Let’s be honest: one size rarely fits all. Luckily, for UX deliverables, there are many available tools in the toolbox. Keeping in mind your context and audience, you can use this list of 10 UX deliverables to discover which communication tool is the best fit for you. Brought to you by WANDR, the leading UX design agency in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
First and foremost, what exactly is a UX deliverable? Deliverables are documents, reports, or demonstrations that provide a tangible record of completed work.
When working with a third party, UX deliverables aid client communication throughout the lifecycle of the project. For internal projects, deliverables are presented to stakeholders or shared within the UX design team. However, some UX deliverables are more effective than others for meeting specific business goals.
For example, a paper prototype is mostly used to seek approval for the project architecture. An interactive prototype has more of an impact by allowing users to provide feedback on the user experience.
Use the following 10 UX deliverables to ensure your project aligns with your business objectives.
One of the top best practices for a successful UX design process is user personas. Created during the user research process, personas help illustrate common user behaviors, interests, and motivations.
Personas are imperative for UX designers to use, as it helps them to understand users’ needs. Then, these needs can be effectively translated into the necessary features and interactions in the UX design.
Furthermore, personas also give everyone within the organization a deeper understanding of the customers’ behaviors and needs. A lack of genuine understanding of your customer base is a major culprit behind failing products. Thus, personas allow stakeholders and decision-makers to make more informed choices regarding the direction of the project.
2. User Flow Diagrams
User flow diagrams are a commonly seen type of UX deliverable. Essentially, the user flow is a visual representation of the paths that users take to complete specific actions. Designers use the flow diagram to find ways to improve the design by eliminating redundant steps and providing easier access to features.
User flow diagrams also give designers the opportunity to direct users. For instance, a designer might encourage users to explore different features, such as add-ons or upgrades to the product.
Examining user flow is useful for products already in use. Designers may review the user flow to determine what works and what needs improvement. For example, the user flow may help identify areas where users tend to drop-off, or abandon the product or service, helping to improve retention rates.
Storyboards are UX deliverables that help illustrate the actions users take when using the product. As with personas, storyboards help create empathy for the user. A typical storyboard includes a series of panels with illustrations of users interacting with the product.
Each storyboard represents a specific scenario, capturing the moment that a user realizes that he or she needs to use the product. It then explores how the user discovers the product and uses it to achieve a goal.
A storyboard is less complex compared to a journey map, which is a detailed visualization of the user’s actions. The simplicity of storyboards helps stakeholders and other non-technical decision-makers understand the features of the product.
4. Competitive Analysis Reports
A competitive analysis report helps stakeholders understand the potential market for their products. It also gives UX designers insight for developing superior features compared to the competition. Competitive analysis reports include an in-depth assessment of the positive and negative features of potential competitors.
One of the most beneficial UX deliverables for business objectives is the competitive analysis report, which is full of important data. The report offers a closer look at:
- The current market for related products
- The market potential for the current project
- Competitor offerings, including pricing and features
- Customer acquisition strategies
A look at the competition is useful for everyone involved in the project, from designers to the entire company developing the product. It is often completed at the start of the projects part of the initial research.
Wireframes are useful UX deliverables for ensuring the product or service addresses the needs of the users. A wireframe is mostly used by the project team members to refine the navigation and determine the layout of the pages or screens. Essentially, it serves as a blueprint for the visual interface.
While wireframes are a vital part of the design process, they also give clients or stakeholders a look at the direction of the project. The company can evaluate the wireframe and suggest revisions before starting the visual design, helping to prevent delays to the project timeline. More often than not, avoiding delays in the timeline is an obvious objective companies bringing a product to the market.
6. Style Guides
Style guides provide a framework for the visual style of the user interface (UI). A style guide often includes a color scheme, fonts, and graphics. It helps maintain consistency throughout the website or application.
Developing a style guide also simplifies the job of UI designers, resulting in a faster transition from the design phase to the development phase. Similar to a wireframe, the style guide is most often used internally by the project team. However, it can also be utilized in order to better communicate the visual identity with clients or stakeholders.
7. Interactive Prototype
The UX deliverable many consider to be essential in the UX design process is an interactive prototype. Almost every UX design team develops an interactive prototype in order to give clients a hands-on model of the product.
An interactive prototype for a website or application may include working links and features. Clients can examine every aspect of the project instead of needing to visualize the look of the site or app.
8. Usability Reports
If you are looking to reach specific business goals, usability reports are the type of UX deliverable for you. First, usability testing explores the effectiveness and efficiency of the product. Next, based on the usability report, clients or stakeholders receive a clearer picture of the success of the project.
In short, completing usability testing helps create a better product. Participants test aspects of the website or application and clients can review their responses. Based on the report, the client may offer suggestions to improve the product to help reach their business goals.
9. Quantitative Surveys
In addition to usability reports, quantitative surveys also provide important feedback from users. The advantage to quantitative surveys is they are quick and convenient but lacks the depth provided by usability reports. A quantitative survey typically includes a series of yes-or-no questions.
The results of the surveys offer another tool for evaluating user experience. Clients may use the results of the surveys to refine the project before the public launch.
10. Analytics Reports
One of the last UX deliverables sent during the typical design process is an analytics report. The analytics report includes metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) chosen at the beginning of the project. It gives clients the chance to evaluate the success of the project in reaching specific business goals.
Analytics reports also offer insight into how users interact with the product. Clients can see which features customers use frequently and which ones they ignore.
So, what are UX deliverables and which ones are most important? In brief, UX deliverables showcase completed work and offer different uses for different audiences. In terms of which UX deliverable is most important, we will leave that up to you to decide, keeping your customer base and context of your project in mind.
For instance, it is likely for wireframes to be used internally by the UX design team. Wireframes are a bit more technical, providing an abstract representation of the final product, which makes them not the most effective communication tool for stakeholders or a general audience.
On the other hand, stakeholders and clients benefit most from UX deliverables that display concrete data or visual demonstrations. Typically, the deliverables that are used for these purposes are analytics reports, usability reports, and interactive prototypes.
If you follow the UX design process best practices, your design team will likely deliver a variety of documents throughout the project’s lifecycle. While some are less important for reaching business goals, they are all part of the standard design process.
What are your most frequently used UX deliverables?
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