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Ask DN: How do you document your UX Process on the go?

over 4 years ago from , Product Designer at Playground Inc

I am sure just like many of you I am constantly trying to document my process as I work on projects. Documenting my UX process from testing/findings, thinking process behind mock-up, stakeholder/user feedback. I've been using inDesign and creating Behance style boards on the go. It's usually quite a tedious process - which takes a while! But it's been great when sharing the project journey with others.

I am trying to find a method which is as time efficient and effective as possible. Has anyone got any advice or methods on documenting the process as quickly and effectively as possible?

Thanks, Asis

7 comments

  • Michael PonsMichael Pons, over 4 years ago

    Great question! The way I see it, there is no such thing as a UX process or UX deliverables. To me the process is a bi-product of how I react to the challenges you find for every project and the tools I use to work them out and articulate it for your stakeholders.

    In any given project there are go-to tools that I use constantly. Those include, Sketch, InVision, Photoshop, and Illustrator. I for one love using Illustrator to work out user journeys like this: http://bit.ly/1Sbdkt5

    For other more strategic tasks like creating user archetypes, personas, or user stories, we use Word or Trello. We love to use XMind to organize information, evaluate heuristics and look at card sorting: http://bit.ly/1SbdoJj

    I'm also a huge fan of two things: 1. High fidelity wireframes, 2. UX prototypes. For those, I love to use InVision to create prototypes like this: http://bit.ly/1SbdQXQ. We also use InVision boards where we can upload interface animations and look at micro interactions for inspiration.

    At the end of the day, its about using the tools that let you best communicate your ideas and collaborate with others. For example, while sketching is a great practice for some, I can deliver about 5x more work in the same time period with some quick Illustrator wireframes. When I do try to sketch, I keep looking for the undo button and all I have is an eraser :)

    4 points
  • Rob GillRob Gill, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I used to jot notes in Medium. Ideas for blog post, especially about process stuff... but I've recently turned to Evernote. It's more efficient when on a train and signal keeps dropping in/out. Plus with the pro pack I can easily drop images on there without worrying about limited storage.

    4 points
  • derek l, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I've tried a variety of methods but for quick documentation I've found writing my notes directly in Sketch to be very useful for me.

    In the past I've tried using third party programs, but what I found most often was that I was referencing iterations or different versions of a design in my notes, and it was always a hassle trying to visualize 1 on 1 what I was talking about. I would also not maintain the notes but that's just laziness on my part.

    In Sketch I just make smaller artboards underneath the current iteration I'm working on strictly for notes. I also created a naming system for my note artboards so that I know if my note is linked to a previous design/iteration, or if the notes are brainstorming ideas.

    When I share my images/ideas I export the image and copy the note and paste it on whatever platform I'm sharing on.

    It's not perfect, but it kinda works for me!

    3 points
  • Josh ClementJosh Clement, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    This is a good discussion topic. I think it's invaluable to write about your process, as it helps you think clearly about the decisions you make. I know personally I can go on autopilot and react to the task at hand. A few months later I wouldn't be able to tell you how I got from A to B. Currently my solution is write a few dot points per day in notes.app. For example, something that wasn't working and how I fixed it. I see this note taking as completely separate to 'deliverables' - that's the actual work.

    3 points
  • Asis Patel, over 4 years ago

    Thanks guys for the help! some really good tips. Do you guys know how you would keep a design timeline to show your end to end process? Ideally in a digital format which can be easily shared? Like a digital journal? I see we all use a selection of tools but collating all those outputs in one place with notes would be really useful if anyone has any tips?

    1 point
  • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    If you're using InDesign as your documentation tool, you may want to look at unify.eightshapes.com.

    I'm not well-versed in ID, but I found the idea of automating many common deliverables quite interesting. I've used the comparative analysis and call out layouts and exported to PDF for documentation.

    My employer uses MS Office so in-progress works tend to be in one of those formats so that project members can directly participate with tools they possess.

    Edit: If "on-the-go" is your primary criteria, I use a sketchbook and then edit that info into my deliverables once I've thought things through.

    1 point
  • Duncan RussellDuncan Russell, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Have you tried Omnigraffle rather than ID? It's not very sexy and I prefer Sketch for doing actual wireframes, but for diagramming and documentation it gets the job done.

    1 point