-friendly web designs.

Useful UX Design Tools & Methods

Below you’ll find a list of must-have tools that create a foundation for every UX researcher’s work:

  • Google Analytics. It’s evidently considered the most appropriate and frequently used tool for UX designers. Refusing this free solution leads the UX process to failure, as it gathers all the data concerning user behavior, conversions and events, which are conveniently demonstrated in funnels.
  • Google Tag Manager. You’re bound to know that Google Analytics coupled with Google Tag Manager creates a perfect match. You can go far beyond with the help of tracking micro-conversions in your store, such as visiting specific category/product pages, selecting a particular color of a product or tracking any other kinds of interactions. What is more, the setup of so-called tags doesn’t require any involvement of the developers. Fancy that!
  • Google Forms. Another multi-purpose Google tool may help create engaging surveys and quizzes, which results are saved and stored in a new spreadsheet on Google Drive. Another popular solution called Typeform can reach the same goal, which is our other particular recommendation for you.
  • Google Optimize. This solution is easy and effective for running different kinds of content tests, such as A/B, multivariate and redirect, to check what works best for your audience.
  • Hotjar. The service allows using heatmaps, click and scroll maps, collecting customer feedback and results of A/B testing. You can also analyze user behavior, conversion funnel, contact form interactions and create various kinds of questionnaires.
  • Plerdy. It’s a competitive alternative to Hotjar, which offers a range of benefits like click maps shown in real-time, data accuracy during lazy loading, tracking user interactions with dynamic elements, etc.

As for the most important UX methods, the following are worth highlighting:

  • UX audit (usability audit). We’ve already described it in considerable detail above. In short, it covers the analysis of user data using stakeholder interviews, research tools, customer feedback, its processing and the formation of hypotheses and their prioritization.
  • A/B testing. After conducting a UX analysis, collecting data from analytics tools and creating working hypotheses, you can move to A/B testing to find out which variation is more efficient due to changes you’ve made.
  • User testing. Measure different kinds of data concerning overall efficiency, the productivity of the business system and customer satisfaction. After that, you can prepare a questionnaire and a user test report with issues and user comments ranked according to priorities and criticality.

Brief Overview of UI Design Process

As a result, all artifacts created at different stages of the UX design process are required in future work on the UI.

It all starts with a mood board creation with different categories of ideas for the site design visualized and cherry-picked references. After making an intermediate decision, you can move on to the specific style selection and a general concept defining for the future site design.

After outlining the overall vision, we can create the primary user flow and design the main web pages that users visit on their conversion path. As a result, you can proceed to the design of absolutely all pages on the website.

One of the most important artifacts of this stage is a UI guide with all the instructions on how to use colors, fonts and other elements for future website improvements and new landing pages.

Next Step: Development Efforts

All artifacts created and worked out during the UI/UX process are needed further for development.

Let’s start with the Frontend part, which covers making designs according to the pixel-perfect principle with 100% conformity to layouts for all screen resolutions — from mobile devices to desktops. Sometimes, working on Frontend requires many challenging parts and customizations due to the complex interactions and visual effects.

Other critical functional things necessary for a great user experience, such as high loading speed, smoothness and interactivity, are parts of backend development.

Conclusion

The UI/UX design process doesn’t end after the development phase. Collecting analytics, analyzing user behavior and verifying hypotheses by experiments made in the interface is always necessary.

All we have to do is keep our finger on the pulse all the time to make sure that our web designs are user-focused and conversion-friendly.