A General Overview of the Field of UX Design
What is UX Design?
As a software developer, being part of IT industry I often heard of UX Design in past few years. UX stands for User Experience, it basically refers to how ,what and why you feels when your using a product or service. The term was first defined in 1995 by Don Norman to describe the tasks he and his teams were working on at Apple.
User experience’ encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” — Don Norman
Though It’s not long since the term UX Design has been around, the concept has existed for a long time. The beginning of the concept can be traced back to late late 19th century and after hundred years of evolutions it becomes the UX we know nowadays. If you’re interested in the stories, this article by Ali Rushdan Tariq gives a brief introduction to the history of user experience.
In a nutshell, UX design is a scientific design process and interactions to make a product, service or system more easy to use, and enhance user’s satisfaction with it, meanwhile achieve the business’s goal. It’s more of a science than art.
How does it work?
So how do UX designer design the interactions? What do they do to improve the user experience? UX designers usually follow the process called user-centered design. It’s a three step process (while some break it into 4 or 5 steps), which consists of Research, Design and Validate. Firstly, designers do research with different methods(e.g. creating personas, build scenario, case studies, interviews…), in this phase they ask lots of questions. Secondly, they do the design according to what they learned from the research under some principles. Finally, designers have to validate their design with some techniques(e.g. A/B testing, field testing…) and depend on the results they might go back to the first or second phase over and over again.
Why is UX Design so Important?
In 2007 Steven Jobs announced the first Iphone, which is one of the best product of the contemporary. It’s the great user experience makes it outstanding. Apple is not the first company try to make smartphones neither did they invent the technology in the phone. Instead, they dedicate to building the best user experience. And the result is, not only did they changed the landscape of smartphones but dominate the industry since then.
UX designers don’t invent the core technology of a product but they improve it and make it friendly to users. If scientists are ought to make life convenient then UX designers are to make it easier.