A UX designer works in different environments — from agile environments and lean startups where teams contribute with little documentation to consulting engagements for third-parties, or large companies and government entities with strict documentation obligations.
Regardless of the nature of environment or engagement, UX professionals always have to communicate their research findings effectively, design ideas and the development of projects to reach a range of audiences.
While a UX designer begins the designing process, they might produce a wide variety of “artifacts” and project deliverables as an essential part of their UX design methodology.
Deliverables, in general, help UX designers communicate with teams and stakeholders, document work, and bring artifacts for summits and ideation sittings. They also lead towards creating a “single source of truth,” which are guides and specifications for implementation and reference.
I, as a UX designer, consider ten UX deliverables that a UX designer typically generates during an engagement. This list, which I’m going to share with you, is by no means comprehensive or may seem longer depending on the nature of the engagement.
For a UX designer, it all starts with an understanding of the product vision, i.e., the motive for the products’ existence from a business perspective. When written in simple words, the statement should consist of the problem being highlighted, the proposed solution, and a reasonable description of the target market. It should also refer to the delivery platforms and touch lightly upon the technical means by which the product will be supplied.
The statement of the product vision need not be longer than a page but should define the core of the What, Why and How.
Here is an example: “The Fantastic App Co. has learned a gap in gift-giving applications on mobile platforms for the millennial market (Android and iOS). A significant number of millennials went through trouble remembering special dates, picking the best gift, and then buying those gifts. Our solution for this set of problems is designed to ease the stress.
For instance, reliability-oriented implementation of anticipatory design and the latest AI technologies help the App delivers a handy and almost magical user experience.”
While a UX professional beginning to design a fresh product, it’s important to consider it’s a good market fit. The product, as part of a UX strategy, must feature a convincing competitive plus and a UX that’s superior to others in the marketplace.
An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors, or simply the competitive analysis, means: “Spotting competitors and evaluating their strategies to decide their strengths and weaknesses comparative to those of your own product to service.”
Among other tasks of a UX professional, it also includes the assertiveness to find what products or services the target customers are currently relying on to solve the user experience problems.
Designers, in fact, need to find, is there already any equivalent product or service out there in the target market? Is there any other solution people are using that’s useful enough but not perfect? A Band-Aid–a vitamin but not a painkiller? Finally, they need to make an idea about “how can better UX make a difference?”
A component of user experience research, a competitive analysis report is generally focused on the top five potential competitors and examines what it is they’re working right, as well as what they’re doing wrong. This way, the report helps provide a design direction where clear goals are described and the elements to be worked on spelled out.