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5 Tools for Planning a Great Digital UX for Your App or Platform

Maryam Taheri March 27, 2024 · 4 min read

There are threes step to creating a powerful and memorable user experience (UX) for your app or platform: planning, design and validation. Many projects get bogged down when developers jump right into design or skimp on the validation. In fact, that’s exactly what happened with the problematic rollout of the Healthcare.gov. The idea for your app or platform maybe terrific but if the UX is too confusing, the world will never know about it. The more time you spend in planning, the more flexibility you will have when it comes time to make a few necessary changes to develop your idea into the amazing digital masterpiece that it should be.
In your planning phase, learn as much as you can about your typical users, such as their frustrations, their objectives and what types of software they are using now. These answers will guide you during the design phase in choosing specific features and functionalities. The key to UX is thinking like the user. It’s right there in the name, but developers tend to have a hard time imagining what it would feel like to encounter the app or platform for the first time. It is natural to strive to develop what you are capable of doing rather than what people really want. The solution is to involve representative users much earlier in the process. You can even create rough working models during the planning phase and find out what the design has to address. Here are some of the best tools for helping you plan out your next project.

  • Sketching programs — Get it on screen. Scratching out ideas on paper is OK, put sketching programs help you see how the app or platform will actually look. This also helps you structure your ideas and quickly make adjustments.
  • Flowcharts — In the end, all apps and platforms are about making money. The way effective software works is buy directing the user toward a goal, which is normally the e-commerce page. Plan out how users will engage with you software, what will lead them to make a decision, and how the sales process will work. Flowcharts also demonstrate how different sections will link up to make navigation simple and intuitive.
  • Wireframes — Design may still be a little ways off when you opt for a wireframe model. The point of this tool is to test out interactions and visualizing how the content and visuals will work together. Wireframes don’t usually have active navigation and working parts, so they are usually not pretty to look at but they are essential blueprints for everyone in the process to use as a guide.
  • Mock ups — Also called prototypes, these are essential for user involvement. This more advanced version of the wireframe demonstrates how the content will be delivered as well as the basic components of your functionality. Get the feedback you need and you will be able to make final adjustments before getting deeply involved in the overall design.
  • Customer experience maps — Document each user’s impressions before, during and after using your software. How valuable is it to them and how often will they likely be using it. These answers will affect your design in terms of how easy it is to access to the form of your color design to how frequently the images change.

After you’ve tried out these tools, remember that they can also be useful during the validation phase. If there are problems, flowcharts and wireframes will give the test users some alternatives. After your first beta test, another detailed customer experience map will tell you what you need to go live. No matter how big or small your project is, a great UX will make all your users want to see what else you can do.

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About the Author
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Maryam Taheri

I'm a recent graduate of the University of San Francisco with a degree in Biology and a passion for the creative arts. I love building websites, trying new things, and I have a passion for social media.

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