Traditional UX Is Obsolete
Traditional UX doesn't work very well on today's multifaceted projects.
I developed ExD: Extreme Design that blends best practices from various disciplines.
Don't be scared by 'extreme' - it's all about reducing risk.
Here Is My Process...
1. Consulting: Why are you doing it?
I collaborate with stakeholders using a variety of management consulting techniques to understand the business levers. This clarifies the goals and metrics. It also helps unite the team going forward around a shared vision, and design becomes less of a subjective thing.
2. Product strategy: What are you going to do?
Product strategy is a great way to ascertain product positioning, branding, and experience design opportunities. What features will be needed? What should NOT be done? Typical tasks involve business canvasing and market quadrant analyis.
3. Creative Concepting: What's the big idea?
I like thinking outside the box. I use techniques borrowed from creative agencies. If you don't have ideas, you're rearranging the deck chairs.
4. Agile UX: Show your chops.
Agile iterative design refines requirements and designs at increasing levels of fidelity. It's critical to have continuous feedback from customers along the way. There are lots of activities and deliverables and software tools that can be plugged in as needed. The team dynamics should harmonize in a way that everyone feels they're making progress.
5. Validate with real customers.
Formal user testing of an MVP - either remote moderated, local, actually any kind at all - is critical to validate the design concepts. It's important to ask the right questions, and to make sense of the results. I wrote a paper on quant / qual methods for doing this.
6. Detailed design spec: Make sure it can be built.
A detailed design spec and style guide should reflect the needs of the people using it. The level of detail, kinds of content, and relationship to other workstreams are critical for success.
7. Implementation and follow through.
Build it, and be on hand to do Q/A as needed to ensure it is built the right way.