Graphic Design & UX

Understanding UX Design, Process & Tools Used for Design

Design-related roles can be found in a range of areas like industrial, print (magazines, other publications) technology and many more. The arrival of recent updates in technology has made companies focus on building interfaces for various screens with specified operations and thus many new design roles have emerged. Job titles like UX or UI designer are confusing as their responsibilities tend to intersect. This makes the distinction between the design roles difficult and the terminologies would eventually be used wrongly. For now, let’s explore the process and the tools used in UX.

What is UX Design?


UX Design is the method of designing (digital or physical) products that are convenient, responsive and pleasant to work with. User experience design is an idea with multiple branches and dimensions. It encompasses various disciplines—such as interaction design, visual design, information architecture, usability, and human-computer interaction.
A virtuous UX is typically demarcated by its sophistication and accessibility. Moreover, it offers a unified mixture of engineering and marketing, as well as elements of graphic, industrial and interface design.

Demand for UX Design Skills

Businesses across multiple sectors have become conscious about the importance and need for an easily accessible simple interface of any product, which enhances the experience of its users. It is not only critical for their customers’ retention and satisfaction; it is also vital for the organization as the brand and profitability are at stake.

  • As UX directly contributing to the profitability, the commercial rewards of good UX design will be huge. This, in turn, means UX designers will bag sizeable salaries.
  • As the Glassdoor salary estimate reports, the median monetary compensation of a UX designer in the USA is approximately $90,000. The companies are actively into hiring the best in the field.

Process Involved in UX Design


The UX design process has no defined flow. It is a variable, multi-step method to tackle any project. This process is a blueprint and a foundation of designers’ skillset.  The agenda behind following any UX design process depends upon various factors like the project, the client, the budget, the deadlines, and the designer’s experience level. UX Designers are expected to avail a fair knowledge about the tools that’ll make their work simpler.  It’s up to the designer and depends upon the projects they are handling; they can choose the relevant tools and techniques. Mastering in chosen tools and techniques is what UX Designers should aim to achieve.

Tools for UX Design Professionals

In this blog, I am aiming at delivering details about some of the well-known tools and the tasks that they are meant for.  These tools will be essential at different stages of the UX process, from wireframing and prototyping to research, to design and validate the built and deployed designs.

Discover

Trello

Trello is one of the ideal and easily accessible tools for apprehending, unifying and trailing responsibilities and customer details. The tool lets to build cards and boards that assist in tracking and managing any form user research responsibilities.  Be it tasks, research insights or simply concepts of design. Trello finds its space is card sorting as well. All you’ve to do is to Arrange a board, add your cards and then let your audience sort them.  The categories could be left to your customer choice (for an open sort) or can be provided with pre-existing categories (for a closed sort).

Reframer

Reframer is a design tool that’ll be of use in the research process of the UX design. This smart tool from Optimal Workshop improves the traceability of qualitative user research. It also assists in the unearthing of patterns, themes and to measure the effectiveness of teams. User research gets muddled up particularly when the crucial observations must be spread across post-its, notepads, and spreadsheets. Reframer here plays a vital role, by letting the designers add notes from user interviews and user testing sessions. To make theme identification process easier there are options to add tags and significance ratings. Reframer is now in beta phase and is totally free of cost.

Wufoo

Wufoo is a web application for building online forms. This tool inevitably creates databases, backend scripts which need data collection and interpretation. Employing these features will eventually save time and effort that goes in to build these informative online forms. Wufoo lets the user design and unveils online forms in no time.  The tools as well provide an occasion to design active visualizations which is a result of in-house graphs, charts, and key metrics obtained from the forms. Wufoo let business stay systematized and conversant with the actionable analytics dashboard to deliver deep business insights.

Define

Lucidchart

Lucidchart is an online tool for drafting and distributing flow diagrams. The tool offers an array of templates to choose from. This tool is multifaceted and can execute a variety of tasks. The tasks range from brain-storming and describing the user flow to project management and collaborating with your team and stakeholders. The website has a community chat and comments section which helps is sharing ideas and helps in speeding up the work. This tool built over the HTML5 is responsive and is compatible with all main browsers and devices.

MindMeister

MindMeister is a free-associating and mind mapping tool that has major usability in a range of collaborative visualization exercises. However, MindMeister is basically to build the diagram that displays the pages that would be a part of a website, as well as the relationships between the multiple pages within the website. When it comes to UX Tools, the tool that lets designers to efficiently explain how a site works is of vital importance and MindMeister is a tool that genuinely justifies this purpose.

