#20 How to start your own UX project (5 steps)

So UX is something that is hard to learn if you don’t actually do it. By working through UX projects, you will learn so many things as you go. You can only learn effectively by doing. That’s the best way to learn. It’s OK even if you feel like you are not ready. Which is why it’s important to work on your own UX project!

Let me show you one of UX process frameworks that you could use to start your own UX project. There are many frameworks out there with slight different variations, quite a different ones and so on and so on. Which framework to use is less important.

The most important thing is how you actually work through your project, and solve a user’s problem through a user-centered design practice.

OK, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the process framework.

  1. Problem statement
  2. Competitive Benchmarking
  3. Concept development
  4. User test
  5. Design iteration

It’s simple enough, right?

OK, let’s take a closer look at each step.

Step 1: Problem statement

This is where you define what problem that you are trying to solve in your UX project. Find a UX problem, and define it clearly. It might be easier if you pick something that you use on a regular basis, whether it’s a mobile app, a web application, a software program, or an electronics device/etc.

Step 2: Competitive benchmarking

Find example products that tackles similar problem that you are trying to solve, analyze pros and cons so that you can learn from those. This is a great research opportunity to look for how people are tacking similar problems and coming up with solutions. If you cannot find an exact match that is totally fine. As long as it has some similarities to your project so that you can learn from it, that’s fine.

Step 3: Concept development

This is where you come up with UX concepts to solve the problem in form of task flows, wireframes and prototypes.

Step 4: User test 

Once you are done with creating your UX concepts in form of task flows, wireframes and prototypes, it’s time to put your concept in front of your users!

Find 5 target users and conduct user test sessions.  Put your concept prototype in front of them and find what works and what doesn’t. Summarize all the findings.

Step 5: Design iteration 

This is where you iterate your design by incorporating findings from the user test.

As you work through these steps, document all the process as you go. 

This documentation basically becomes your project in-depth walkthrough, which can be put into your portfolio.

It would be ideal to have 2 different portfolios: a) online portfolio covering many projects with less details for initial distribution , b) PDF portfolio that shows in-depth walkthrough of your 1-2 strongest projects, which is effective during in-person job interviews.

If you want to learn more about working on your mock project to great details, check out RealWorldUX basics course and basics light course from the link below.

Check out YouTube version too!

Also, check out Being a UX designer is a journey of continuous learning!

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