Shedding some light on UX Design
As a I dive a little deeper into the world of UX Design, I often find myself having to explain what it means to my friends and family.
It’s an explanation which differs every time I give it, depending on the examples I first come across in my mind, and the person I’m explaining it to.
Furthermore, with every article I read on the subject, it changed again.
It’s only fitting that as part of my course with designlab that I’m set the task of giving my own interpretation of UX and the role of a UX Designer.
Let’s start at the beginning
What does User Experience (UX) Design mean?
The term user experience was first coined by Don Norman, influential designer and former Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple.
He felt that all other terms at the time were too limited and he wanted:
“ a term to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system ”
In essence, UX Design is just that: the consideration of the complete experience had by the user of a product or a service.
Design itself, is the discipline of solving problems within certain limitations and conditions. Designers of a wide range of products and services are concerned with the experience had by their end-users, customers and back office users: and not just those in the realm of digital design.
Could you imagine Disney, or elBulli only caring about part of the experience had by one of their customers? The key part is also acknowledging that sometimes the users of the same product have different needs, expectations and abilities.
For me, UX Design is also about thinking and UX Designers should think about the user at all times:
-Who is the user?
-What does he/she want?
-Why does it he/she want it?
-How does he/she want to satisfy them?
All of these types of questions would be asked throughout the design process, and should be supported by some solid research.
What does this actually mean to me?
Im glad you asked and right on cue; this is the generation of the self after all. In short, a UX Designer who works in the digital world, makes websites which are simple and easy to use.
In a digital utopia where all websites are highly functional, easy to use, as well as being visually appealing, the UX Designers think, so the users don’t have to when using the products.
And thank goodness for that right?
Because if there’s one time in life I really don’t want to think, it’s when I’m trying to book that last-minute flight to Paris or pay bills online.
In reality though, so many websites still force us to think.
It’s very easy to notice a bad experience we have on a website or app in comparison to a good experience, and humans tend to gravitate towards the ‘good’ experiences in life…for the most part anyway.
This explains, in part, the increase in demand for the UX Designers, and the popularity of well-designed products such as Facebook, Airbnb and Uber.
The daily increase in the number of websites, apps and users of the internet, also goes some way to explaining the increased relevance of the UX Design field.
How does the UX Designer do this?
The UX Designer is also the chameleon of the digital design world. The chart below, created by Envis Precisely, shows all of the disciplines of the UX Design process:
Step 1: The UX Designers carry out a lot of research and testing to fully really understand the needs and behavior of the users.
Step 2: They then work on the design and the development of ideas
Step 3: After rounds of iterations they create a solution which best meets these needs.
UX Design is a growing field as businesses start to see the value in thinking about the user first, rather than their product and attracting the user to it.
Apparently, It’s all about the users in the 21st century and the UX Designer is the champion of the users needs.