What’s Your Process?

I’ve had people ask what’s involved in my UX design process. Without intending to be evasive, I say “it depends.”

Design is a process of creative problem solving; and it changes depending on the problem at hand.

It changes based on the client’s needs, resource limitations and timeline. It changes based on the scope of the user needs. It’s different for something existing than it is for net new design. It’s different for waterfall than agile.

In broad strokes, the list below captures most of the process I’ve used successfully before. I’ll caveat this list by saying, I don’t always do all of these steps or do them the same way. But it should give an idea of my UX process.


  1. Gather existing assets (any current state, company collateral, previous efforts, etc.)
  2. List out SMEs, stakeholders
  3. Review (or document) the business requirements and goals
  4. Competitive research
    1. Inventory, heuristic evaluation of key competitors
    2. Distill research findings (affinity mapping, ranking)
  5. User Research
    1. Survey, interviews (users, stakeholders), journaling, user test competitor products
    2. Distill research findings (summarize, note compelling user statements, affinity mapping)
  6. Perspective
    1. Discuss and document initial thoughts on project needs
    2. Collect a comprehensive feature list
  7. Persona
    1. Document key needs, problems and wants
    2. Generate draft personas
  8. Prioritize user needs and wants based on business effort and ROI
  9. Identify primary success metrics and secondary metrics
    1. Note any of those existing metrics to baseline
  10. Get consensus on approach, goals


  1. Determine key functionality needed to fill user needs and document the approach
  2. Determine key flows (journey mapping, task analysis)
  3. Document key flows (flowcharts)
  4. Check-in with stakeholders
  5. Determine screens needed to produce the functionality
  6. Prioritize features, fixes, and functionality into a product roadmap
  7. Work with team to work backwards from key functionality and screens to breakdown the work into iterations, or milestones


  1. Brainstorming (alone, then together as a group)
  2. Continue sketching of screens
  3. Check-in with stakeholders
  4. Wireframe key functionality screens (first set of work)
  5. Prototype key screens for first set of work
  6. Check-in with stakeholders

Validate and Iterate

  1. Test with users (formally or informally)
    1. Distill user testing feedback
  2. Revise wireframes based on user feedback
  3. Check-in with stakeholders


  1. Determine extent of system UI
  2. Determine repeated UI components
  3. Collect and catalog UI components as visual design solidifies
  4. Design animations, transitions, motion
  5. Check-in with stakeholders
  6. Apply design to necessary screens
  7. Document properties for visuals
  8. Provide necessary specs to developers

Post Dev

  1. Monitor functionality and visual design for consistency and accuracy
  2. Ensure success metric monitoring is set up properly


  1. Regular, open-ended user research (satisfaction surveys, listening sessions, customer service logs, social media reporting)
  2. Monitor analytics and success metrics
    1. Distill feedback and data
  3. Incorporate user signal into backlog and re-prioritized