It's with this quote in mind that every design begins with a five-phase process that follows the core principles of user-centred design;
Phase One: EMPATHISE - User Research/Discovery
Conducting user interviews, analysis of user needs. This first step of the design process is critical to understanding the needs of the user and forms the basis for all user-centred design. Empathy is a key skill that enables the UX designer to try to feel what the user does in order to better understand their emotions and needs.
Phase Two: DEFINE - Identify needs
Further research into users in order to identify needs. Activities at this stage would include creation of personas, empathy mapping, user flow diagrams and journey maps.
Phase Three: IDEATE Sketch & Iterate
Just pen and paper outlines of initial ideas. A method I like to use is 'Crazy Eights' to rapidly generate and capture ideas within a few minutes. Further iteration with lo-fi wireframe sketches, worked up alongside user-flows and journey maps.
Phase Four: PROTOTYPE Create Mock-ups
I'll then turn to Sketch or Figma to begin creating wireframes and prototypes for testing.
Phase Five: TEST Analyse & Improve
The testing process is crucial and runs parallel to each phase of the UX process to enable rapid iteration and improvements, ensuring the user needs identified in phase one are being met, whilst not being too costly or time-consuming to produce.
"Good Design is About Process, not Product"
credit: Jared Sinclair