Prussian Field Marshall Moltke famously said "no plan survives contact with the enemy." Substitute 'enemy' with 'end users' and he could have been speaking of software development. It doesn't matter how thorough your scope, mid-development and post-development issues are the rule, not the exception. These problems threaten both the bottom line and the deadline, so how do you avoid them?
Agile development is an old idea that is becoming increasingly popular. The core premise of Agile is to be ready to respond with alacrity. One way that designers can be Agile is by prototyping user flow.
Map UX with User Flow
User flow is the path an end user takes through your service or product, such as a mobile app. Ideally, this journey will include one or more conversions. These are your business objectives, and they are unique to your business. Your end users will have objectives too. UX is where these overlap.
Good UX design is where end user and business goals are easily reconcilable. When end users want to do what businesses want them to do, everybody wins. But how do you get to this stage? How do you know what end users want and deploy it in the way they want it? The answer: prototyping.
UI Prototyping with Wireframes
UI prototyping helps you communicate your plan early, and because they are easily updated, repeatedly. Plan-build-test-learn and repeat. Iterative design and development will help you better align user flow with end user goals as well as your own.
Although developers and designers using wireframes is more the rule than the excemption, not all developers and designers treat the scoping and prototyping stages of software development with the respect it deserves.
A wireframe is a low-fidelity, simplified outline of your service or product. Most designers and developers incorporate wireframes when building a service or product, but some do not take complete advantage of the prototyping process. This is a terrible idea because good UX is the road to success. All businesses need good UX and to get good UX, all businesses need a UX designer and the patience to build good UX solutions.