UX Design Guides

Great user experiences (UX) aren't created by magic, but by a repeatable process of inquiry and critical thinking, and through deliberate investment.

The Process of Creating UX

User Experience Design is rooted in the User-Centered Design (UCD) process —Understand, Create, Validate, Iterate— a proven, repeatable process for developing successful products from both end-user and business perspectives. UCD is adaptable and applicable to any design work, spanning software, services, process improvement, spaces, and physical products.

UCD should be a part of the preferred software development processes of your organization — UCD & Agile Development aren’t mutually exclusive.

Keep in mind that any process requires thoughtful, deliberate application. This guide will help you understand the purpose and end-goal of each step, but is no single "right" achieve these goals. The guides cannot be followed blindly; remain vigilant. We try to call out the pitfalls at each step to help you along.

Great UX requires investment

To cultivate an environment that allows UX-focused teams to thrive, you need team alignment and administrative buy-in.

Team alignment

"It is really important that no one in the team can point to someone over in the corner and put all the burden of user experience on that guy. No one person, no small group of people can be made responsible for the user experience of a service. It is down to the entire team to achieve this." - Leisa Reichelt, There is no UX, there is only UX

Administrative buy-in for UCD-driven decision making.

"Most often failure to implement a successful change can be tied directly to a lack of management buy-in. Without this buy-in cultural inertia will fight against the proposed change making any change fail regardless of how important or necessary it is to your future success." - Mark Townsend, Achieving Management Buy-in to Change

Design decisions made top-down, by committee, or trumped by non-user-focused stakeholders (such as marketing department) subverts the data & rationale-based process of UCD. You either trust in the process or you don't— there is no middle ground.

Relevant Resources

Design Thinking

Overview of UCD

Aligning UCD to your development process