Let's take a look at an agile UX process, with a focus on User-Centered Design (UCD).
Every project should start with identifying a problem to solve, whether it's a new feature or an entirely new product. For this one, we identified that college students wanted an easy way to communicate with instructors, coaches, and advisors.
This project was slightly unique in that we'd already collected user feedback for another effort, which was a (much larger scope) app for making student life easier. Out of that project's user interviews came some pretty convincing feedback: students want to know where they stand, academically, and only want to talk to faculty when necessary.
In talking with faculty about our findings, we also learned that academic advisors, in particular, wanted to better communicate with students and ascertain information from them in a more efficient manner. This gave us multiple problems to solve.
We were also able to learn more about both students and faculty, which led us to revise our personas documentation. Personas help us identify with and think like users throughout the product life cycle.
Starting with our original problem to solve, we broke down the high-level requirements discovered during our interviews into user stories (yellow post-its).
We also grouped the user stories into categories (blue post-its), which gives us an idea of how the product's structure might look.
To prioritize development, we listed desired outcomes (purple post-its), and realigned the accompany user stories. This meant identifying which persona was the most important (student), and which of their goals were most important (communicating with faculty). Following this format, we were able to create an initial product backlog.
With our user stories mapped out, we set out to create a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). A user narrative was drawn on a whiteboard, and we discussed which tasks should happen in what order.
Next, we sketched and reviewed, sketched and reviewed, then sketched some more. This iterative approach allowed us to discover, invent, argue, and collaborate in a very short amount of time.
Make no mistake: this is where great products are built.
Having sketched out the necessary user flows, we moved to creating wireframes. These allow for a slightly more realistic (albeit black and white) version of the final product.
Using an app called InVision, we created interactive wireframes. Test users were able to touch, swipe, and perform other gestures very similar to a working app on a smartphone.
Within a few hours, we were able to get feedback on what made sense, and where improvements could be made. In some cases, we made edits on-the-fly and were able to test revised content within minutes.
These are just a few of the many screens that made up the interactive wireframe.