User Experience is a process focused on the user, the customer, the person using your application. Getting the user's feedback, their ideas, and how they use a application is critical to designing a great, and exciting user experience.
The 10 Steps to a Great User Experience is a basic outline of the process I use. Following these steps will insure the user has a voice at the approval meeting—not just the management and developers.
10 Steps to a Great User Experience
Personas are the starting point of any UX design. The first question I always ask is, “Who will be using this application, and why do they need it?” You can develop very detailed profiles for your personas, however I always stress they be based on real users—not idealized, fantasy users that we wish were using the product.
User stories are based upon the persona's activity with your application. They have a basic structure that incorporates a persona, and what they need to do so that they can accomplish some goal.
I have included a user story template I use for all my UX design projects. Deploying this template with your design and product management team can be the start of integrating a true UX process within your organization. User stories can be organized into SharePoint documents and tracked throughout the UX design process.
Personas Organization Map
Download the Personas Organization Map .pdf
User Story Template