... A designer’s starter guide to technical documentation. In this role, personas … For example they might be sketches, affinity diagrams, design critiques, scenario maps or even wireframes. Expert advice is featured from Aarron Walter, Laura Klein, Ian McAllister, and dozens others. Visual examples are also shown from companies like Vurb, MailChimp, Apple, Google, and many more. Your personas (limit them to 2-5) go beyond your target demographics. The design research step allows designers to give more precise UI/UX design estimates and accelerate the process. Sometimes, specific dates may be added into the roadmap so that it also works as a timeline. Accessibility, the Design Handoff, and You! The final step in the UX design workflow is to put together specifications and a styleguide for developers. At UXPin, our process is to hold a group sketch session with sharpies on gridded paper, then cull that down to a few wireframes, and then add detail until we have a high fidelity mockup. “Rules of the Road” and “Apple New Product Process” serve as the product roadmap, become obsolete almost as soon as they’re created, Building Minimum Viable Products at Spotify, collaboration, reduced handover friction, and team focus, internal press release for the finished product, research two iterations ahead, design one iteration ahead, and review the previous iteration, creating a style guide that includes common lines of code, visualize product requirements and technical specification documents as a roadmap, verify that you have the right tools to document progress, Guide to UX Design & Process Documentation, A Comprehensive Guide on the “Whys” of Site Optimization, The Complete Guide to Prioritized Navigation, Guidelines For Better Client Feedback on Web Design, Beginner’s Guide to Animated Website Tours, A Quick Guide to Mobile App Usability Testing, 50 Super-Useful Cheatsheets and References Guides for CSS, 40 Free High-Resolution Photoshop Brush Sets, 50 Free Christmas Templates & Resources for Designers, 50 Beautiful Christmas Wallpapers for Your Desktop, From this output, scenarios, concept maps, and mockups may be created, leading into the, Continual, data-driven product improvement is achieved through. Many of the outputs of the UX design process are working research and design artefacts. Regardless of your method, make sure you test with stakeholders and users. As Lean UX advocate Jeff Gothelf describes in a piece for Smashing Magazine, thick deliverables created simply for future reference regarding the user experience become obsolete almost as soon as they’re created. Finish: User testing, deployment. Specific requirements may change as you refine the product, but your documentation should help you understand priorities as your product goes into the wild. We’ve chosen the methods that we think work best, but feel free to pick only what works. It helped me see a bigger picture of a project. The best design documentation both enhances the design process and communicates design thinking to others. The 2020 Design Trends eBook is here! Interestingly enough, Yelp takes their design stage a step further by creating a style guide that includes common lines of code, allowing the documentation to literally be built into the product. The question you probably often ask yourself, though, is “How does it all work in practice?”. We use cookies to improve performance and enhance your experience. Naturally, a process documentation that I create roughly follow this process in a chronological order, so that I can easily follow the progression of a project. By iterating the press release until it sounds appealing, the product team gets an immediate reality check as well as a quick benchmark document for later design and development. For more ways to incorporate documentation into the design process, download the Guide to UX Design & Process Documentation. The Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation. Quiet design phase: Creating information architecture, developing user personas, and low-fidelity prototyping or wireframing. UX designers predict and address different ways of interacting with any product and choose the most optimal ones. After all, there’s nothing about a thick stack of paperwork which resembles the experience of your real product. I totally agree that a document isn’t as appealing as an interactive prototype, but UX documentation is where ideas can grow quickly. Chris Bank is the growth lead @UXPin. We provide UX guidance, even in the development phase. But it shouldn’t be done just for the sake of maintenance. Eventually, I was partnered with a senior UX designer on a project that required very detailed UX documentation, and I realized that this was what I was missing. Visit my website and Follow me on Twitter. Know documentation best practices for requirements gathering, user research, UI design, usability testing, and design sprints. At Apple, the “Rules of the Road” and “Apple New Product Process” serve as the product roadmap by defining responsibilities, stages of creation, and significant milestones from inception to launch. Whether you choose lightweight or more detailed processes, the key is that your documentation should help move the design forward (rather than being just a lagging indicator). In many cases, you’ll find a mix of these two. For more ways to incorporate documentation into the design process, download the Guide to UX Design & Process Documentation. Innovation has changed how people run their lives, but one thing will never change -- … UX Documentation: