There are a lot of designers out there who have developed amazing processes for creating a user experience. Most of it is very linear and requires a step by step flow through the creation - sometimes taking weeks or even months to get to something tangible that people can try and react to. This process is very difficult for me to accept.
Don't get me wrong. I used to get upset thinking we HAD to follow this process or it just wouldn't work. I spent many stressful hours worried that we were screwed because we did not follow this process. It was how I was taught in school. Things we are taught are sometimes so embedded in our brains that we cannot accept any other way. Then I spent most of my career working in startups. Welcome to an entirely new reality.
Side note: I can't stand the term 'user'. I much prefer the word human, or animal or whatever you happen to be designing for. User is so cold and uncaring. Humans need care and nurturing and it doesn't go away just because you are creating something non-human like software or a mobile phone.
I like to learn by doing as do many humans out there. I like to experiment and see what happens. I feel like I learn quickly this way. A friend of mine has a saying "Fail fast. Learn quick." It's fabulous advice and the best way to achieve. I'm not saying we shouldn't go through the process, but the process should be flexible and about creating together - engineers and designers working together to get the best possible result.
Creating a human experience is all about learning and teaching. It's about leveraging things we already know, past experiences and teaching things we may not know. It is an art as much as painting or drawing or sculpture. The visuals, the interaction, the animation, the functionality - it all works together to create something beautiful.
Human experience is art.