Design a UX process for your way of working

Profile picture of Carrie Cousins




Illustrations by {name}

Finding the right workflow takes time. Here’s how to craft a UX process that reflects all your quirks, needs and preferences.

7 min read

Photo of designer working on UX design process

Stay informed on all things design.

Thanks for submitting!

Shaping Design is created on Editor X, the advanced web design platform for professionals. Create your next project on Editor X. 

Get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox →

It goes almost without saying: Every UX designer has a unique workflow.

This needs to be said more: Many of these workflows aren’t as efficient or practical as they could be.

How do you ensure that a UX workflow is ideal for you? It can take a little trial and error and is a combination of thinking about how you work, as well as the needs of your design team.

Here, we’re going to explore ways to think about and develop a workflow that complements how you work and think as a designer.

Value of UX workflows

Workflow might be just as important as design style to your career.

Think about that for a minute and let it really sink it. A solid user experience workflow is important because it is every step in the design process, including everything from user research and surveys to wireframing to the actual design and user testing.

UX workflows look different depending on how you work, what you do, and the size of your team.

A good UX workflow does two things:

  1. Ensures that teams work efficiently and that every person knows his or her role within a project scope.

  2. Ensures that individuals have a standard process, so that tasks and elements of each project are almost like second nature, helping increase design efficiencies.

UX workflows may be formal–your team might implement agile or design thinking processes–or informal. Think of an informal UX workflow as the process you use for each project that comes your way. There are probably systematic steps that you follow and a certain way you do things that moves projects along quickly, even if those concepts are not formalized.

A person at work: The UX design process

Common UX workflow processes

Many of the things you read about UX workflow mention different stages of the design process. Often it seems like these steps should come in a specific order, but that’s not true for every designer.

Your UX workflow process might look a little different, and that’s okay. With one caveat: That’s okay as long as you are meeting goals, deadlines, and feel comfortable in your process.

Most UX workflows have steps that look something like this:

  • Research and information gathering

  • Foundational planning

  • Brainstorming and ideation

  • Creating information architecture

  • Developing user personas

  • Low-fidelity prototyping or wireframing

  • Organizing UX flows and experiences

  • Building a design system

  • High-fidelity prototyping and user interface design

  • Adding or removing design extras

  • User testing

  • Deployment

Workspace desk: The UX design process

Design your UX process

What does efficiency look like for you? For most UX designers, an efficient workflow is one that can be replicated with ease for use on multiple projects. If you follow the same steps and process every time, the process only gets easier, right?

That takes some legwork on the front end, so start with a little workflow housekeeping. Pick one tool for each job. Fumbling through different pieces of software isn’t beneficial, as it can slow down your work process. Choose a set of tools and stick with them.

For most UX designers, an efficient workflow is one that can be replicated with ease for use on multiple projects.

Here are some more UX design strategies you can implement immediately: