What Does UX Really Mean?

Everybody says that they want to improve their product’s UX, however, only a handful of them really knows what makes a meaningful UX. Does UX mean how things look, or is there more to it? If there is more, how does one quantify it? and finally, is UI different from UX?

I have distilled some understandings that will help us in clarify the jargon thrown around so casually.

  1. UX stands for User Experience and UI stands for User Interface. Both have a lot of differences. A good UX means a good looking user interface but a good looking user interface may not necessarily mean a good UX. Especially in web and mobile development, a good design or a good looking website will not necessarily mean a good user experience. It might be pleasing to look at but the user might not enjoy using the site/app or find it difficult to complete the tasks gracefully.Thus the User Experience design works towards making the product fun,easy and efficient to use in terms of the functionality of the product, which can later be represented by a good UI.

2. User Experience designing is a very lengthy process. This is one of the reasons why it isn’t usually implemented at the starting stage of a product. UX works from the roots up. It takes into account the aim of the product, what the owners believe their product could be and then works at implementing that at the functional level. Since this is functional level design implementation, the process takes longer. It involves working with persons and usability validations from different kinds of audience.

3. Like Steve Jobs said “A good design is not just what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works,” so in this case good design would be UX. So UX design will tell you what should be where and what should happen if this is done, on which you can then work on making it to look visually appealing.End result of a UX is not always a Photoshop or an equivalent file. Most people integrate UI along with UX, in which case the final product is a design specification file that illustrates not only the screens but also how the design works (flow, interactions, and transitions).

Hence UX is an involved process when done right and is one of the most important aspect of the product development.

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