Simple Card Sort

Simple Card Sort is card sorting software as the name says. It enables the creations of Open Sort, Closed Sort, or Hybrid Sort surveys, with tailored messaging and labeling. Simple Card Sort lets users create infinite online assemblies and during these sessions, there is space for altering the type, filters and earn participants who are working on the similar topics as need be. Another enticing aspect of the Simple Card Sort it provides free demo account, so you can test the software before obliging to a subscription.

Design: Prototyping and Wireframing

UXPin

UXPin is a product design tool. This tool lets the designer strategize wireframes, mockups, and prototypes and permits collaboration. The most useful aspect of the tool is that it synchronizes with Adobe Sketch and Photoshop files. This tool is worth a try, as it eliminates excess investment of time in designing and lets designers enjoy their work.

Webflow

Webflow is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) which serves as a prototyping tool for UX design.  Designers can create production-ready, receptive websites without going through the turmoil of coding. Webflow allows designers to build sites in a relatively shorter time duration. Apart from prototyping features, designers can control their hosting and other site management fields and simultaneously work on the design.

Axure

Axure is a robust desktop wireframe application that gives business and UX professionals diagramming, documentation, and interactive tools to design and share interactive prototypes and specifications. This tool lets designers build both static, low-reliability prototypes and highly sophisticated, interactive prototypes. It is data-driven and allows users to completely validate ideas prior to writing, or implementing, any code.

Adobe XD

Adobe XD (which means experience design) is an interface design and prototyping tool developed and marketed by Adobe Systems. It was recently transformed from beta stages to a fully-fledged UX design tool. This Adobe XD has all instant wireframing dexterity to form interactive prototypes for websites and apps. The result is an app that can take you from a blank canvas to a custom app simulation in, literally in a blink. Adobe lately publicized updates in XD that let designers work with third-party tools, and preview XD files in Dropbox.

Validate

  • A/B Testing

Optimizely

Optimizely is an illustrious A/B testing platform which otherwise is a split testing or multivariate testing tool. This tool relates different forms of a page, with any of several programs. Optimizely assists organizations to enhance their websites and applications by conducting split test experiments. The major task of this A/B testing tool is to discover what works best for attracting new customers and users. Optimizely is much easier to implement than most enterprise software.

Unbounce

Unbounce software mainly emphasizes on landing pages and convertible tools. Convertible tools employ sticky bars, triggers and scenario-based overlaps for A/B testing. Thereafter the application messages its users to learn when, where and why your visitors convert. Unbounce assists designers in understanding the lacking factors of their landing page designs with genuine insights. Unbounce offers an option of coherence amid designer’s designs, making it a terrific solution for designers and marketers who need to collaborate.

Taplytics

Taplytics is a user-friendly and powerful tool for A/B testing. This YC backed company delivers a complete cohesive A/B testing, push notifications and analytics. The special feature is that a single line of code setup provides access to visual A/B testing tools for native mobile applications. The analytics data is connected right to A/B tests and push notifications, which thus delivers nothing less than actionable out-of-the-box data.

  • Analytics and Metrics

UserTesting

Usability testing is a process for user-centric interaction design. In this process, the product assessment is done by testing it on users. One of the vital applications of this tool is to help improve the user experience. UserTesting is a tool belonging to the area of usability testing. It offers an array of services for testing user experience. They provide the liberty to select the user profiles to be gauged.

Appsee

Appsee is an analytics software built to track user activity on an application. This tool assists designers in drawing valuable insights about the user interaction with the application. The ‘User Recording’ feature of this tool is the most remarkable factor. Indeed, this feature tracks and records the user actions and thus provides an exceptional understanding of the users’ behavior.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides every detail about the performance of your website. It molds the customer insights into actionable solutions and shows you how effective your current strategy is. The tools permit you to dig deep into the huge chunk of insights drawn, highlighting factors like customer segmentation, real-time analysis guidelines, marketing analytics, and a variety of dashboards. It also integrates with the consumer funnel, helping in recognizing the loops, drop-offs, and critical UX flaws.

Conclusion

In short, to optimize a website’s UX for profitable conversions, businesses must be aware of website usage patterns among the audience. There’s no one-size-fits-all tool that does it all in the design sector. Therefore, one needs to use an assortment of tools ranging from KPI tracking, heat maps, usability testing, analytics tools and A/B testing to comprehend what works and what doesn’t for the website. Also, there’s always a anticipation over UX designers to constantly tame and finetune their design knowledge and adapt themselves to user feedback. The UX tools they employ decides the swiftness of the shift of ideas to work experiences. Make sure you maximize efficiency by considering each of the above tools.

Pavithra Vasist

Pavithra Vasist is a Content Writer working with Aeon Learning Pvt Ltd. She was previously working with MetricFox, a marketing outsourcing firm as a Copy Writer. She holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Besides writing, she's fascinated with electronic gadgets and mostly spends her spare time drawing or traveling. She resides in Bangalore.

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