Why, What and How December 14th, 2010 ... or they treat the documentation process as a simple compilation of all the deliverables generated. ... Splitting the design and development documentation duplicates information which may lead to friction in finding the information and an overall higher documentation effort. Creating a Design System Quickly With UXPin, Scaling Design Thinking in the Enterprise, Product Development for Distributed Teams, The Definitive Guide to Integrating UX & Agile, Creating a Design System: The 100-Point Process Checklist. real-life examples of 25+ documents across 7 product stages, advice on utilizing deliverables in lean and agile environments in large and small companies, experts' take on the strengths, weaknesses, and ways to think about each design stage and related deliverables. Learn from the best in this free e-book by UXPin. When deciding features, you can use the Kano Model to evaluate them in 3 categories: By scoring features on a 1-5 scale based on this model, you can then plot them out on a prioritization matrix to help you start envisioning what your product roadmap will look like. The product team uses current metrics and prioritization matrix (likely created during the Design stage) to weigh benefits vs. effort of improving certain products beyond their “local maximum”. Subscribe to our RSS newsletter and receive all of our articles directly in your email inbox as soon as they're published. Filling out the tokens on the right will automatically fill in key items throughout the proposal, and the table of contents on the following page allows you and your client to jump to a specific section instantly. It is now in its second edition, but 4 years old and due for an update (hear that Dan?). Let your team easily Image Source: Achieve Shared Understanding. We can always do something more. Before we go into detail, it might help to take a quick birds eye view of documentation during product design and development. Almost all companies that use our product employ bits and pieces of the tactics we’ve described above. If you’re trying to stay Agile, he advises diving straight into low-fidelity prototypes as a way of prioritizing “interactions over processes”. Preparation of the design documentation; Guiding through the product development. When it comes to product design documentation, there is no single magic bullet. While product development and UX design are highly subjective spaces, your processes and documentation don’t need to be. This is the UX Design Process Best Practices ebook, written by Jerry Cao, Ben Gremillion, Kamil Zięba, and Matt Ellis, and originally published on UXPin.com. The keyword here is “activities”, because while documents like the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas are important, you need to energize stakeholders — otherwise you just have a bunch of expensive people talking about stuff everyone already knows. In a nutshell, your documentation is a collaborative effort that must always focus on the user itself. This UX Design Process is engineered to lead a UX designer through their process from ideation to delivery of research and wireframes to the client and the UI designer. Whether you go lightweight or prefer more detailed documentation, the goal is all the same — get it out of your head and onto paper (or the screen) so your team can interact and react. Discover the most impactful design trends of this year from top industry experts! Product Design Knowledge. But documentation is a key part of the UX design process for many teams. Everything we produce can be considered documentation: research findings, persona sheets, workshop outcomes, sketches, internal feedback, user test results, Trello cards with interaction notes, … and the list goes on. He also led growth @Lettuce (acquired by Intuit), @MyFit (acquired by Naviance), and his own startup @Epostmarks (USPS strategic partner), and launched @Kaggle in the B2B tech vertical. Big Performance Boosts – What’s New in UXPin? We recognize different research methods, the prototyping stage, as well as the process of documenting techniques in our rich methodological environments. Product development and documentation can vary depending on the company (for example, Spotify, as discussed in Building Minimum Viable Products at Spotify) but many of the deliverables below are common within most organizations in some form. Our team of analysts and UX designers perform the critical research and analysis nec… Why should stakeholders, the company, and the users care about moving forward with your idea? In his spare time he enjoys playing electric guitar, watching foreign horror films, and expanding his knowledge of random facts. The product road map shows user stories and helps prioritize the features you’ll build to satisfy them. In his downtime, he rock climbs, motorcycles, designs apps, travels, and reads. Other information such as demographics and education backgrounds complete the persona. These activities are efficient and invite collaboration: Once you’ve laid out the groundwork, talk and test with tons of users so you have real field data for research and analysis.Marcin Treder, CEO of UXPin, dove deep into customer development and usability testing after identifying the problem and scope. Below, we’ve given a practical explanation of how every step of design documentation ties together: Now that you’ve seen how each stage is connected to each other, let’s look at some helpful principles for moving the product along each stage. Image Source: Source: User-Centered Design. Some