Whenever you interact with a product or a service, you experience that product or service. UX designers are responsible for developing the most user-friendly experience possible for a website or app.
Don Norman, a renowned Cognitive Scientist and User Experience Architect, coined the term ‘User Experience’ in the 1990s. He stated that a user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and products.
It’s important to understand what the term user experience or UX means before you dive into understanding user experience design, or UX design. From a website to a coffee machine, anything that you can experience while using a product or a service is a part of your user experience. In particular, the interaction between the user and a product/service falls into the domain of UX.
For example, the interactive elements of a website, like the forms, animations, transitions, and search bars are an important part of the design. They are meant to make you feel something. How you feel while visiting a website falls under user experience.
User experience is sometimes confused with usability. While user experience is about how you feel when using a system, usability is about how efficient and user-friendly the interface is.
The most crucial requirements of user experience include meeting the customer’s needs exactly as demanded. It also means maintaining simplicity in the products so that they are a joy to use. A business or company must merge multidisciplinary services like engineering, design, marketing, and interface design to achieve this goal.
7 Key Factors of User Experience
The failure or success of a product can depend a lot on the user experience. A pioneer in the field of user experience, Peter Morville, lists 7 factors describing user experience:
Useful – It is vital that the product has a use and a purpose. There is no use bringing a product to the market if it doesn’t have a purpose.
Usable – Every product should have an end objective. If the user is effectively able to achieve that end objective, the usability of the product is said to be effective.
Findable – If the product is tangible, it must be easy to find. Similarly, if it’s digital, the content must be easy to find. Users will only buy a product if they are able to find it first.The information in a newspaper is organized into sections like politics, entertainment, leisure, and so on, which makes it easier for the reader to find what they are looking for. For example, in a newspaper, if you want to read about sports, you flip to the sports section. Similarly, if you want to buy yogurt, you will look for it in the dairy section in a supermarket, not the gaming section.
Credible – A user’s ability to trust the product reflects its credibility. For a business to deliver a good user experience, it’s crucial for it to make the user trust the business as well as the product.
Desirable – The desirability of a product includes its branding, aesthetics, identity, and image.
Accessible – Accessibility of a product refers to the fact that it can be used and experienced by everyone, including people who are disabled.
Valuable – The product must deliver value to the users who purchase and use it, as well as the business that created it. A product cannot be successful unless it creates value.
About User Experience Design
User experience design or UX design refers to the process of designing products, both digital or physical so that the user finds them easy and delightful to use. According to Don Norman, UX design encompasses all of the interactions between a potential or an active customer and a company. It is most commonly used by digital industries.
The aim of UX design is to make the product easy to use, optimize its utility, and to increase customer satisfaction. The aim is to build customer loyalty to the product or business. UX design is a multidimensional concept, including different domains like human-computer interaction, visual design, and interaction design, among others.
UX design considers all of the elements that shape a user experience. For example, if you are at the checkout counter at a supermarket, the smoothness of the checkout process will be a part of the user experience. In this case, the UX designer will ensure that they design the elements that are a part of the checkout process. The goal of UX design is for the user to have a pleasant experience. It’s not about visuals, but about the overall feel of the user experience.
Core Features of UX Design
It’s user-centric – UX design is a multidisciplinary field. UX designers come from varying backgrounds, ranging from programming to psychology. A UX designer’s job includes many things, but all of them are centered around the user’s needs.
It doesn’t work with the one-size-fits-all approach – Different websites will have different user experiences. It is not possible to replicate the user experience of one website to another. A design must be made keeping in mind some common parameters like goals, values, and production process. As we can’t predict or impose a user experience, the best thing that UX designers can do is design specific experiences.
It can’t be directly assessed by traditional metrics – Businesses and organizations use metrics and statistics to gauge data like page views, bounce rates, website clicks, and conversion rates. However, the effectiveness of a user experience design can’t be based solely on these factors.
What Does A UX Designer Do?
The job of a UX designer is to make products and technologies accessible and usable for the end-user. The most important part of a UX designer’s job is to support the customer. It doesn’t matter if they’re designing a new product or coming up with a feature in an existing product; UX designers must always be mindful of what’s best for the customer.
UX designers have to balance these requirements with the needs of the business. This includes factors like whether the product aligns with the vision of the business, or whether it meets the business’s needs. A common theme is that the user experience updates must also increase revenue and retain a company’s customer base.
UX Design vs UI Design
User Experience Design
The process of building relationships between a company, its products, and its customers is called user experience design.
It includes different disciplines, such as visual design, interaction design, usability, etc.
UX focuses on how things work.
UX is a process.
UX designers mostly use only black, white, and grey color in the prototype design.
They use prototyping tools like Mockplus, Balsamiq, and Axure.
User Interface Design
The visual appearance of the product is called UI or user interface. The job of UI designers is to design the visual aspect of the product for an effective user experience.
It includes elements like documents, text, images, videos, buttons, tags, text fields, checkboxes, drop-down lists, graphic designs, etc.
UI focuses on how things look.
UI is a deliverable.
UI designers design prototypes in full color.
They use tools like Finto and Principle as an important part of their job is to design images.
Why is UX Important?
When a business launches a product in the market, its main aim is to fulfill the user’s needs. The user’s needs also include a pleasant experience interacting with the product or service. The goal of UX is to provide such an experience to the consumers. When consumers have a good user experience, they stay loyal to the product and the brand. A meaningful UX defines the success of a business.
Benefits of UX
•If a business invests in UX design upfront, it can significantly reduce costs down the line.
•User experience can aid a business in increasing customer conversions.
•UX design can help the business with Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO.
•UX design can increase brand loyalty.
How to Become a UX Designer
Considering the importance of user experience in today’s world, the job of a UX designer is in high demand. There are two ways that you can become a UX designer:
•You can get a traditional degree in the field. For this, you can enroll in a bachelor’s degree program that’s related to technology. Some common degrees from UX designers are computer science, graphic design, and web programming.
•The other way of learning UX design is to join an online UX design course and work with a mentor. This method has a high employment rate post-graduation, and sets you up with an interview-ready portfolio.
Regardless of which method you choose, we’ve gone into detail about our do’s and don’ts of learning UX design.