Top Designers’ Favourite UX Deliverables

No matter the situation, it is essential for UX professionals to have a set of deliverables to facilitate communication, document their work, and provide tangible artefacts. To assist in this endeavour, the following is a list of the ten most common UX deliverables.

As a UX designer, one’s work can take place in a range of different settings, from lean startups and Agile environments with limited documentation, to consulting engagements with third parties, to large corporations and government agencies with strict documentation requirements. No matter the context or the environment, UX designers must be able to effectively communicate their design concepts, research results, and project context to a wide range of audiences.

As part of their user experience (UX) design approach, designers will create a diverse array of artefacts and project deliverables throughout the UX design process. These deliverables are essential to facilitate communication with multiple stakeholders, document work, and provide materials for meetings and brainstorming sessions. They also play an important role in the creation of a “single source of truth” — a set of guidelines and specifications that can be used as a reference and implemented accordingly.

Here are the top ten UX deliverables

As a UX designer, there are numerous tasks that may be completed throughout a project. This list is merely a starting point and can be expanded to include additional activities, depending on the specific requirements of the interaction.

  1. Business Objectives and Technical Requirements

    At this pivotal juncture, it is essential for a UX specialist to comprehend the vision of the product, or the reason why the product exists in the first place. To ensure the most effective statement is crafted, it should be written in a straightforward manner and comprise of the issue at hand, the proposed remedy and a concise explanation of the intended audience. Additionally, the statement should outline the distribution platforms and the ways in which the product will be disseminated by means of technology.

    The Fantastic App Co. has identified a need in the mobile gift-giving app market for Millennials. Many Millennials struggle to remember key occasions, find the right gift, and locate and purchase it. To address this, our app aims to provide a seamless and innovative user experience by leveraging anticipatory design and cutting-edge AI technology. Our goal is to reduce the stress associated with gift-giving for Millennials, while providing an enjoyable and interactive experience.
  2. Report on Competitive Analysis

    It is essential that anyone starting to develop a new product take the time to ensure that it meets the needs of its target market. Furthermore, as part of a UX (User Experience) strategy, the product must also offer a significant competitive edge and a superior user experience compared to its competitors.

    Competitive analysis involves the identification of one’s competitors and a thorough assessment of their strategies to uncover their advantages and disadvantages in comparison to one’s own product or service.

    As a UX Designer, one of the initial tasks is to identify what solutions the intended audience is presently utilising to address the issue at hand. Are there any comparable products or services available, or is there an alternate option that people utilise, which provides an adequate solution but is not perfect? Could UX design provide the necessary improvements to bridge the gap between an adequate and optimal solution? For example, is using a band-aid like taking a vitamin, but not like taking a pain reliever?

    A Competition Analysis Study is an integral component of User Experience (UX) Research. This stage of research involves identifying the top five competitors and analysing their strengths and weaknesses. The data gathered from this phase of research will be used to establish a design direction and objectives, as well as to determine the areas to be focused on. By undertaking this research, organisations will be better equipped to develop a successful design strategy.
  3. Personas and User Experience Research Reports

    As a UX designer, it is essential to ensure that all stakeholders comprehend the requirements of the product’s consumers. To effectively do this, it is beneficial to utilise tried-and-true methods, such as developing personas and conducting user research. Personas are useful for providing a comprehensive representation of a product’s typical users and their individual objectives, desires, and interests. Through the use of personas, the project team can gain an understanding of the user to foster empathy.

    User research is a vital component of the user experience (UX) design process. It involves a range of techniques and tools for identifying user behavioural patterns, adding additional context, and providing valuable insight into the design process. There are numerous user research tools and approaches to choose from, and the key is to select the best “lens” for the project at hand.

    Prior to launching any user research, it is essential to create a research strategy. This document will serve a dual purpose by ensuring that research objectives and methodology are effectively communicated and that stakeholders are aware of the undertaking and lend their support. Additionally, this document will be invaluable for keeping all involved parties on task and on target throughout the research process.

    At the conclusion of the user research phase, a report is prepared that consolidates the findings of the study into actionable items. Subsequently, the UX team will utilise these items in the development of the product.
  4. Information Architecture and Sitemap

    A sitemap is a visual representation of all the elements and information included in a digital product. It outlines the organisation of content within an application or website, and is an essential component of the user experience design process. Along with wireframes, sitemaps are an invaluable tool for UX designers in order to ensure a cohesive, intuitive experience for users.