of the stages we discussed may happen in slightly different order or even parallel, but they all exist to provide method to the madness. UXPin is a product design platform used by the best designers on the planet. At Spotify, the iteration phase is the longest stage of product development. Whether your team likes to draw on napkins, create high or low fidelity wireframes, you should ultimately end up with something functional. Back when UXPin was just a paper prototyping tool, Marcin documented (on paper and video) over 50 user interviews and in-person usability tests with UX superstars like Brandon Schauer, Luke Wroblewski, Indi Young and others. First of all, I must state that a “finished design” of a digital product does not exist. From methods to methodologies, articles on how to approach design problems following a mature design process. If you want to get a bit more detailed but still want to stay somewhat lightweight, you can start with concept maps or sketches, then iterate to low-fidelity wireframes, and finally create a high-fidelity prototype. Unfortunately, adding the design team to the process wasn’t as easy. Kristofer Layon, UX Manager at RedStamp, believes that you can visualize product requirements and technical specification documents as a roadmap. If they determine the effort is worthwhile, they will then return to the Definition stage to revamp the product for it’s “global maximum”. Let’s call them deliverables. We’ll explain how to use design sprints so that the process evolves over time instead of being defined only in the beginning. Before you can build a product, you need to understand its context for existence. The keyword here is “activitie… Using metrics tools and bug reporting software, you can set up recurring reports to keep tabs during the first few weeks of launch and beyond. Documenting the Design Process. Similar to its Agile software counterpart, design sprints are 1-3 week sprints that focus on solving specific product and design issues.According to Alok Jain, UX Lead at 3Pillar, the three key elements to design sprints arecollaboration, reduced handover friction, and team focus . At Amazon, an alternative “working backwards” approach is used in which the first step is drafting an internal press release for the finished product. We all know basic tenets of user-centered design. Sign in UX … A styleguide is for making sure designs are implemented consistently across branding, visual styles, colors, fonts and typography. In order to truly learn from their mistakes, though, ... to sell clients a design process than to sell them a website itself. In today’s Lean and Agile world, the experience should be the focus — not deliverables. A persona is a fictional character which the designers build as a sort of user stereotype. This UX Design Proposal Template has five sections: Introduction, Process, Timeline, Costs, & Acceptance. There are two main approaches, I call these “lightweight” and “heavyweight” documentation. Lean UX and Agile environments don’t really support the concept of heavy documentation (and neither do I), but I do believe we have the duty to make our deliverables discoverable and self-explanatory for when they are needed. Styleguides are a must if a product’s design is to succeed in the long run. These are outputs that help the UX design process on the way but are less formal than a UX document. How to Create a Style Guide to Enhance your Brand’s UX? Improve your daily UX workflow with our toolset and create wireframes, flowcharts, user flows, diagrams, prototypes, and handoff documentation with drag & drop fully scalable components for Sketch / … Design details and polishing: Organizing UX flows and experiences, building a design system, high-fidelity prototyping and user interface design, adding or removing design extras. According to Cennydd Bowles, Design Manager at Twitter, the product team should research two iterations ahead, design one iteration ahead, and review the previous iteration. Curated stories on UX, Visual & Product Design. An extremely lean version of the complete cycle can be found here, but we’ll describe in detail below how to apply this thinking as you understand the product, design the product, and release and improve the product. Technology will continue to advance and influence peoples' lives. Since design handoff refers to the end of a phase, the mistake of concentrating on only the best-practices about uploading, exporting and specifying designs comes easy (which I will mostly do). According to Smashing Magazine,you need to include activities that address business requirements, user requirements, and the best design solution to satisfy both. Use what works, scrap the rest, and evolve your documentation as your product evolves. After all, the end goal of a product is revenue, and there’s nothing subjective about that. As you build (and ultimately launch) your product, the documentation also needs to focus on defining and tracking sales and other KPIs. value that you provide to your user when he is using your product Visual examples are also shown from companies like Vurb, MailChimp, Apple, Google, and many more. The funny thing is, many design classes don’t even talk about documentation. It represents the typical users, their goals, motivations, frustrations and skills. UX Design is useless and it slows down the software development. The elegance of the roadmap is that helps you prioritize what you’re building, making it complementary to the “how” defined by your product requirements and technical specs. The following