The Use of UX Methodology for Mobile Design
2017 July 12
The success of a product depends heavily on the uniqueness of its design; the more differentiated and user-friendly a product is, more is its dedicated customer base. User Experience Design (UX) is a process of augmenting the customer’s experience of interacting with the product by enhancing its accessibility and features. The UX stage in a mobile project facilitates the transformation of a great idea into a basic framework which developers can work on to produce the final product. In spite of being heavily dependent on UX methodology, there are no fixed design techniques for mobile projects and companies often have to create their own methodologies for the process.
Essential Steps in the Design Process
There are a few standard steps that are followed in the designing of mobile projects.
- Conceptualizing the project by means of storyboard or other visual techniques
- Conducting a demo on the target audience and re-working the initial draft
- Getting it approved by stakeholders and refining it again
- Using wireframes to structure the project- deciding on its distinct look, feel and user interface
- Testing the product with its intended specifications
- Developing prototype which is generally digital.
Companies take recourse to various UX tools like mind maps, personas, storyboards, wireframes, prototyping and user journey mapping to design a product.
The usual method of software development involves a step by step progression from research to design and development followed by testing and actual usage. This is known as the ‘waterfall’ method wherein one step needs to be completed fully in order to move on to the next. Mobile development, however, needs a more flexible process in which the different stages progress simultaneously and there is testing at each stage to full proof the process. Agile development ideas like Scrum or Kanban make it possible for all the design stages to develop at the same time and rectify errors immediately. The best UX methodologies combine both Waterfall and Agility and use a system of software development that is both fluid and timely.
The methodology for developing mobile projects is highly dependent on the individual needs and requirements of the product. However, almost all methodologies begin by visualizing the kind of emotional engagement that the product wants to have with its target audience. This forms the basis of progressions like building on a customer’s emotional attachment to an already existing product and developing it into something more functional. The goal of the design methodology is to create products that customers can relate to but at the same time be novel and features that have not been experimented with before.
Once the connecting factor between the audience and the product is identified, the methodology seeks to create a storyboard or plan regarding the benefits that the product could offer. Testing this idea on the users provides an inkling of its success as well as the user interfaces that would suit it. This is followed by basic and detailed prototypes which are again tested on the audience. UX and visual designers take part in this entire process of development in order to create suitable designs patterns, animations, and transitions.
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