On the first day, God gathered together all the data
God said "Let there be data!" and there was data.
Technically, it's a little more complicated to collect the data we want. Whether it's a site's analytics data, past user searches, a customer database or image bank, everything doesn't just appear by the grace of God!
On the second day, God defined a strategy
God said "Let there be a firmament in the middle of the data and let it separate data from data" and it was so... and God called the firmament "strategy".
Once all this data has been collected and analysed, a strategy has to be adopted. Site overhaul, simple update, application/webapp creation, etc. What type of service needs to be provided? You need to be able to answer all these questions before moving on to the next stage.
On the third day, God designed the wireframe
God said "Let the data that is under the strategy gather together in one place and the make interface appear" and it was so.
Now we're getting into the nitty gritty. What will the user pathway be? What will the interface consist of? We'll start by making quick sketches to approve an initial approach then head to the computer to more precisely lay out the zones and interactions. Here there aren't any colours, and button shapes and colour choices don't matter.
In conclusion, the wireframe is ugly, but it works.
On the fourth day, God painted
God said "Let there be shapes in the firmament of the wireframe to separate black and white; let them serve as signs, both for buttons and for texts and images; let there be colours in the firmament of the wireframe to light the interface" and it was so.
Once the wireframe has been approved, we then move on to the graphical design of the interface. We're now working on the final visual appearance of our digital product. Choice of colours, typographies, and shapes of elements are determined at this point.
On the fifth day, he created the prototype
God said "Let the pages swarm with a swarm of call-to-actions and cursors flying above the interface against the firmament of interaction" and it was so...
The prototype is used to interact with the tool. It is not operational and not all the elements are clickable but it lets you browse all the pages and create a standard tool pathway.
On the sixth day, he tested his creation
God said "Let us do the user tests in our image, to be like us, and let them rule over the instructing customer, the agency's designers, the project managers, all the wild beasts and all the creatures that crawl on the ground"...
As a designer, we continuously try to put ourselves in the place of our users and feel what they feel along their entire pathway (it has a name - empathy). But nobody is infallible, and above all when the stakes are high, we must always make sure that the adopted hypothesis is valid. Just one test phase, with "real" users allows us to confirm the validity of the project. You'll often be asked to do without this phase because it's too expensive, but giving in would be a terrible mistake, and could spoil your Sunday, the day of rest!
On the seventh day, he sent it for development and rested
On the seventh day, God had finished all the work he had done sent it for production. "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because he has rested after all his work of creation.
Such was the story of the user experience and the interface, when they were created.
Rest? No, UX designers never rest. Even when their work is done, they have to keep an eye on the development phase, to make sure that no information is lost, and that certain choices made by the developer don't overly disrupt the experience. And even with the most precise specification document possible, it's always worth monitoring production because ultimately this is the tool that the user will use.