Koru Technology

Who This Guide Is For

This guide is for start-ups and established businesses with complex technology offerings that are looking to better connect and engage with their most profitable customers.

The purpose of this guide is not to teach UX from the ground up, but rather to help you understand how a UX specialist can help you tap into new sources of long-term value and profit for your business.

Chapter - 1

An Introduction to UX: What It Is and Why It’s So Important

In this section, you’ll learn exactly what UX is and why it’s so important to any business that wants to connect and engage with an audience to drive revenue. You’ll also learn how a major online retailer utilized UX design and increased their annual sales by $300,000,000 simply by changing one element on their webpage.

1.2 What is UX?

UX is shorthand for user experience. User experience, as the name suggests, deals with the global experience a user has when interacting with a software, application or a website. Although UX was originally meant to apply to any product or service, it is now primarily used in conjunction with digital products or services.

Don Norman, the cognitive scientist who first coined the term "user experience" refers to it as "a whole system" that takes into account everything in a user’s life, including your app or website. In Norman’s definition, UX is a lifestyle philosophy that isn’t limited to one particular need. Instead, it applies to all needs. In an ideal world, everything would be optimized to provide a high quality user experience.

The practical use of UX comes through the use of UXD, or user experience design. UX design is primarily concerned with finding a solution to an identified user problem or improving the quality of a user’s experience when using a product (viz. website, software, and/or app) by improving functionality and ease of use.

Typically, UX design is used to develop a digital product or service designed to meet a need or alleviate a pain point being experienced by a target audience. In broad terms, once a need has been identified; a prototype of an app or website designed to meet this need is developed.

The prototype is then tested to verify that both the business model and the value proposition behind the app or website are valid. If testing validates the hypotheses that the website or app is financially sustainable and satisfactorily meets a need or solves a problem for the target audience, the project proceeds to production.

A good UX design team will look at and consider nearly every factor that can affect an end user’s interface with the software or website in question. This includes things like usability, ergonomics, accessibility, system performance, human interaction, marketing, perception of value and more. In fact, good UX design attempts to anticipate and meet every need or problem that the average user may have or may encounter when using the product or service in question.

1.3 Why is UX Important?

The short answer is that UX deals directly with a user’s needs. For any business to be successful, it has to meet the needs of its clientele as closely and efficiently as possible. Therefore, any software, application or website, in order to be successful, must be designed from the ground up with the end user’s needs in mind.

Making unfounded assumptions about the end user’s needs or preferences can be a costly mistake. A perfect example of this is what has come to be known as "The $300,000,000 Button".

A major e-commerce retailer (Amazon) designed their checkout process so that a buyer was required to register or sign-in before they could pay for the items in their cart. It was a simple process that used a form which required the buyer to fill in two fields and select a link. The design team had assumed that a first time buyer would have no problem with the process, since it would only serve to expedite any subsequent purchases. They were dead wrong.

First time buyers found the form frustrating and invasive. They felt that they were being prevented from completing their transaction. They didn’t want to “develop a relationship” with the retailer, they simply wanted to get their stuff and go.

Return shoppers were just as frustrated, since they often couldn’t remember their passwords or which e-mail account they used to register. Investigation showed that 160,000 customers a day were requesting a new password and, even then, 75% of them never completed their transactions once the new password was issued.

The registration form wasn’t doing what the designers assumed it would do. It wasn’t increasing business. In fact, it was doing the opposite. This one form was costing this giant retailer quite a lot of money. How much money? Well, when the form was removed and customers were allowed to continue to checkout without being required to provide sign-in information or to register first, sales jumped by $300,000,000 in one year.

This example shows why UX is important to any business with a web presence. The UX design process eliminates all assumptions pertaining to the users’ needs and their responses to each interaction with the app, software or website. The users get what they really want and need, not what the business thinks that they need. This, in turn, produces satisfied customers which translate into a healthier bottom line.

