We've taken our approach from Jesse James Garretts book on The Elements of User Experience.
Garrett discusses what user experience development process is all about, ensuring that no aspect of the user's experience happens without conscious, explicit intent. This means taking into account every possibility of every action the user is likely to take and understanding the user's expectations at every step of the way through that process.
By breaking the job of crafting user experience down into its component elements, we can better understand the problem as a whole. The process of designing and developing these user experiences can be broken into 5 planes:
- Strategy: User Needs, Site Goals
- Scope: Functional Specs, Content Requirements
- Structure: Interaction Design, Information Architecture
- Skeleton: Interface Design, Navigation Design
- Surface: Visual Design