What do User Experience and Communication Design have in common?
The different definitions of the word “design” in everyday language have contributed to a lack of precision in understanding the job of a UX Designer.
Design is generally understood as the physical or visual product derived from the activity, but the activity itself is often skipped. The public tends to perceive “design” as referring to objects or visuals, but designers on the other hand, tend to center the word on action, and see the product as a final step in a long journey. To design is to invent, to project, to program, to coordinate a long list of human and technical factors, to translate the invisible into the visible, and to communicate. Let’s stop at the communication part for a while. We all now that the communication is a bridge to comprehend and understand each other. There are various ways of communication depending on the goods we want to deliver. The visual communication designers works on the interpretation, organization, and visual presentation of message. The user experience designer works on how to make this message useful, easily reachable to the user, interact in such a way that the final action is a pleasurable one. So, they both have a message to communicate.
Now, we use communication as a basic way of reaching out to people. Especially in our work environment we have to be more direct and more careful at the same time. In order to deliver a message properly we have to get rid of our ego, of our personal thoughts regarding the message and of the importance of the person to whom we transmit the message. This one is not to underestimate the receiver, contrary is to emphasize the important fact of him receiving it properly. One important receiver is the client. Many put themselves a barrier in front of communication while transmitting the message. This makes the process a very difficult one because it adds so many unrealistic and judgmental thoughts before even start talking. We prepare before we present something, like first gathering all the necessary information. But this preparation work has a message itself that only needs to be presented. So all the previous technical preparations have made possible to deliver this message in the best possible way. If we are at the prototyping stage and we present that, it already communicates a message. Communication is an added value to the whole process. UX designers have to provoke everyone to talk, even developers. We do everything just to communicate, we sketch, we wireframe, we prototype just in order to deliver a message. And, using this skills and tools just makes our communication easier. Since we work for the user and for the client at the same time the communication has to be personal, professional and face to face. In order to explain or even understand a certain topic we have to have the empathy, curiosity and clarity of expression. Let’s take a short closer look at each one of them.
- EMPATHY — Is the ability to understand why people behave the way the do.
- CURIOSITY — Is the desire to know why people behave the way the do.
- CLARITY OF EXPRESSION — Is the ability to express complicated concepts clearly to those with no prior knowledge in the field.
These are qualities you won’t find using a tool or latest programs and plans on the market. These help you to get closer, to shorten the bridge of the communication in order to directly transmit the message and reach to the receiver.