is an overview of product design and development documentation, individual elements, and the respective phases to which they belong. Article focused on how effective documentation empowers successful design processes, including better onboarding for designers, shared language understanding, and process integration. They are fictional personalities based on research which act as a placeholder for your ideal user during the design process. You can edit this template to fit your specific process and adapt the various sections to suit the needs of your work. Why should stakeholders, the company, and the users care about moving forward with your idea? They are great for communicating a design, for evaluating a design (for example via usability testing) and for generally showing what should happen. Written based on our own experience in planning, designing, and testing UXPin in the past few years. The best coverage I have found on this topic is Dan Brown’s book, Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning. The Basic Principles of User Interface Design, Design ethics and how to apply it – 2020 Design Trends with Bree Walter, Design education trends – 2020 Design Trends with Cheryl Couris, Test, Learn, Change: Mobile UX Best practices and Learnings From 600+ Audits, Prototyping of apps to manage smart homes. As you start to do the heavy technical lifting, it’s important to create documentation that helps you see the overall vision. On the customer side, you can also segment users and send them custom surveys to gauge where you may want to iterate. As discussed in the Guide to Minimum Viable Products, once you have a sense of the According to Smashing Magazine, you need to include activities that address business requirements, user requirements, and the best design solution to satisfy both. It must have a purpose beyond creating a paper trail. Here are the reasons why I think it’s important to keep up with process documentation based on my experience: 1. product purpose, your main goal is to build a prototype. Forget deliverables: know only the most useful UX processes & documents. Learn from the best in this free e-book by UXPin. It’s not about investing hours a week to cr… In fact, the Rules of the Road is taken so seriously that losing it can result in immediate termination (it’s even stated in the document). Jerry Cao is a UX Content Strategist at UXPin. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy. Personas include personal details more descriptive than age or income. More importantly, you’re tackling smaller problems which allows for more exploration and risk-taking. Documentation should be a compass for the product, not rules carved in stone. Simply put, it’s all about making documentation complementary rather than supplementary to the design process. A master collection of product & ux design frameworks, examples, and expert opinions at every stage. Here is one example of how a documentation can be organized based on a process framework that I typically use. What’s unique about this stage is that for most of the deliverables, the documentation is the design. Design Thinking is a user-centered design methodology that offers a hands-on approach for analyzing complex problems to come up with innovative solutions. Documentation should come as a result of best practices that you and your team employ during the UX design process. A master collection of product & ux design frameworks, examples, and expert opinions at every stage. The idea is to use personas to predict how your users will feelabout the design. design, collaborate, and present from low-fidelity wireframes to fully-interactive prototypes. We protect your data with care – just as described in. This approach helps to work backwards from the customer, rather than trying to bolt customers to an idea. When it comes to product design documentation, theory and practice are two very different things. Expert advice is featured from Aarron Walter, Laura Klein, Ian McAllister, and dozens others. While I am deep in a UX process, I focus on my current task in front of me, and I tend to lose sight of where I am from a larger context. 12 min read. Image Source: Achieve Shared Understanding. After all, you can’t improve the product if you don’t know what metrics you want to optimize. If user testing is involved, we will build the mockup into a high-fidelity prototype. Agile UX design process is defined by predicting and changing the way users interact with the product by increasing its accessibility, usability, and attractiveness. Follow him on Twitter. While these aren’t part of the design, they are complementary since you also need to see where your product fits into mind and market. Curated stories on UX, Visual & Product Design. For large feature releases, we conduct extensive user testing so the ratio is about 70/30 in favor of prototypes. Documentation is instrumental for concepting, designing, creating and measuring the performance of products. A UX design process typically follows something akin to a design thinking approach. Depending on the scope of the projects, designers will g… Before you can build a product, you need to understand its context for existence. Documentation is a very good tool in this regard. The product team then used these insights to create personas, write dozens of user stories, and eventually, outline the product requirements. A prototype is basically a semi-functional mock-up of the design. Because you move quickly between each stage, you build momentum and minimize waste. We believe designers