To start a UX project from scratch it is helpful to follow a methodological process that will guide you through the various stages required from start to finish. There are many processes, frameworks and schools of thought, for this example we will use the Double Diamond process created by the British Design Council.
It divides project development into four distinct phases:
As you navigate life and experience the world you will inevitably notice areas that can be improved, that is the first stage in any potential project. Identifying a problem area that you are inclined to improve. You can use your observations, talk with other people, role play different characters, brainstorm or empathise. There are endless things that can be improved, just find one to start.
After identifying a problem area and researching some initial information it is time to gather insights and narrow down your project scope. At this stage, it is good to try and understand the needs of your actual users. The best way is to engage your target users in person to discuss your proposition.
This is the stage where you try to create potential solutions that would address the problem area. There is never only one way to solve a problem, so it is good to explore multiple ideas and then assess them based on your use case values.
At this stage, you ideally have a prototype of your proposed solution. This will enable you to go back to your target users and evaluate your hypothesis and value proposition. This is an immensely valuable experience that will lead to real insights as your prototype is put to the test.
This process not necessarily linear, each stage is meant to uncover new knowledge and help you refine or change your proposition. You can always go back to previous stages, in order to gain new knowledge or apply newfound insights. It is a dynamic and evolving process that can be applied to a multitude of different projects, whether you designing a new app, website or product.
Designers across disciplines share strikingly similar approaches to the creative process, which we’ve mapped out as ‘the Double Diamond’.
Every design specialism has a different approach and ways of working, but there are some commonalities to the creative process. At the Design Council, we like to illustrate this with our Double Diamond model.