Speaking the Language of Agencies: How to Write UX Requirements Correctly
Design, Product, Startup
Dec 30, 2023
Designing a digital product is a large task requiring professional expertise and experience. But the effort is worth it. According to the statistics, 94% of website visitors will lose trust in the brand if the website is outdated. That is why it is crucial to dedicate design development to experts in this sphere. And a design agency is the best fit to cooperate with.
Even though when hiring designers from an agency, you can be sure about their quality of work, the step that needs preparation is writing proper project requirements. In this article, we will shed light on creating UI/UX requirements and provide practical guidance on how to correctly form the instructions.
Why Do Proper UI/UX Requirements Matter for a Digital Agency?
Setting clear expectations and providing detailed instructions helps improve and accelerate the development process. And here is why:
Clear goals set clear tasks. The basic one is that the agency will be able to transform clear deliverables into a scope of work and divide it among designers so everyone knows what to do.
Proper planning saves the budget. When there is no final product design vision, it is difficult to estimate the investment. Thus, you will not be able to predict how much you will spend and will have less control over your money.
Detailed instructions save time. Instead of going on countless meetings with an agency representative, the design professionals can be provided with the guidelines and already be working on the project.
The Pitfalls of Communication between Design Agencies and Clients
There are common problems that occur between clients and digital agencies. The main ones are long delays and failed projects. They usually come from the same root — a lack of communication and proper requirements. When all the design and development aspects are well-thought-out and discussed in advance, the probability of facing these issues becomes lower.
The Concept of “Speaking the Agency Language” Revealed
Although you, as a client, might be expecting to get everything delivered by an agency, this approach is no longer efficient in the world of constant trends, changes, and improvements. To improve cooperation, learn the “language of the agency”.
The difference between you as a client and a designer is that you achieve the results through different means. For example, stakeholders think from a business point of view and are more interested in monetization. A UI/UX design becomes an aspect of achieving the desired business results. However, designers go deeper into the design process and need a clear understanding of what they are expected to do.
How the Agencies Work: Understanding the UI/UX Design Lifecycle
To create clear UX design requirements, it is essential to understand the stages of the design development process.
How Digital Agencies Approach Project Execution
Usually, agencies follow these steps in design creation:
Constructing a plan. This is an organizational step with which the design lifecycle starts. At the planning stage, the agencies discuss what has to be achieved at the end and what the design should look like.
Conducting UI/UX research. During this stage, designers learn about the project’s target audience and create user personas and journeys. In general, they look at the product from the users’ perspectives.
Sketching and designing. This is the actual design creation stage. Designers go through many processes, from creating design samples, approving them with the client, and implementing them into the product.
Testing and improving. A significant part of the process is testing the design. In this step, issues might be discovered that will need fixing. However, the designing process doesn’t stop here, as the design needs maintenance and user expectations change.
Why Every Stage Needs Separate Requirements
Often, clients create a set of requirements for an overall project. But while understanding that the design process consists of several stages, it means that the instructions should be separate for every step.
For instance, in the research stage, the instructions should indicate the data designers must gather. And after this step, you have to receive and review UX documentation. At the design step, the design agencies expect to have frame requirements, which directly reflect how the final design will look.
The Key Components of Creating Proper UI/UX Design Documentation
When writing UI/UX requirements for a digital agency, shape your instructions according to these recommendations.
Keep It Simple and Clear
Even though designers operate the technical definitions excellently, it is better to stay simple in the instructions. Also, the documentation should be concise and understandable. When something is not detailed, the agency will reach out to you.
Focus on the User
Often, clients prescribe requirements based on their vision and business needs. However, it is critical to think from the users’ point of view to build a user-oriented design. In requirements, describe what you want to see in the product from the customers’ perspective, writing out their possible pains.
Be Specific About Goals and Identify How to Measure Results
The main task of a client is to set clear and measurable goals. Formulations like “We would like the user-friendly design” don’t clarify your expectations. Also, the deliverables should be measurable. It means the results must be documented according to certain criteria, not just aesthetics.