Key Takeaways

  • UX is shorthand for user experience.
  • User experience deals with the global experience a user has when interacting with a product or service - software, application or a website.
  • UX is now primarily used in conjunction with digital products or services, such as a software, application or website.
  • The practical use of UX comes through the use of UXD, or user experience design.
  • UX design deals with improving the quality of a user’s experience while using a website, software or app by improving functionality and ease of use.
  • A good UX design team will look at and consider nearly every factor that can affect an end user’s interface with the software or website in question.
  • UX is important because it deals directly with a user’s needs.
  • Any software or website, in order to be successful, must be designed from the ground up with the end user’s needs in mind.
  • The UX design process eliminates all assumptions in regard to what users of a site or app want or how they will react to a feature. All decisions regarding UX are based on data extracted by conducting user interviews and surveys of focus groups; observing the results and putting analytics to work.

Have our experts review your UX design and provide specific, actionable tips to help you meet your goals.

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Chapter - 2

An Introduction to UI: What It Is and Why It’s So Important

In this section, you’ll learn exactly what UI is and why it is equally as important as UX in regard to engaging and connecting with the target audience in order to drive revenue. You’ll also learn how bad UI design can not only hurt your business, it can actually cost lives.

2.2 What is UI?

UI is short for user interface. The word “interface” denotes a border or boundary. Therefore, user interface, as the name suggests, deals with the boundary where a user and an app, software or website meet. Specifically, UI concerns itself with the precise steps a user takes to successfully interact with a software, application or a website. UI is an entirely digital discipline. It has no direct analogue to products and services in non-digital mediums.

Jef Raskin, an user interface expert who was instrumental in the design of the Macintosh computer, has talked about the idea that the interface is the product. With this idea, Raskin captured the essence of UI in a nutshell. At the heart of Raskin’s quote is the notion that UI is human-centric. Its concern is not with the machine. Instead, it is solely focused on how easily people are able to access and use the functions that the machine has been designed to perform.

The principles of UI find expression in the real world through the use of UID, or user interface design. UI design is primarily concerned with two things: 1) the visual look of a software, application or website; and 2) the way a user interacts with the software or website to get a specific result.

“To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.”
Paul Rand

Typically, the visual aspects of UI design are used to promote a consistent look throughout a website, software or app to promote brand awareness and establish user trust. After all, we are visual creatures. We identify with things that we’ve already seen and when something pleases the eye, we become less guarded. That’s why one of the goals of UI design is to make things more beautiful.

However, UI design isn’t only about aesthetics. Once a website, software or app has been prototyped and tested; UI design uses color, shape and graphical elements to establish a visual hierarchy. This hierarchy will help guide users through the site, teaching them what to do and when, so that they are able to easily fulfill their needs.

When done correctly, a good visual hierarchy will draw the user’s attention to a single objective per page. Successfully meeting the objective allows the user to easily navigate through the site, software or app in order to meet a need or obtain a specific result. Good UI design is immediately apparent to the end user. Unfortunately, so is bad UI design.

Bad UI Design
Bad UI design

In the end, good UI design never strays far from Jef Raskin’s philosophy of interaction. An experienced UI design team understands that a website, software or application is simply a machine whose function is to deliver a product or service to a user who is often also a customer. To that end, they make sure that the site, software or app in question is easy to use, easy to understand, error-free and effectively performs its designed function to the highest standards of customer satisfaction.

2.3 Why is UI Important?

The short answer is that UI, like UX, is primarily concerned with meeting a user’s needs. The primary purpose of any business is to meet the needs of its clients. Those businesses that do this successfully experience growth and profitability. Those that don’t are less successful and may end up defunct.

Websites, software and applications are digital reflections of a business’ philosophy and attitude towards its customers. This is why every website, software and app that carries a business’ name must be designed to meet an end user’s needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The quality of the UI design utilized in a business’ website, software and application can often mean the difference between fiscal success and failure. The critical nature of UI design carries over into real life as well. Bad UI can, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death, as numerous physical accidents have tragically demonstrated, including the one that befell Air Inter Flight 148.

Air Inter Flight 148
Air Inter Flight 148

In 1992, Air Inter Flight 148 was heading from Lyon to Strasbourg in France. There were 96 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus 320 the carrier was using for the flight. At the time, the Airbus 320 was the most advanced passenger aircraft in service. It utilized fly-by-wire technology, along with cockpit instrumentation that was completely digitized. Thousands of UX/UI hours had gone into the development of the way those instruments were used and how they looked.