    Sitemaps can be very useful for organising and labelling components of a product in order to facilitate navigation, discoverability, and usability. Additionally, sitemaps can help to define the taxonomy and user interface of the product.

    Sitemaps are invaluable resources that should be regularly updated as the product progresses through the iterative prototyping and user testing process. Furthermore, a numbering system is often employed to ensure that everyone involved in the design process is able to communicate effectively about the product’s content.
  5. User Journeys, Experience Maps, and User Flows

    An experience map is a visual representation of the entire journey a user goes through while engaging with a product or service. It outlines the user’s objectives, needs, time spent, thoughts, emotions, responses, worries, and expectations throughout the process. It is typically presented in the form of a timeline, with the touchpoints between the user and the product being clearly identified. Experience mapping helps to gain an in-depth understanding of the user’s engagement with a product or service, allowing for changes to be made in order to improve the overall experience.

    User journeys and user flows are an essential part of understanding how users interact with a product. They provide insight into the sequence of actions a user may take, as well as the behaviour, functionality, and important interactions that are necessary for them to complete a task. By evaluating and understanding the flow of different user actions, product designers can begin to identify the types of features and materials needed in the user interface, as well as what user interface elements are necessary for users to complete those tasks.

    Much of User Experience (UX) design is focused on addressing and resolving user issues. When creating a user journey, the designer must take into account the user’s persona, objectives, motivations, current difficulties, and primary activities they wish to carry out. It is essential to understand these aspects in order to create an effective user journey.

    Understanding the difference between a user journey and a user flow can be helpful in assessing the customer experience. A user flow is typically focused on a single action or objective within a product or service. For example, when scheduling a Lyft ride, a user flow would encompass the steps taken to complete the task. A user journey, on the other hand, is a broader perspective, taking into account how a particular customer experience fits into the wider context. In other words, a user journey is more focused on the bigger picture of how the customer interacts with the product or service.
  6. Wireframes for User Experience

    Wireframes are two-dimensional illustrations that communicate the framework and components of an interface design. They are an essential part of the user experience (UX) design process, helping to define the information architecture, content spacing, functionality, interaction design and user behaviour expectations. In other words, wireframes serve as a blueprint for the design of a digital product.

    Wireframes are an essential element in user experience (UX) design and are one of the most commonly created project outputs. Asking a UX designer to “show me your wireframes” is likely to be the most frequent request during an interview.

    Wireframing is an integral part of the UX design process and is a cost-effective way to develop ideas, create unique solutions and meet user requirements. It is an efficient tool for quickly generating a range of ideas that goes beyond traditional drawing, and is available in varying levels of detail, from low-fidelity (no styling, basic black and white boxes, and placeholder text) to high-fidelity (fully styled, with colour, and very detailed).

    Wireframes, also known as “wires” within the industry, can be a cost-effective and time-saving tool for designing a product as they are highly malleable and straightforward to assemble. Additionally, they provide a central point for stakeholders and colleagues to engage in dialogue and decide on a design direction. Ultimately, this can prove to be beneficial in the long-term.

    Wireframes are an essential building block in the design process, providing a foundation for defining the structural elements of a design and how a user will experience an App or website under various use cases. There are some interesting variations on wireframes, such as “wireframe maps”, which were discussed in a recent article on Works Design Blog, and “wireflows”, a UX deliverable from the NNGroup for developing workflows and Applications.
  7. Interactive Models

    Interactive prototypes are a vital component of the user-centred design process, as they provide an opportunity to bring products to life. By creating rudimentary prototypes, designers can save time and money, as well as gain valuable insight into how their designs will operate in an actual use case scenario. Moreover, interactive prototypes enable quick design iteration and user testing, in addition to facilitating effective communication of design solutions at different stages of the UX design process.

    At any point in the iterative process of discovery, prototyping can be done. A thorough review of the product prototype, from paper prototypes to finished designs, enables the team to comprehend how the product will function when a real user interacts with it. This internal review is invaluable to ensure the product is successful.

    Interactive prototypes can provide a level of detail and interactivity that traditional static drawings and wireframes cannot achieve. Through the use of an interactive prototype, designers and engineers can gain a better understanding of how the product will actually behave and how all the components and features will connect. Additionally, interactive prototypes provide an opportunity to experiment with different designs and features, and even to generate new ideas. Furthermore, interactive prototypes may help to identify potential problem areas and difficult conversations before they become a reality.

    Conducting user testing is significantly enhanced when utilising interactive prototypes. Instead of simply navigating through static webpages, potential users are able to experience a product that appears genuinely real and provide meaningful feedback, as well as share their opinions and ideas.

