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Most Common UX Design Methods and Techniques

The list below contains most common methods and techniques used by UX Designers as they create great experiences for users. For each item on the list you’ll see additional links with some of the best practices available.

Let’s start!

Value Proposition

A statement that maps out the key aspects of product: what it is, who it is for and how it will be used. Value proposition helps the team create consensus around what the product will be.

A thought value proposition help UX designers to keep the focus in the important things Image credit: UXMag
Strategyzer’s Value Proposition Canvas Explained

Related links:

Value proposition – Wikipedia

A value proposition is a statement which clearly identifies clear, measurable and demonstrable benefits consumers get…

en.wikipedia.org

Communicating the UX Value Proposition | UX Magazine

It is neither uncommon nor unreasonable for a UX professional to be asked to justify the cost of their work in…

uxmag.com

Product Strategy

A product strategy is the foundation of a product life-cycle and the execution plan for further development. It allows UX designers to zero in on specific target audiences and draw focus on the product and consumer attributes.

A user experience strategy applies this approach to UX design. Image credit: UIE
Awesome talk by Jared Spool about building a winning UX strategy using Kano Model

Related links:

XD Essentials: How to Develop a Product Strategy | Creative Cloud blog by Adobe

One of the most common misunderstandings among business leaders is that having a product strategy is optional. Rather…

blogs.adobe.com

What is Good Product Strategy?

“What is your Product Strategy? YOU NEED A STRATEGY.” When I replay this scene in my head, I can hear the CTO very…

articles.uie.com

How to develop a focused product strategy to back up your UI/UX decisions – InVision Blog

Editor’s note: This is a chapter from Jane Portman’s new book, The UI Audit . How can you design a successful product…

www.invisionapp.com

Competitive Audit

Competitive Audit is a comprehensive analysis of competitor products that maps out their existing features in a comparable way. The goal of competitive audit is to discover what is working for other companies in your industry, so that you can make those strategies work for you, too, to gain a competitive advantage.

Summary of competitive audit. Image by boxesandarrows

Related links:

Competitive Analysis: Understanding the Market Context

“While user-centered design focuses on user needs/tasks, and information architecture focuses on content, these two…

boxesandarrows.com

Conducting a Solid UX Competitive Analysis

Most people are familiar with the concept of a competitive analysis; it’s a fairly standard business term to describe…

danforth.co

Cultural Probes

Cultural probes is a technique used to inspire ideas in a design process. It serves as a means of gathering inspirational data about people’s lives, values and thoughts. With minimal intrusion, researchers can glean insights into participants’ environments that can help to identify problem statements, uncover new opportunities, and inspire the designer with new ideas and novel solutions.

Cultural probes use a collection of tools, artifacts and tasks intended to provoke the user to look and think about their environment in new ways.

Related links:

Inside Your Users’ Minds: The Cultural Probe

by Published in Ruth Stalker-Firth Usability Theoretically, usability testing is a great way of finding out what is…

alistapart.com

Stakeholders Interviews

Stakeholder Interviews are conversations UX designers conducts with their key stakeholder: customers, bosses, subordinates or peers both within and outside the organization. The interviews allow UX designer to step into the shoes of their interviewees and see your role through the eyes of these stakeholders. It also helps prioritise features and define key performance indicators (KPIs).

Related links:

Preparing for UX Stakeholder Interviews

UX isn’t all about the users. On the other side of the coin lurks the business and the UX pro that makes her users…

www.interaction-design.org

Better Stakeholder Interviews

Remember the childhood game of ” Telephone “? One person whispers a message into the ear of their friend, and that…

cognition.happycog.com

A Stakeholder Interview Checklist

This is an excerpt from from Kim Goodwin’s excellent Designing for the Digital Age. It is quite long, so we’ve broken…

boxesandarrows.com

User Interview

A user interview is a common user research technique used typically to get qualitative information from existing users. User interview helps UX designer better understand their users (user’s emotion and opinions). This technique is especially useful when the target audience is new or unknown for the team.

Usually, a researcher meets with participants one-on-one to discuss in depth what the participant thinks about the topic in question.

Related links:

Interviewing Users

Despite many weaknesses, interviews are a valuable method for exploratory user research.

www.nngroup.com

How to Conduct User Interviews

User interviews can be a great way to extract information from users for user experience understanding, usability…

www.interaction-design.org

Kickoff Meeting

The kickoff meeting covers a high-level outline of the product’s purpose, who is involved in designing and developing the product, how they’ll work together and stay up to date on progress, and what the intended results or success metrics are. The kickoff meeting sets the stage for the success of your product.