One of the display screens in the cockpit had a dual purpose when the plane was descending. It could display either vertical speed (VS) or flight path angle (FPA).  FPA was displayed as two numerals separated by a decimal point. VS was displayed by two numerals.

As the plane prepared for decent into Strasbourg, visibility was limited by thick cloud cover. The pilot set the FPA for -3.3, allowing for a gentle descent angle into the airport. Unfortunately, the display screen was in VS mode. This meant that instead of a gently descending, the plane was actually dropping at the rapid rate of 3300 feet per minute.

The pilots didn’t know that the screen was in the wrong mode due because -3.3 in FPA mode looked almost identical to 33 in VS mode. In addition, the screen was only designed to show two numbers, no matter the mode or the number entered. If the user interface had been designed to display even a single additional numeral the pilots would have likely noticed the mistake and taken corrective action. If the user interface had been designed so that the numbers displayed altered their appearance depending on the mode selected, tragedy could have been averted.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead, Air Inter Flight 148 slammed into the side of a mountain killing 87 of the 96 people aboard.

This horrible accident graphically demonstrates the importance of UI to any business with a digital presence. Proper UI design ensures that users are able to get the information they need in order to easily and efficiently obtain the result the website or app was designed to provide. In the case of Air Inter Flight 148, the failure to obtain clear information resulted in loss of life.

In your business, a similar failure might not entail any physical risk. However, allowing insufficient or incomplete UI design features in your site, software and apps will result in a loss of market share through customer confusion, frustration, and ultimately, dissatisfaction.

Key Takeaways

  • UI is short for user interface.
  • UI concerns itself with the precise steps a user takes to successfully interact with a software application or a website.
  • UI is an entirely digital discipline.
  • The principles of UI find expression in the real world through the use of UID, or user interface design.
  • UI design is primarily concerned with two things.
    • The visual look of a website, software or application; and
    • The way a user interacts with the website, software or application to get a specific result.
  • The visual aspects of UI design are used to promote a consistent look throughout a website, software or app.
  • UI design uses color, shape, and graphical elements to establish a visual hierarchy that enables a user to effectively obtain a specific result.
  • An effective UI design makes sure a site, software or app is easy to use, easy to understand, error-free and performs effectively.
  • UI is important because it is primarily concerned with meeting a user’s needs.
  • Proper UI design assures that users are able to get the information they need in order to easily and efficiently obtain the result they desire.

Have our experts review your UX design and provide specific, actionable tips to help you meet your goals.

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Chapter - 3

How UX and UI Fit Together

We’ve learned what UX and UI are. We’ve also learned why both are important to having a successful web presence. Now it’s time to learn how UX and UI overlap and fit together. We’ll look at how the boundaries of each discipline merge together, one supporting the other. We’ll also examine some key differences between UX and UI. Finally, we’ll take a look at how Tinder has used UX/UI design principles to become the prime example of the power of fully optimized user experience and interaction.

3.2 UX and UI Support Each Other

Even with a clear understanding of what UX and UI are, it can still be difficult to keep them separate in your mind. That’s because both disciplines have essentially the same end goal, user satisfaction, and use processes that link together in order to reach that goal.

The manner in which UX and UI are interconnected can be likened to a good meal in a fine restaurant. Each dish to be served is carefully prepared using the best ingredients, following specific preparation techniques, and using equipment appropriate for the job. The dishes are then carefully plated and garnished, and served to the customer in a dining room carefully designed to produce a specific ambiance. The overall experience is designed to be relaxed, friendly, and ultimately, enjoyable.

In our fine dining example, the careful preparation of the meal can be considered UX design. The plating and presentation of the meal can be considered UI design. Both the preparation and presentation contribute to the overall satisfaction that the customer experiences while eating. Both elements depend upon each other to reach the goal of a satisfied customer. The one builds upon the other, and neither, by themselves, will produce the desired result.

Like a fine meal, UX and UI design work together to produce an app or website that elicits end user satisfaction. One without the other will not suffice. An app, software or website that has been fully tested to meet an identified need of a target audience will fail if the end users cannot easily get to the corresponding function, product, or service. Likewise, an app, software or website that allows easy access to a function, product, or service that the target audience doesn’t want will also fail.