    Designer prototype tools now come in various forms and sizes.
  8. Graphic Design

    The final phase of the UX design process is visual design, which is much more than just the last coat of paint. Visual design can have a major influence on the user experience of the product, and it is essential to be mindful of this when incorporating it into the UX design. It is beneficial to have already established the interaction design and usability heuristics leading up to this stage, as this allows the designers to focus on the aesthetics of the product. This is an opportunity to truly elevate the product and take it to the next level.

    Prior to handoff to developers, the penultimate stage is visual design. This stage is not only about creating a visually appealing design, but also about establishing a brand colour scheme and promoting usability through layout, contrast, and visual hierarchy. During this stage, a styleguide and final specifications are created.
  9. Developer Style Guide and Specifications

    The final step in the User Experience (UX) design process is to develop specifications for developers and create a style guide. It is essential to create a style guide if the design of a product is intended to be successful in the long-term.

    A styleguide is an essential tool for creating a unified, consistent look and feel across all design elements. It provides a unified set of guidelines for the use of colours, fonts, typography, and branding. It also establishes design patterns, terminology, and rules for keyboard shortcuts, data display, and user interface behaviours such as error handling. By adhering to these standards, a styleguide ensures that the design elements of a product or service are consistently applied and recognisable.

    Creating a style guide manually is an extremely labour-intensive process that can take up to six months. Due to the amount of time and effort involved, any automation solution that eliminates or reduces the need for manual work is highly valued for its capacity to save time. On the other hand, some style guides and specifications can be generated automatically, providing an efficient alternative to the manual creation process.

    Automated methods of design handoff vary in accordance with the technology that is utilised. These methods offer a more expedient and gradual approach in comparison to longer styleguides, and can be considered analogous to a “style bible” that is readily available to everyone on the team.

    Zeplin is an invaluable tool for UI designers and front end developers who use Sketch. It facilitates collaboration throughout the entire design process and beyond, supporting teams with the efficient hand-off of design assets. Zeplin streamlines the design workflow, offering a comprehensive set of features to help teams stay organised and on the same page.

    Additionally, a design styleguide can be quickly created from Sketch with the help of the Craft plug-in. Furthermore, the Measurements and CSS from the design can be effortlessly extracted with the Marketch plug-in, as explained in this post.
  10. Reports on Usability Testing and Usage Analytics

    As a UX designer, it is important to understand that the work is never truly finished. Even after launching a product, there are still opportunities to collect user feedback, analyse usage statistics, make necessary adjustments, release updates, and then repeat the process. Through continuous improvement, UX designers are able to ensure their products are providing the best possible experience.

    A usability test can provide insight into whether or not your target consumers are able to effectively use your product. It can help identify any issues that users may be having with your user interface, as well as uncover any activities or tasks that could be difficult to complete or any ambiguous language or terminology that could be causing confusion. This type of testing can be a useful tool for ensuring that your product meets the needs of your customers.

    Usability testing reports are typically provided during the prototyping phase, yet it is not often that existing products are evaluated with consumers so as to identify areas that could benefit from improvement.

    As the importance of understanding and interpreting data gathered from usability testing increases for UX professionals, the ability to collect, categorise, and create reports from this data is becoming a sought-after skill. To illustrate the process, we have provided a sample usability testing report for reference.

    Following the launch of the product, an additional set of data collection using a quantitative method will be undertaken to provide the design team with insights into how the product is performing with consumers on an extensive basis.

    There are a number of methods and tools available for capturing and analysing user behaviour. Eye-tracking and click-tracking provide valuable insight into user interactions, while heatmaps can be used to visualise clicks, taps, and scrolling activity. Additionally, UI element tagging helps to track a user’s digital footprint across mobile and web platforms.

    Analytics reports provide a comprehensive view of how and by whom features are being used, including which features are most popular and for how long users are engaging with them. Furthermore, these reports track changes in usage over time and across countries, accounts, and user groups. Utilising analytics reports allows businesses to gain a better understanding of consumer behaviour, enabling them to make informed decisions about their product offerings.

    Analytics firms commonly offer tailored reports upon request which can be extremely useful in uncovering unseen information regarding the utilisation of a product. This data can be a useful tool in determining which features of the product are being utilised and which are not. For example, a feature which was thought to be highly popular may be underused, or conversely, a seemingly insignificant user interface feature may be extremely popular, prompting the decision to prioritise the expansion of that functionality.

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