When designing a new feature or product, it's important to take into account the business needs, user needs, and technical needs or restraints. Good UX design lies at the intersection of these three elements. When designing something new, I follow a fairly standard design process, which I adapt to each case as needed.
The first part of my design process is research. I like to perform comprehensive analyses of competitors’ products and their features, perform user interviews, collect data, and find analogous research. Next, I like to explore through the information I’ve collected and seen how it could fit into different possible designs. I work through personas and user stories, outline user flows, brainstorm different ideas individually and with colleagues, sketch out possibilities, and identify possible problem areas.
Once the research and exploration phases have been done, it’s time to experiment! I take the raw ideas, sketches, and brainstorms and design wireframes, develop working prototypes, make more detailed sketches, write out copy, and structure information architecture. Next is the most explicit design part of the process, where ideas find their form and become fully fledged features. I create mockups, components, and look at the whole UI; further detail work would include animations, error handling, interaction feedback, images, and icons. After the design pass, it’s time to get to the heart of all design: iteration. In this stage, I perform user testing and research, roll out surveys, test working prototypes, walk through possible user flows, and perform design reviews.
There are a lot of moving pieces in the design process. After a design is launched, I like to keep tabs on features through continuous user interviews and watching user sessions. This analysis is the part that brings the whole design process together and is the backbone that allows the design to be iterative. Here I ask questions about what went right, what went wrong, what needs to change, and so on.