As a UX designer, I need to effectively communicate my design ideas to my clients and sometimes my client's clients. To communicate designs and the choice behind them, user experience designers use deliverables. Deliverables communicate design ideas to clients, stakeholders, and developers and can range from research to user interface design. Design deliverables are not only crucial to bridging the gap between UX designers and other team members or clients, but they reassure stakeholders that their project is in good hands.
UX designers use a range of different deliverables to present work to clients and receive feedback. Deliverables act as checkpoints to ensure that the project meets client expectations.
In addition to wireframes and prototypes, there are many types of deliverables involved in the lifespan of designing a project or service. Here is a list of some of the most common:
A persona is a fictional character who uses the product in a similar way to a potential user type. Personas make it easier for designers to empathize with users throughout the design process. In other words, a persona is a relatable snapshot of the target audience that highlights demographics, behaviors, needs, and motivations.
Depending on the scope of the projects, designers will generate a number of different personas to capture as wide a part of the audience as possible. The persona research process begins with gathering data on user insights, problems, and goals. Once data is collected, the design team starts to identify patterns, those patterns are different user types that will be aggregated into personas.
One of the most iconic deliverables consists of a diagram of the website’s pages organized hierarchically. It makes it easy to visualize the basic structure and navigation of a website. This is the basis of the product’s infrastructure and features. It focuses on structuring, labeling, and organizing content in the most effective way.
Sitemaps help by organizing and categorizing the relevant information. It helps jumpstart the design process by thinking about how to make the product understandable for the user.
A user flow is a visual representation of the customer's path to complete a task within the product. A visualized user flow makes it easier to identify which steps should be improved or redesigned. In contrast to the customer journey map (see below), the user flow diagram considers only what happens within your product or service, rather than demonstrating how the users feel during the completing the steps to their desired outcome.
A customer journey map is a diagram that represents the steps taken by a user to meet a specific goal. While this sounds like a user flow (see above), a customer journey maps do not simply focus on the steps, but also how the user feels and the actions that they take. By laying the process out along a timeline, you can understand the changes in context as well as the motivations, problems, and needs along the way. Customer journey maps help identify and illustrate major stumbling blocks for users.
In UX design, a mood board is a collection of sample images, fonts, interactions, features, icons, and user interface elements to communicate the artistic direction of a project. Mood boards evolve into a website's visual style guide. Mood boards allow designers to show clients and colleagues a proposed look for the product before investing too much time on it.
The list above is only a sliver of possible deliverables that may be produced in the course of designing a website or mobile app. Below is a graph from UX Goodies that shows some of the most popular deliverables created by UX designers. If you have questions on any of these other types of deliverables, please don't hesitate to ask in the comment section below.