Source: Kim Chung (

With the growth of UX today, there are a plethora of design methodologies but a designer’s process will depend on the problem they’re solving. Approaches can differ based on the constraints of a project. One team may prefer a simple approach, whereas another may opt to blend two or more together. 

These design processes are similar to the scientific method – define the problem, experiment, test, and learn from the results. Most design processes involve roughly 3-7 phases or steps, any of which may overlap and are not sequential.

Any of these steps can be repeated until the product is “perfected”. (Source:

UX Design Processes Incorporate Design Thinking

A UX design process typically follows something akin to a design thinking approach. Design Thinking is a user-centered design methodology that offers a hands-on approach for analyzing complex problems to come up with innovative solutions.

Rather than jumping to immediate solutions, designers challenge assumptions and ask questions to uncover the actual problem. There are enormous amounts of regular collaborations between the users and stakeholders to ensure that the solution targets the project goals. 

Is the UX Design Process Different from Design Thinking?

Another adapted version of the UX design process is Empathize

The first step of any project involves gathering as much research as possible in order to better understand the design problem. This step is necessary to deeply empathize with our target users. Within project constraints, this process could last anywhere between an hour to a couple of weeks.  

To truly understand a design problem, it can be broken up into three major areas: the market space, the topic, and user research. Typically, market research involves investigation on direct and indirect competitors, market trends, etc. Topic research aims to understand the current hows and whys in the respective problem space. User research is a pivotal component of digital design. This often involves talking to stakeholders to gather stories and information regarding their experiences.

Some of these approaches can serve as tools to gather user research:


In this next step, the research findings are synthesized. We look for patterns and insights about our users and pose various problems we can solve for them. It’s important that the problem is looked at from many perspectives. This ensures that we’re solving the right problem for our users. The following are some methods to help synthesize the data: 

For defining your users: 

  • Empathy map: a visual which maps out what the user(s) said, did, thought, and felt as well as their pains and gains. 

    For understanding users in a broader context: 

    • Storyboard: a visual narrative of the user experiences and a perspective solution for the user to interact within the context of the problem.
    • Journey map: a diagram of the user’s journey and what they experienced during the process. 

    To understand the flow:


2 responses to “UX Design Processes”

  1. Great article!! We must agree that “Empathy Mapping” is something where it all start and I really appreciate the importance you have given for the testing part. A lot of people take that bit lightly. For advance UX stuff do checkout

    Best wishes for future articles.

  2. Rania Eissa Avatar
    Rania Eissa

    Thank you so much for this amazing article

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