Design

“User experience design is often used interchangeably with terms such as user interface design and usability. “

Interaction Design Foundation

A user experience designer focuses not only on the look and feel of a product but focuses on the users themselves and designs processes with the user at the heart. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.

Colour

Colour is everywhere, and whether you know it or not each colour you encounter gives you an emotional experience. Green and blue evoke a feeling of calm, and yellow makes you feel upbeat (and hungry). Understanding the psychology of colour can be a valuable asset and should always be taken into consideration when designing a product.

Style Guides

Style guides are what keeps the product from becoming a Frankenstein. No one wants to have a miss match of designs and functionality in the same product and so the style guides are what keeps designers and developers on the same path allowing for faster updates

Visual

Visual design aims to shape and improve the user experience through considering the effects of illustrations, photography, typography, space, layouts, and color on the usability of products and on their aesthetic appeal.

Moodboards

What colours, style, and visual look are you going for when designing a product.

Flowcharts

What steps are there and where do they take the user. Building a working flowchart of a product allows the designer and developers to see exactly where there are issues but also allows you to tackle a single problem quickly and plan for future changes much faster.

Paper Prototype

“The pen is mightier than the sword”

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Nothing says simple and to the point like a pen on paper. It allows people to quickly see any ideas visually fast and allows any changes to be made much faster than designing things at the wireframe stage. 

Its the quick and dirty version of wireframing and really strips the design down to absolute functionality with no design in mind. It’s a great way to show users quickly what it could look like.

Digital Prototype

Once you have your paper prototype done its time to give it a little more details and so it is now that you move to the digital prototyping stage.

Wireframe

Using Adobe XD, Sketch, Affinity Designer or Invision Studio’s is what you want for this stage.

You want to focus on no colour but greyscale and black and white. This is not the design stage and so we still need to look at the prototype as just this. It is the next step. Keep fonts and design basic. Make sure all functionality and spacing are signed off at this point. the Actual design will add the nice stuff but having this stage signed off is very crucial as a lot of changes are made in the actual design phase if this stage is not signed off correctly.

Actual Design

Wireframes are done and everyone is happy. It is now time for you to add the mood board you have done onto the wireframes. It is when your wireframe becomes the product your users will see. It is no longer a prototype but an actual design that people can see and review. 

My Word of Advice

If you follow the process from moodboard up to the actual design stage and every stage is signed off before you get to the next, then you should not have any feedback at the actual design stage in an ideal world. People still feel they can come at the last minute and make changes. The more you highlight how this is prolonging the changes from taking place and that they should give feedback earlier it will allow you to have fewer issues at the final stage.

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