Prioritize the Requirements
For a whole design project, requirements may reach several pages. But not all of them are as critical to follow as they are. Identify what points should be rigorously followed and what can be more flexible.
Provide Illustrated Examples
One illustration can replace hundreds of words of description. So, provide designers with prototypes and wireframes of the work that align with your vision. This will significantly simplify the design process.
Be Open for Cooperation
Communication is key. It is essential to be in touch with an agency during UX requirements gathering and the whole design development journey. Set up recurring meetings with the designers and provide feedback from the first stages.
Tools and Templates For UI/UX Requirements Writing
We gathered some primary practices to prepare the correct requirements for any UI/UX project.
This concise description is something that starts every UI/UX document. Usually, the “story” consists of three components: card, conversation, and confirmation. The user’s story gives the team an exact vision of what should be achieved during the UI/UX development. It’s aimed at highlighting specific needs and expectations that the customer wants to receive from the final product.
Customer Journey Maps
CJM is an essential tool during the pre-development stage. It helps the company to “fit the customers’ shoes” and understand the main users’ “pain” during the interaction with the service. Journey maps regularly analyze the proposed scenario and visualize interface interactions.
This is another way to provide the project’s vision in the documentation. This method is drastically used for visualizations of necessary data and ideas. Adding suitable diagrams and wireframes may significantly increase the effectiveness and facilitate the comprehension of the provided information.
Practical Usage of The Mentioned Tools
Suppose your company creates an app that sells books. In that case, the user’s story might have the following scheme: “The app provides searching and filtering functionality that allows the user to search books by certain criteria via comprehensive and simple functionality”. In the case of CJM, from theory, we are moving to practice, where we can go through the search process and order books as a real user.
Tips For Effective Communication
A successful product is directly related to healthy communication inside the company. Here is some advice to increase the effectiveness of your dialogue with your partners.
Set Concise Goals
To increase the communication level, it’s important to make simple yet profound targets. So the best way to avoid any incomprehension is to ensure all team members understand and pursue the same goal.
Define Communication Channels
Another important point is to establish transparent communication channels. Even before the start of your cooperation, decide how to communicate that will suit all project members. As a result, you and the other side will have all the data to deliver outstanding results.
Collect the Feedback
Constructive feedback is the best progress engine. During the process of active UI/UX development, it’s necessary to analyze the current situation. That will help ensure that the project is moving in the given direction.
Be Transparent in Financial Questions
To make a great start, building honest and transparent relationships with your partners is necessary. For that matter, it’s crucial to be straightforward regarding the budget questions. Make sure that your partners and team are fully aware of the company’s abilities.
Mark the Achievements
During the development process, do not forget to mark the achieved results. It leads to high crew motivation and identifies they are on the right path.
The success of hiring a digital agency significantly depends on your desire to cooperate. The most crucial factor in collaboration is providing clear UX documents so designers can easily catch your vision of the final result. The characteristics of reasonable UI/UX requirements include clarity, concise form, illustrations, and examples. These tips will help you build efficient cooperation with a digital agency without facing misunderstandings and countless edits.
UI/UX documentation is a crucial component of any design project. It provides the designers with strict requirements that help bring a desired vision to life.
What are the key components of proper UI/UX documentation?
Five main components constitute proper UI/UX documentation. Those requirements are precision in goal statements, client orientation, specific criteria for goal evaluation, prioritization, and illustration.
What are the main tips for better communication with a design agency?
To improve your communication with the design agency, make sure to set clear goals, define suitable communication channels, use feedback, be transparent regarding finances, and intelligently analyze mistakes and achievements.
Can a project be successful without the UI/UX documentation?
It’s worth mentioning that the success of the particular project is directly related to the proper requirements. As the tree cannot grow without soil, your UI/UX design cannot be developed without proper documentation.
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