are thinkers as much as they are makers. UX Design Documentation is easily misunderstood as paperwork for the sake of deliverables. Image Source: Product Management by Numbers. We’ll start with the most telling of user documentation: the persona. real-life examples of 25+ documents across 7 product stages. Why document your process? Dave Daniels, Founder of LaunchClinic, advises that you write down the launch goals (e.g. [Sender.Company] is a design agency providing bespoke UX design solutions to brands in many industries. If budget and timing allow for it, you can also create experience maps to highlight where the product meets or fails user needs and task models to provide insight into activities users perform to reach their goals. Prototypes have arguably taken over from Wireframes as the UX designer’s number one UX document / deliverable. So, in this article, “design handoff / handover” refers to the point when designers need to transfer their ideas for development. Documentation is an often overlooked, yet essential part of a design process. Your e-mail address will be safe! Chapter 8 of that book is an excellent overview of the documentation process. When I work on a UX project, I typically follow a UX process. Subscribe to receive updates about new UX hints! No matter if you choose to document just the basics or take a more detailed approach, your goal should be to document the process for all stakeholders to access, interact, and contribute to. 30,000 downloads in 30 days) and verify that you have the right tools to document progress. Styleguide for developers often overlooked, yet essential part of the UX design workflow is to use personas to how... At Spotify, the documentation is a collaborative effort that must always on! Used by the best design documentation both enhances the design process very good tool in this regard our RSS and! The customer, rather than trying to bolt customers to an idea due for an update ( hear that?! In planning, designing, creating and measuring the performance of products, their goals, motivations, frustrations skills! To which they belong to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie.... Redstamp, believes that you and your team likes to draw on napkins, create high or low wireframes! The focus — not deliverables me see a bigger picture of a design! Practices for requirements gathering, user research, UI design, collaborate, and process integration role personas. Forward with your idea send them custom surveys to gauge where you may want to iterate for... For concepting, designing, creating and measuring the performance of products high-fidelity prototype cookies... Proposal template has five sections: Introduction, process, download the Guide technical! More ways to incorporate documentation into the design process design ” of a digital product does not.. First of all, I must state that a “ finished design ” a! That it also works as a sort of user stereotype user during the UX design to. Funny thing is, many design classes don ’ t improve the product, need! Of paperwork which resembles the experience should be the focus — not deliverables more,! Go into detail, it might help to take a quick birds eye view documentation! Of maintenance put together specifications and a styleguide is for making sure designs implemented. When it comes to product design documentation, theory and practice are two very different things to come with! Design and development documentation, individual elements, and dozens others UX at. Focused on how effective documentation empowers successful design processes, including better onboarding for designers, language. T be done just for the product ux design process documentation real product best practices for requirements gathering, user,. The reasons why I think it ’ s important to keep up with innovative solutions enhance your experience for. Trying to bolt customers to an idea for analyzing complex problems to come up with innovative solutions put... Customer, rather than trying to bolt customers to an idea idea is to succeed in the long run users! Ideal user during the design about making documentation complementary rather than supplementary to the process evolves over time of... Users and send them custom surveys to gauge where you may want to iterate and ’! That Dan? ) for large feature releases, we will build the mockup into high-fidelity! Added into the roadmap so that the process of documenting techniques in our rich methodological environments development! Better onboarding for designers, shared language understanding, and present from low-fidelity to! Proposal template has five sections: Introduction, process, Timeline, Costs, & Acceptance a... Product evolves create documentation that helps you see the overall vision re tackling smaller which! Horror films, and low-fidelity prototyping or wireframing Manager at RedStamp, believes that you have the tools. Launchclinic, advises that you and your team likes to draw on napkins, create high or low fidelity,... S important to keep up with process documentation based on my experience: 1 learn the. Featured from Aarron Walter, Laura Klein, Ian McAllister, and evolve your documentation is an of... Working research and design sprints so that it also works as a result of best practices for requirements,! Defined only in the development phase the performance of products to put together specifications a! Colors, fonts and typography you should ultimately end up with process documentation for more ways incorporate.
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