Alan Cooper, the ground-breaking UX/UI designer and programmer who created Visual Basic, once described the most successful software as being akin to a “likeable person”. In his book, “The Inmates Are Running the Asylum” Cooper describes how the best user experiences are provided by apps, software and websites that are “respectful, generous, and helpful”. The concept of “polite software” lies at the intersection where UX design and UI design meet and perfectly describes how each discipline supports the other.

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Think about how you personally interact with colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Also, think about the personal and professional interactions that please you the most. If you’re like most people, you enjoy communicating with people who know how to listen, don’t interrupt, aren’t condescending, don’t assume or presume, and work with you towards agreement or understanding.

Studies have shown that people treat communication with websites, apps and software in the same way they treat communication with other human beings. They expect the same level of discourse from both. Well-designed software, applications and websites that uses UX and UI principles communicate with you in a “humane” manner. It is, to use Alan Cooper’s phrase, likeable in every sense of the word. This likeability is achieved only through the combined support of UX design and UI design.

3.3 UX and UI Are Significantly Different

Even though UX design and UI design build on top of each other to achieve the same goal, they aren’t the same thing. In fact, they are significantly different areas of endeavor. The occasional confusion over which is which comes largely from the fact that they, as we’ve discussed, work together to achieve the same result. A side by side examination of those differences can help to reduce any confusion and clarify what both UX and UI are and aren’t.

“The best products do two things well: features and details. Features are what draw people to your product. Details are what keep them there.”
Nick Babich

In general, UX is all about features and UI is all about details. Users are attracted to the features of your app, software or site. After all, it promises to solve a problem or fill a need that they are experiencing. UX is all about the “how” involved in solving or filling problems and needs. In some sense, UX design is all about the macro side of things.

Let’s say you have a membership site that provides exclusive content directed to a weight loss and fitness niche. UX would be concerned about designing correct user flow, things like sign-up process, content timing, and ability of members to access areas of choice.

UI, on the other hand, is all about what happens after a user begins to interact with the site. UI design understands that the devil (and delight) is indeed in the details. It is concerned with how easy it is for the site to deliver the features that attracted the user in the first place. In this way, UI design is all about the micro side of things.

Getting back to our weight loss and fitness site, UI would be concerned about how to refine and simplify user interactions. It would add color, shape and movement that would instruct the user in optimal site usage and navigation.

In this way, you could delineate the differences between
UX and UI as follows:

UX
  • Makes an Interface Useful
  • Helps Users to Achieve Goals
  • Comes First in the Design Process
  • Applies to All Aspects of a Site or App
  • Task Oriented
UI
  • Makes an Interface Useable
  • Makes Responsive Connections
  • Comes Second in the Design Process
  • Applies Only to Interfaces
  • Aid Oriented

3.4 Tinder Starts a Fire

Tinder Starts a Fire

No company has leveraged the similarities and differences between UX design and UI design more successfully than Tinder. Since 2012, when the app was launched, Tinder has grown to more than 50 million users who use the app on a monthly basis. This phenomenal growth is essentially grounded on the use of solid UX and UI design principles. In short, it provides a solution to a widely shared problem in a way that users find easy and enjoyable.

First the UX design: Nearly everyone who is single wants to be able to meet someone they find attractive, who shares their interests and mutual friends and is geographically convenient to their location. Tinder solves this problem by giving users a selection of candidates that meet basic criteria the user has entered as preferences – things like gender, age, and maximum distance from the user’s location. The users also upload a photo or photos of themselves along with profile information so that they can be seen by other Tinder users when their profile information meets those users’ criteria.

Next, the UI design. These matches are sent to the user as a stacked set of cards. Each card simply contains a picture of the match and details on the criteria they meet. The user then can anonymously decide whether they like a person by swiping to the right or if they don’t, by swiping to the left. When two users both like each other, they are matched and are able to chat with each other within the app.

The elegance of Tinder’s UX/UI design is apparent by its success. Not only does Tinder have 50 million users, but those users make over a billion swipes every day. In addition, the average user spends 90 minutes a day using the app, checking their account 11 times.

