A Quick Overview of UX Design

What is user experience design?

Most people would guess user experience design is planning how a user or person experiences a company’s products. This is partly right. Google “what is user experience design” and you will find quite a few definitions. Many that are similar but most will lead you to one name, Mr. Don Norman. Toted as the creator of user experience design, Don Norman gave himself the first title, user experience architect while at apple. A simple definition taken from Don Norman’s website states “User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products,” but its even more.

Don Norman explains “I invented the term (user experience design) because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.”

Is user experience design is a new thing?

Some may say it’s new and/or is the new buzzword, however, its been around a lot longer than we think. Ever heard of Leonardo da Vinci’s Kitchen nightmare? In the mid 1400s recruited and employed to design the kitchen for a high-profile feast, Leonardo da Vinci designed conveyor belts to transport food items to the preparers. This may have been the pioneering moment of human interaction with technology. It was ultimately a disaster waiting to happen but, it was the first form of user experience design.

Do we need user experience?

Simply, yes, but its less about needing it and more so that people are already using it and don’t know it! We as consumers need products and services of different varieties, and when purchasing said products & services want…expect to be treated a certain way, or we will go elsewhere. Don Norman explains, “User experience is everything that touches upon your experience with the product. And it may not even be near the product, it may be what you’re telling somebody else about it….it’s the way you experience the world, it’s the way you experience your life, that’s the way you experience the service or an app or a computer system, but it’s a system!”

Good User Experience Lead to Happy Consumers

A consumer purchasing a product or service wants to feel good about their purchase and expects a good experience when doing so, that is what user experience design provides. From a company perspective they ultimately want sales, and because great user experience design touches the consumer at different points; it provides the consumer that warm welcoming feeling from the start, through the purchase and after. This gives the consumer that feeling that they made a great choice. By changing the purchase decision from a logical decision to an emotional decision it drives the behavior to purchase the product. As pointed out by Simon Sinek, no matter the facts figures, features or benefits, decisions are made with the emotional centers/Limbic parts of our brain.