Paul Hill by Paul Hill

The workflow of a UX Designer: 3 expert tips and tricks

  • Design
  • User Experience

A UX designer’s workflow is the process you use to ideate, design, build, and launch the user experience for your digital product or service. 

You’ll notice that we included the ideation phase as well as the launch phase. That’s because a UX designer’s responsibilities cover the entire lifecycle of a product, from beginning to end.

And when you’re doing so much, then you need to be working smart.

Wasted time leads to wasted efforts, costly builds, and rushed mistakes.

How organised and effective your process is can be seen in the fruits of your labour, so — for your product’s sake — here’s how to level up your UX workflow…

3 tips for a smoother, smarter UX workflow

Below are three of our favourite strategies for maximising the success and productivity of your UX design workflow. While these tips will be particularly helpful for those who are new to the world of UX design, the seasoned professionals among us might just learn a trick or two as well.

Think and work in segments

Our first tip comes straight from the agile textbook. 

Agile development is all about compartmentalising each task for maximum efficiency. After all, the cognitive load of switching from one task to another can be significant — costing you as much as 40% of your productive time!

Of course, you don’t want to break things up just for the sake of doing so. Instead, try to find gaps between the workflow that seem like a good place to pause. If you’re juggling multiple products, you might dedicate one day to each throughout the week — giving it your full undivided attention. Or, you may choose to tackle emails first thing in the morning, then not look at them again until 4pm.

This will give you time to dedicate to each activity in the typically varied daily UX workflow.

Don’t fear the engineer

Collaboration is an essential value for UX design workers in all sectors. You need to work with users to understand their wants and pain points, and you need to work with developers to bring the solution to life.

Involving the engineering team in your workflow earlier, rather than later, can pay off in a myriad of ways. For example, you’ll be able to communicate your vision clearly and get your passion for the feature set across. It’s also your job to represent the user in any design and development conversation — the more you can expose the engineering team to your ongoing thinking, the fewer questions they’ll have when it’s their turn to chip in.

An organised and structured hand-over makes all the difference too.

Tool up — selectively!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the more tools you have the smarter you are working. 

Yes, you need a full complement of tools at your disposal, but simplicity is key in ensuring a smooth UX workflow from start to finish. Select one tool for user research, one tool for prototyping, one tool for collecting team feedback, one tool for creating client decks, and so on.

The more time you waste hopping between software, the less time you’re spending on solving user problems. And isn’t that what we’re here for, really?