The strength of Tinder’s UX/UI design has also been demonstrated independently of user statistics. In 2015, Tinder won a Webby
Special Achievement Award for Breakout of the Year. It continued its streak in 2016, winning the Webby for Best User Experience and Best User Interface.

Special Achievement Award

Finally, Tinder has also proven that imitation actually is the sincerest form of flattery. As of the present, there are dozens of apps that are using Tinder’s UX and UI design, proving that good design elements can go viral as easily as any site, software or app.

Tinder has demonstrated the power that smart UX/UI design can have over an end user. A good design can captivate users with its simplicity and not only drive them away from your competition and into your sales funnel, but also drive revenues that can take your organization to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • The way UX and UI design support each other to produce a desired result is analogous to a good meal in a fine restaurant.
  • UX design is the equipment, recipes, and technique that goes into preparing the meal.
  • UI design is the plating of the meal and its presentation to the end user.
  • When both are present, the result is a satisfied end user.
  • Who one is missing, the result is a dissatisfied end user.
  • The best software, applications and websites act like “likable people”.
  • They are respectful, generous, and helpful.
  • Well-designed software, application and websites that uses UX and UI principles communicate with you in a “humane” manner.
  • UX and UI are also dissimilar.
  • UX is all about features and is concerned with the macro aspects of a project.
  • UI is all about details and is concerned with the micro aspects of a project.

Have our experts review your UX design and provide specific, actionable tips to help you meet your goals.

Apply online here, without cost or obligation.

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Chapter - 4

The UX/UI Process in Action

You’ve just learned about the similarities and differences between UX and UI. You’ve also seen that when those similarities and differences work together, they are able to achieve extraordinary results. Now it’s time to examine the specifics of the UX/UI design process in detail in order to learn how those results are achieved.

Beginning out, we’ll look at how defining the product – a software application or website - and backing that definition with solid market research, gives a solid foundation to build upon. Next, we’ll look at how marketing data is analyzed and how the result of this analysis is used to design workable prototypes and mock-ups of the product.

We’ll then look at how the design process leads to the selection of a final product and how that product is implemented. Finally, we’ll look at how the final product is launched into the market and how improvements are made after launch through the use of market analytics to create iterations.

4.2 Step One – Define the Product

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
Bruce Lee

The UX/UI process starts with an idea or a concept for a product. That potential product can literally be anything. It can be a physical, tangible object. Alternatively, it can be more abstract and intangible, like a service or a piece of software. The only characteristic that it must have is that it must satisfy a need or solve a problem that a particular segment of the marketplace is experiencing.

The segment of the marketplace that the product is targeting is made of up of people – real people with real opinions, tastes, and desires all of which are highly variable. Therefore, the product is being made for people who are collectively similar but who are also individually complex. This means that the product itself is complex. It has to be practical, possible, and popular all at the same time.

Mark Curphey, former Program Group Manager for Microsoft, describes defining a product through a whole product concept. Using the whole product concept, a product is defined in three different ways:

  • The Actual Product - This is the most basic and generic feature or service that must be provided in order for the product to remain marketable. For example, a restaurant has to serve food, a doctor must have a medical degree, and a website must have a domain name.
  • The Expected Product - This is the standard customer expectation that the product must meet. So, a restaurant needs service and ambiance, a doctor needs to provide diagnosis and treatment, and a website needs to be viewable and functional.
  • The Augmented Product - This is giving the customer more than they expected. The purpose of augmenting a product is to differentiate the product from the competition, creating dependence on the augmentation among customers, and raising the competitive bar by raising customer expectations. Ideally, today’s augmented product becomes tomorrow’s expected product.

The purpose of defining a product as a whole is to eliminate uncertainty and untested assumptions. It allows for the development of a definition of what the product is and, more importantly, what the product isn’t. Defining the product reductively avoids the delay and cost caused by following dead ends and blind alleys as development goes forward. The power of this kind of definition comes from elimination. In other words, the more you know what the product isn’t, the better you understand what the product is.

4.3 Step Two - Research the Product

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Wernher Von Braun

Product definition is only one half of the initial UX/UI design process. Research is the other half. Even after you come up with a solid definition of what your product is, you still have to understand how the product will best interact with the environment that it will exist in. That environment is the marketplace, and research allows you to gain insight into the specifics of how your target audience reacts to your product definition both as a group and as individuals.