A kickoff meeting is the first meeting with the project team and the client of the project. Image credit: 1stwebdesigner

Related links:

Hold A Kickoff Meeting Before Diving Into The Design

The kickoff phase sets the stage for the success of your product. Without properly conducting this phase, your team…

www.smashingmagazine.com

How To Take Charge Of A UX Kickoff Meeting

I once worked with a digital agency that didn’t know how to hold a kickoff meeting. And they didn’t even know that they…

www.smashingmagazine.com

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluation is a detailed analysis of a product that highlights good and bad design practices in existing product. It helps UX designers visualize the current state of the product in terms of usability, accessibility, and effectiveness of the experience.

A radar plot showing a website that performs well across all heuristic categories. Image credit: Smashing Magazine

Related links:

What is a Heuristic Evaluation in UX?

A deep dive into what is a heuristic evaluation within UX design.

careerfoundry.com

What You Really Get From a Heuristic Evaluation

Every user experience researcher I know gets requests to do heuristic evaluations. But it isn’t always clear that the…

uxmag.com

How to run an heuristic evaluation – UX Mastery

Being a user experience designer often requires juggling tensions, whether they be juggling creative tension, managing…

uxmastery.com

A Guide To Heuristic Website Reviews

In this article, we’ll explore a scoring system for rating and comparing websites, we’ll visualize those ratings using…

www.smashingmagazine.com

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is widely used by teams as a method to generate ideas and solve problems. Brainstorming allows the team to visualize a broad range of design solutions before deciding which one to stick with.

Brainstorming is a process for generating creative ideas and solutions through intensive and freewheeling group discussion.

Related links:

A Framework For Brainstorming Products

Brainstorming is notorious for being unstructured and often unactionable. People get in a room with some Post-its and…

www.smashingmagazine.com

Tips for Structuring Better Brainstorming Sessions

Brainstorming is widely used by teams as a method to generate ideas and solve problems. However, many brainstorming…

www.inspireux.com

Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: Brainstorming, Braindumping, Brainwriting, and…

Brainstorming is the most frequently practiced form of ideation. We recommend that you use it along with Brainwriting…

www.interaction-design.org

Task Analysis

A study of the actions required in order to complete a given task. Task Analysis is helpful when designers and developers try to understand the current system and its information flows. It makes it possible to allocate tasks appropriately within the new system.

Task analysis is a simple and effective process for laying out tasks from a user’s perspective. Image credit: Comcast

Related links:

What is the difference between “Task Analysis” and “User Journey”?

I been recently reading about User Journey – as a Methodology to capture how user would use a website or interface – a…

ux.stackexchange.com

How to improve your UX designs with Task Analysis

One of the most important steps in the Design Thinking process that is often employed as standard practice in UX design…

www.interaction-design.org

Product Roadmap

Product roadmap is a product’s evolution plan with prioritized features. It could be a spreadsheet, a diagram or even a bunch of sticky notes. UX designer shares the product strategy with the team and the road that needs to be taken to achieve its vision.

An example of Product Roadmap as a digram. Image by roadmunk

Related links:

UX in Product Roadmaps: How to plan your design activities?

A good product roadmap is a very simple list of high-level goals you want to achieve in the next 3-6 months. This…

uxstudioteam.com

5 Tips from 5 PMs to Improve Your Team’s Product Roadmap

High-level business goals Features aimed at achieving these goals KPIs for tracking progress As shown in the below…

www.uxpin.com

Focus Groups

A focus group is a moderated discussion that typically involves 5 to 10 participants. You bring people to discuss issues and concerns about the features of a user interface. The group typically lasts about 2 hours and is run by a moderator who maintains the group’s focus.

Groups of 5–10 participants are lead through a discussion about a set of topics, giving verbal and written feedback through discussion and exercises. Image credit: telecomitalia

Related links:

Focus Groups in UX Research: Article by Jakob Nielsen

A paper by Jakob Nielsen about the purpose and methods for using focus groups to understand users and guide the…

www.nngroup.com

How to Conduct Focus Groups

Focus groups have long been a popular tool in market research and have become more popular in user research in the…

www.interaction-design.org

Myth #26: Usability testing = focus groups – UX Myths

UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true.

uxmyths.com

Card Sorting

Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a product. UX designer asks users to group content and functionalities into open or closed categories. A result gives UX designer input on content hierarchy, organization and flow.

Card sorting is a well-established research technique for discovering how people understand and categorize information. Image by boagworld

Related links:

Card Sorting Beginner’s Guide – Improving Your Information Architecture

In this article, we’ll discuss card sorting, a tried and true technique for doing just that. We’ll go through some…

www.smashingmagazine.com

The Pros and Cons of Card Sorting in UX Research

Card sorting is a very simple and well tested technique. You can use it in UX research, Information Architecture…

www.interaction-design.org

Usability Testing

Usability testing is the observation of users trying to carry out tasks with a product. Testing can be focused on a single process or be much more wide ranging.

