The UX Process & Workflows
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This is a rather elaborate and sometimes subjective topic, as there are many more ways than one to peel a peach and with purpose and vision it gets done gloriously well.
There are also many levels to this however, even initially, such as the process, the people, the applications, the hardware and then the master of those, the workflow.
All this to keep everything in check and everyone happy and costs low but output effective and on point.
1 | Concept
/ Ideas / Vision / Goals / Stakeholders / Baseline / Low fidelity Wireframes
In this phase, its quite clear what has to happen… EVERYTHING AND FAST, though thats a problem sometimes, as phase 2 gets undermined by rapid and inconclusive project management in the initial stages and can / will lead to long reaching issues… so take your and your teams time, flesh it out vastly, consider minor details with major consequence and develop the idea totally to the point of being as clear as crisp lake water in everyones minds.
2 | Research
/ Idea iteration / Initial User feedback / Medium Fidelity to High Fidelity Wireframes
Finally, phew, that was a stretch in Phase 1, tough stuff to keep aligned and well documented too, well onto this the Research Phase, which in and of it self will become hazardous as you delve in the very deep rabbit hole that is your projects scope and the efforts of the wider world out there, that have either done something similar, or exactly the same. However, don’t be discouraged by this factor, as new trees always grow and air always needs to be cleaned, so do peoples exposure to same or similarity, and can bring comfort in brand identity.
Involving people in the ideas and iteration process is a sure fire way of keeping them keen and loyal, especially if rewarded by what the brand/product will be selling/giving. There is no end to the rewards that can be had of proper research handling with a collaborative partnering of peers, people and even passersby. No jokes, you might actually pass by the perfect person for feedback and never know / or have known it. So if you have a hunch, a momentary thought about doing it, just do it.
The worst that can happen is they run away in terror due to your abruptness. This is also where your interaction research must have been done on how to gain street level feedback or face to face initiations.
3 | Alpha Deployment
/ Iterative Development / Strong use case exampling and client base building / Socials etc
Phase 3 is extremely similar to Phase 2, in that you have to keep up the research, deliver a variate version of the initial offering, and start building live networks on various mediums such as social media and in real life scenarios. The exampling of the Alpha will bring much better feedback, strong willingness on the client side to jump onboard, and a reason for the socials to even start existing.
4 | Beta Deployment
/ Finalisations / User Testing A/B MVT / Feature introduction and future aspect delivery
Phase 4 is the heavy hitting Phase 3, with superior focus on Multivariate testing and A/B testing and getting that feedback, fast and furiously. In this phase your team and brand would benefit from frequent direct meet and greets, as well as a congratulations midway, as the positivity of this rewarding will benefit the next phase in such a large way, that it could make or break the immediate future of the product. Moral is super important in this phase leading up to Launch, as you don’t want teams or users/clients going “finally its up and done”, but rather, “Ok great, so what now what happens next, are we done?
Do we keep going on from here and make it better?”. In this mindset the project outlay and future aspect delivery is near guaranteed, but could be stifled by bad managerial decision making or swift layoffs and such, as the demand for labour dials down near project completion / Launch.
5 | Launch
/ Marketing / Iterative Testing / Continuous User Feedback and Adaptations
Phase 4 being just behind you, keep the lessons and methods learnt there sharply in mind for this Phase 5, launching your efforts. Here you will have to do a lot to keep yourself and others on task in check and not allow to much flailing regarding new ideas or more backtracking. It has to be good by now, and it has to make that stance publicly and privately.
The Marketing will feel it if it isn’t done to that degree. There are, of-course, also elements of Phase 4 still lingering and they will for a while as User feedback comes in and as more testing is done during and after launch. With a superior support readiness also required for issues and failures on the larger systems side.
6 | Trend
/ Trend Setting or market disruption / Marketing you previous process further.
In this bonus phase, one that is determined at the start anyway, due to the essence of the product/brand, you and team will be able to either decide to keep up with trends, or try set trends and disrupt certain market areas.
You will also have this chance to do Post Launch marketing about team and the history of this effort in exposing your processes, workflows, the people, users and more… sort of like a credit role, but with a bit – TO BE CONTINUED at the end of the roll, and of course massive and honest thank you’s all around.
7 | RESTART AND DO IT ALL AGAIN
But Better, while the current one sustains itself, always be future readying yourself and brand with more depth, more substance and other views or thoughts to feed the narrative.
The fact is, this article and the items discussed here are also under peer review, user review and self review and are never final, as we evolve the industry or clients evolve in requirement, or our own expectations grow, so does the process / workflows adapt and change, and therefor this article will promptly be updated with that in mind, though honestly, people that work in this area, hope for some year or two stability, as the work is tough already, and having to be continuously and unwaveringly agile is the tallest order, and might implode a project.
Unity 3D for example, touts that once you start a project of any sort in V3.0303 of the program, finish it in that version, release and then re-iterate, and in this case that version might stay around for months to more than a year of relevancy, so to allow teams to achieve initial goals without a hitch.
WAIT!!!, READ THIS ITS IMPORTANT
Further, and uniquely, this very article is itself in Phase 3 even though I have launched it. What do I mean? Well I have a progress bar attached to this article which indicates its status. As I am writing this as the first, second and third draft, it’s time to hand over to readers and get the feedback it deserves, then re-iterate and grow the article with industry feedback and client interaction. This is then a truly rounded off process with-in the article itself that will further strengthen the article context and help elaborate my narrative and objectives for this further.
So, now, it’s time for you, the reader to comment and know that your feedback, opinions and thoughts will collaboratively grow this article in the future. I hope to set an article writing trend with this, full-filling Phase 6, and eventually move to Phase 7 and do another one similar to this to keep disrupting the old style of article and get readers to demand more of them, something that will possibly help fake news in the future, or just be fun to interact with and come back to.
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