Explaining UX Design
“So it’s like graphic design?”
That’s the response I’ve been getting from friends and family members lately as I try to explain this emerging field I’m diving into. “Sure, but it’s so much more!” I keep insisting. UX (user experience) design can be seen everywhere in our increasingly digital world — from the alarm clock we use to wake up, the email inbox we keep a constant eye on through the workday, and the apps we use to make life just a little more convenient. You’ve likely encountered examples of both good and bad UX design without even realizing it, yet the term is still a foreign concept to most people. This post will attempt to quickly explain UX design in the simplest terms possible from a fellow design newbie.
So what is UX design?
Although examples of design can be found everywhere, UX design typically refers to digital applications and services. According to the Oxford Journal of Interacting With Computers, the goal of UX design is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.” The UX design process prioritizes user needs above all else, ranging from core functionality, ease of use, and visual design elements. By understanding and empathizing with potential users, UX designers aim to solve problems and ensure the end product provides a seamless and delightful experience.
Example of UX design
In my opinion, Uber’s app has always been an example of great UX design. It’s intuitive, convenient, and consistently evolving to meet user needs. The company recently redesigned their app and expanded on its already impressive core platform. Beyond a new visual design, increased speed and upfront pricing, the company aimed to learn more about each individual user, providing a personalized in-app experience for everyone. The newly debuted app now has the ability to incorporate a user’s calendar events to automatically find the address of where you might be headed, along with a new feature called Uber Feed. Uber feed presents a variety of services you might need during your trip, such as restaurant menus, Yelp reviews, estimated travel times, etc. All of these updates show the company’s dedication to meet user needs, all while maintaining its easy-to-use service.
At its core, UX design is about effectively addressing user needs, creating digital products and services that are both functional and delightful to use. As you now know, it’s so much more than just graphic design and visual aesthetics, and in today’s digital world, UX design is more important than ever.