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UX Deliverables Are Documentation of Design Processes
The most important takeaway from this module is that the function of UX deliverables as a form of documentation is to orient designers to design processes. Design processes for applications like the ones you reviewed for this module are now exceedingly complex and involve teams of programmers, designers, UXers, marketers, managers, technical communicators, etc., etc., etc. Someone has to document the design process and orient its shape! That person is the UX designer.
UX designers are thus part project manager, part usability specialist, and part technical communicator. They wear a lot of hats, but their primary goal, as I explain below, is to keep users at the center of the process.
UX Deliverables Insert Users into Design Processes
UX stands for “user experience.” Keyword: user. Besides having users sit at the table with you while designing a product (which is a thing, actually: it’s called participatory design), it can be hard to insert them into a design process. What do they need? What do they want? What are their pain points? Will they even use this product or service?
These are some of the questions that UX designers help answer by not only interacting with real, live users (through user interviews and usability testing), but also through documenting user needs through UX deliverables.
There is no “average” UX design process, but if there were, it would probably look like this:
- Initial research (user interviews; deliverables: personas, wireframes, site maps)
- Prototyping (deliverable: simple or clickable prototype)
- Usability testing (deliverable: usability report, customer journey map)
- Maintenance (post-launch; varied)
At all stages of this process, documentation is created and maintained by the UXer. And the goal of this documentation is to make sure that the product or service being designed meets user expectations.