Lab usability testing. Image by hotjar

Related links:

Usability Testing: Don’t Guess, Test. | UX Booth

Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect. The same goes for web design; usability testing…

www.uxbooth.com

How to Conduct Usability Testing from Start to Finish

You are not your users. But if you can find your users and learn from them as you design, you’ll be able to create a…

uxmastery.com

Concept Testing

A UX researcher shares an approximation of a product that captures the key essence (the Value Proposition) of a new concept in order to determine if it meets the needs of the target audience. Concept testing can be done one-on-one or with larger numbers of participants, and either in person or online.

Related links:

Testing Content Concepts :: UXmatters

Web magazine about user experience matters, providing insights and inspiration for the user experience community

www.uxmatters.com

5 Myths of Concept Testing: What Clients Need To Know | EffectiveUI

Test early, test often. It’s a mantra that’s been proven successful time and again when it comes to designs. So why…

www.effectiveui.com

A/B Test

A/B testing is offering alternative versions of a product to different users and comparing the results in order to find out which one performs better. This is a great technique for optimizing funnels and landing pages.

Related links:

A/B and see: a beginner’s guide to A/B testing – InVision Blog

The process of decision making in design has always been a popular area of discussion. Why do some designers make…

www.invisionapp.com

The Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing

At its core, A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like: you have two versions of an element (A and B) and a metric…

www.smashingmagazine.com

Guerrilla Testing

Guerrilla testing is one of the simplest (and cheapest) form of user testing. Using guerrilla testing usually means going into a coffee shop or another public place to ask people there about your product or prototype. It can be conducted anywhere ex- cafe, library, train station etc, essentially anywhere where you can find a relevant audience.

Related links:

The Art of Guerrilla Usability Testing | UX Booth

Guerrilla usability testing is a powerful technique. Designer Martin Belam describes it as “the art of pouncing on lone…

www.uxbooth.com

7 Step Guide to Guerrilla Usability Testing: DIY Method

← Back to our blog In the field of User Experience and Product Development, research and planning rule the show…

userbrain.net

Field Studies

Field study is about going out and observing users “in the wild” so that behavior can be measured in the context where a product will actually be used. This technique can include ethnographic research, interviews and observations, plus contextual enquiry.

Related links:

Field Studies

Field research is conducted in the user’s context and location. Learn the unexpected by leaving the office and…

www.nngroup.com

Field Studies Done Right: Fast and Observational

Field studies are one of the most valuable methods for setting a design project’s direction and discovering unmet user…

www.nngroup.com

Eye Movement Tracking

A technology that analyzes the user’s eye movements across the UI layout (i.e. web page). Eyetracking provides data about what keeps users interested on the screen and how their reading flow could be optimized by design.

Eye-tracking heatmaps

Related links:

Eye Tracking: Best Way to Test Rich App Usability

Eye tracking has recently been debated on many fronts, with a particular focus on the ways people misuse it, and how…

uxmag.com

Eye Tracking: What Is It For And When To Use It – Usability Geek

Imagine a usability test in which John, the test participant, attempts to buy a bicycle. On the homepage John quickly…

usabilitygeek.com

SWOT Analysis

Various methods for assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that impact the user experience of a product.

UX kind of SWOT Analaysis for landing page. Image credit: e27

Related links:

Digital SWOT analysis: What is it and why you should care?

Because companies often have a confused view of their digital strategy it is often useful to bring some order to the…

boagworld.com

Accessibility Audit

A study to measure if the website can be used by everyone, including users with special needs. It should follow the W3C guidelines to make sure that all users are satisfied.

The end goal, in both usability and accessibility, is to discover how easily people can use a product and feed that information back into improving future designs and implementations. Image credit: Sarah Horton

Related links:

Accessibility testing – W3C Wiki

Web accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing where the users under consideration have disabilities that…

www.w3.org

Myth #5: Accessibility is expensive and difficult – UX Myths

UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true.

uxmyths.com

I truly hope you’ve enjoyed the the list. If you would like to know more about UX deliverables, check the article below:

A Complete List Of UX Deliverables

by Nick Babich

uxplanet.org

Learn how to design better products

Interactions between computers and humans should be as intuitive as conversations between two humans. Interaction Design Foundation will help you to learn how to design for efficiency and persuasion.

Learn UX Design

Take all our online courses. Pay a flat fee. Get industry-recognized Course Certificates (see example) Self-paced…

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