I believe that UX is a process, not a deliverable, and I believe that good design comes from the work of a good UX process.
This process has a few parts that all work together: Research (and the analysis of said research), Design (from wireframes to front-end building), Testing (both with customers and technically before launch), and the Iteration of a product after launch.
Good design needs a good plan and good research in order to start. If you don’t know what your plan is or what your customers want/need, how will you build that for them? If you start with the customer, you’ll always have their interests in mind as you go through the process. Once you have a plan, and a direction from the customer’s perspective, you can start to design & build. I’m a fan of building quick prototypes that can be tested with the customer first (but I do understand that some projects don’t have the resources, time, or the need for it). That way if changes need to be made, nothing is set in stone, so to speak. Once we find a solution that works for the customer (and the business!), you can build that out, test technically, and launch.
From there, you keep in contact with the customer and monitor how your product is performing. Iterations become much smaller as you narrow down the issues that may arise. Your end product should live in a state of iteration that continues until that product is no longer needed or until the Customer needs shift to such a degree that a major change is required.
This entire process is UX.
Own the mountain you’re standing on.
© Copyright Jay Carlson