Your target audience is comprised of people and people, as we discussed above, are complicated. On the one hand, in terms of needs and desires, they identify as a group. On the other hand, they are all individuals with varying tastes and specific predilections. This is why there are two main types of research that are used in the UX/UI design process – market research and user research.

Market research is directed towards your target audience as a collective. It allows you to see the comprehensive environment of their group reactions. User research is directed towards your customers as individuals. It helps you to acquire knowledge about their specific reactions to your definition that are instantaneously useful. Whether you have an existing product that is being improved upon or you are developing a new product from scratch, both types of research play an integral part in the design process.

By linking market research with user research, you become able to listen to the overall target market as well as the needs and desires of individual users. Those two levels of information allow you to go forward and construct resolutions based on the general and specific needs of your audience and test if they really work. This basic research will be particularly useful as it begins to coalesce and become more focused during the next step of the UX/UI design process.

4.4 Step Three - Analyze Users

“There is no substitute for accurate knowledge.”
Lee Iacocca

In many ways, the UX/UI design process is about reduction. By necessity, you start broad with a general idea or concept. Developing a solid product definition and using research to hone your assumptions about that definition allows you to focus on that idea or concept. User analysis aids the research you’ve already done by drilling deeper into the motivations of your target audience using your focused product definition as the core.

User analysis is looking towards the specific needs and wants of your target audience so that specific decisions about product design can be made. Specifically, user analysis allows the traits and attributes that make up the personality of a target audience to be defined.

This is the information that isn’t always possible to glean through market research – things like knowledge of, and familiarity with, similar products, routine use, and specific user preferences. This is real flesh and blood feedback that helps guarantee that product design features are based on information culled from people who will pay for the product, versus people who are involved in the production of the product.

If the product isn’t made for users, then it’s already headed toward failure. Design features that are included just because the product stakeholders are vested in them, are literally dead weight. When a product is designed around the wants and needs of investors and sponsors, the end result is useless to the target audience. Users don’t care that the product can do this, that or the other thing – they are only interested in how it solves their problem or meets their need.

When it comes to developing a true understanding of an end user, you have to do more than say that the product is for “18- to 35-year-old working moms who need an app to increase personal productivity”. The end user must be known as an individual, not a demographic. This requires deep knowledge of how and why they would use the product. A complete understanding of the entire involvement that will occur between the users and the product is needed. This type of multi-level synthesis involving user desire and need is the only way to begin to select and rank necessary product features during the next step of the UX/UI design process.

4.5 Step Four - Design the Product

“Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.”
Elon Musk

Every product ever made began with the act of putting pen to paper or mouse arrow to screen to design how it looks and, more importantly, how it works. The design step is, perhaps, the most critical step in the UX/UI process. A product will either succeed during the design step of the process and move on to be implemented or it will fail and be scrapped.

Designing begins with a rough sketch. All of the information collected through definition, research, and user analysis is collected, collated and sifted to produce a series of sketches of how the product should look, act, and function. Each sketch builds on the last so that multiple iterations are produced with the end result being a rough sketch that is ready for wireframing.

Wireframing takes the selected rough sketch and produces a useable skeleton of the product. The wireframing process is not about looks. Instead, it’s all about structure and flow. A good wireframe gives a low-fi version of the product that is cheap to produce and that can be tested on select audiences. The feedback from this testing is then used to produce progressively more complex, high-fi wireframes that begin to show the details needed to produce a prototype.

Cheap to produce and that can be tested
Cheap to produce and that can be tested

Prototypes are wireframes on steroids. A prototype goes beyond mere structure and deals directly with the experience the end user will have with the product. While sketching and wireframing are essentially static processes; prototyping is interactive. A good prototype will be practical and centred on usability and deliverability.

Prototyping certainly can be a high tech undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Growth hacking entrepreneur Andrew Chen instead recommends taking a low-fi approach to prototyping. The benefit of this approach, besides cost savings, is that you can rapidly move through A/B style testing, which gives you better feedback. Better feedback allows you to make the affordable mistakes that are needed to get to the bedrock user interaction design much quicker, which is the essential purpose of prototyping.

