5 Common UX Deliverables Design Pros Use
UX design is an ever-evolving industry. Fueled by advancing technologies and user-centric strategies, UX design professionals have more insight into their target audiences than ever before. While it’s generally understood that key aspects of a UX professional’s work will focus on user research and user satisfaction; there are many facets to this budding industry. One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a UX designer’s job is transforming user research data into a visual representation of some sort. Want to dive deeper into what it takes to work in UX design? Keep reading to find out which UX deliverables are commonly used by industry professionals.
“Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”
– Steve Jobs, American Inventor, Tech Icon, & Co-founder of Apple
The UX design process will vary from project to project – with each startup, business, or individual collaborator expecting something different. However, in most cases, designers and UX researchers will be expected to condense their research findings into a report for key stakeholders to review. This report may take the form of a usability report that provides a deeper understanding of how real users interact with a product or other types of analytics reports may be used, depending on the project’s needs.
Please note that the following list does not encompass every type of deliverable. Varying UX design methods may require alternative measures to be taken. However, this list includes 5 of the most commonly produced UX deliverables:
Competitive Analysis Reports
When designing a new product or service, it’s important to do extensive market research – which may include a competitive analysis report. In these reports, UX professionals aggregate data on their competitors with the goal of creating a UX strategy that ensures their product has a competitive advantage over others.
UX designers can have varied approaches to crafting competitive analysis reports. However, the overarching goals remain the same:
- gain an understanding of who the competitors are and how they’re currently solving issues for the target audience
- identify differences in the product or service and how those differences can set you apart from others in the marketplace
User Persona/UX Research Reports
Have you ever crafted a user persona? Generating personas helps designers figure out what types of individuals are a part of their target audience.
Why is this important? Well, during the design process, stakeholders or design team members may want to gain insight into who the ideal customer is and how the product or service will meet their needs. While a user persona is a fictional character, personas are representative of a product or service’s typical users. And when used strategically, they can help identify design solutions.
“Where you innovate, how you innovate, and what you innovate are design problems.”
-Tim Brown, chair and co-CEO of IDEO
User Flow Diagrams
While designing, it is important for UX practitioners to keep their external clients (the users) in mind. After all, users are critical to the entire design thinking process – from the initial mapping out of the visual design details to the prototyping phase and every phase in between. So, it’s no surprise that user flow diagrams are one of the most common UX deliverables.
A user flow diagram considers the paths a user will take in order to complete tasks using web or mobile applications – which makes them critical for designing intuitive and responsive products.
User flow diagrams are also useful because they:
- allow UX professionals to communicate the goals of the product or service to key stakeholders and fellow team members
- reduce the likelihood of errors, as they provide a visual representation of the steps the user will take to complete tasks using the product
- encourage user-centric design by putting the needs of the user front and center
Product Styleguides for Developers
The success of any product relies on the strength of the collaboration it takes to design it – which is why style guides are immensely important.
A styleguide is a UX deliverable that can encompass information about a product’s branding, visual design elements, color hex codes, preferred typefaces, etc. In addition to info about the visual design, styleguides may include specifications for UI functions and other technical details.
UX designers rarely work in silos. They collaborate with user interface designers, user researchers, and developers to bring their visual designs to life. Styleguides, created from information compiled throughout the design process, can aid in the success of a product, as it works as a blueprint for the user experience.
“Usability does not equate to a specific number of clicks, taps, swipes, pinches, flicks.”
-John Morkes, founder of Neet UX & Strategy
Usage Analytics Reports
Even when a product is launched, there is still work to be done. After all, UX designers want to know how the user interacts with a product, what the user’s flow entails, and if there is any usage analytics data that can be taken into consideration.
That’s where analytics reports come in handy. This sort of UX deliverable takes a look at the customer journey map and user feedback to find data trends over time. How much time do users spend on the product’s mobile application? How many countries does the product have a presence in? What key elements of the product serve the customer best? These are the types of questions UX designers may ask themselves as they work to understand user behavior and how to influence it.