Whenever I attend any meetup about user experience or join a group for people interested in user experience, the first question I already encounter is ” What is your UX process? “.
I know they are not asking about the high level process: Discover – Design – Validate.
Thinking about this question and trying to figure out the answer for it, I always has the same answer “It depends on your project“.
If there is an ideal UX process, Why are people debating, discussing and refining the UX process?
I believe that each project will has its own process, each project has its requirements, goals, technical constraints, time, budget and client type.
UX process has a lot of activities for each main phase, but you role is to choose the best activity that fits the requirements for your project.
Some projects based on a lot of content will require more focus on Information architecture over Interaction design.
Other projects for specific domains like: Healthcare, will need more research than other general domains.
Other projects will be limited in time, so you need to trade off between activities.
You will encounter some projects with clients that don’t care about the discovery phase, so you may need to minimize this phase activities.
What Is More Important Than UX Process?
Instead of focusing on following a set of activities (Persona, User Journey, Story boarding, etc..) to implement for each project, try to practice many activities and evaluate them (Why it is good or bad? When it is better to use it?).
Real projects have a lot of limitations and constraints, and as a UX designer you need to be flexible and you need to have the skill of choosing which activities to implement for which project.
Ideal UX process is possible in side project but in real projects it will never work.