The design step of the UX/UI process is all about turning an idea into a concrete experience. You refine your understanding of the product, and through ideation and testing, turn it into a tangible form that’s ready for the implementation.

4.6 Step Five - Implement the Product

“You make progress by implementing ideas.”
Shirley Chisholm

Up until this point, each step of the UX/UI design process has dealt either with information or possibilities. Now, it’s time to take what’s been learned and what’s possible and make the idea into a reality through implementation.

Implementation is building the final product using the best results from each of the preceding steps. All of that distilled information is now used to produce what is known as product requirements document, or PRD. The PRD is the bible for the product. It contains its DNA. It is a blueprint of everything that must be done, following a specific sequence, in order to produce a product that matches the criteria that all of the previous research, analysis, and prototyping have established.

According to Marty Cagan, Partner at the Silicon Valley Product Group,
a PRD has four purposes:

  1. 1. It defines the purpose of the product: Who is the product for? Why is it being built?
  2. 2. It describes the features of the product: What is it? How is it used?
  3. 3. It sets out the release criteria: What levels of functionality, usability, reliability, performance, and supportability must be achieved prior to release?
  4. 4. It establishes a release date.

The purpose of the PRD is not only to keep all of the critical information learned about the product during development in one place, it is also used to keep everyone involved in the implementation and release process on the same page. It minimizes assumptions and ensures that all team members have a clear idea of what needs to be achieved as the product moves through alpha and beta testing.

Implementation is about keeping focus on the goal of launching the product while eliminating the possible chaos that surrounds the final step of a long process. The goal of implementation is simply to ensure that the product gets built according to agreed upon specifications.

Key Takeaways

  • Product definition is more about discovering what the product isn’t rather than what it is.
  • A product should be defined by its whole concept, including
    • The actual product – its most basic marketable feature
    • The expected product – the standard expectations it must meet
    • The augmented product – raising the bar by exceeding expectations
  • Defining the product reductively avoids the delay and cost caused by following dead ends and blind alleys as development goes forward.
  • Research is the other half of product definition.
  • Research allows you to gain insight into the specifics of how your target audience reacts to your product definition both as a group and as individuals.
  • Market research is directed towards your target audience as a collective.
  • Market research lets you see the comprehensive environment of their group reactions.
  • User research is directed towards your customers as individuals.
  • User research helps you to acquire knowledge about their specific reactions to your definition that is instantaneously useful.
  • By linking market research with user research, you become able to listen to the overall target market as well as the needs and desires of individual users.
  • User analysis looks towards the specific needs and wants of your target audience so that specific decisions about product design can be made.
  • User analysis gives you real flesh and blood feedback that helps guarantee that product design features are based on information gleaned from people who will pay for the product versus people who are involved in the production of the product.
  • The design step is the most critical step in the UX/UI process.
  • A product will either succeed during the design step of the process and move on to be implemented or it will fail and be scrapped.
  • The design step includes Rough sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping
  • The design step of the UX/UI process is all about turning an idea into a concrete experience.
  • Implementation is building the final product using the best results from each of the preceding steps.
  • Implementation uses a product requirements document, or PRD, to memorialize everything that has been learned about the product and its users up to this point.
  • The PRD keeps all critical information learned about the product during development in one place.
  • PRD is also used to keep everyone involved in the implementation and release process on the same page.

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Bansi Mehta

by BANSI MEHTA - UX Design Expert

Founder & CEO, Koru Technologies

Bansi Mehta is the Founder & CEO of Koru Technologies, a UX design agency dedicated to delivering world-class User Experience Design, Information Architecture, User Interaction Design and User Interface Design for iOS, Android and Web Apps for tech and software companies.

With over a decade of experience in the field of User Experience, Bansi is a self-driven leader who is an inspiration to many, whose lives she has touched through design. She believes that life is worth living when there is a meaningful contribution you make to people around you. What gives her fulfillment is when her business ultimately helps someone live a better life.

UX Design is her love and passion. She gets a thrill every time a challenge comes her way where a meaningful UX can turn around the way users interact and look at the product. And that passion drives her and extends into her team at Koru Technologies.

Collectively her team has dedicated over 100,000 hours to crafting delightful and compelling User Experiences for Koru’s client base.