A General Overview of UX Design.

Written by someone that doesn’t really know much about UX design.

There seems to be a lot of confusion around UX design. If you type ‘What is UX’ into google you’ll find a myriad of articles and talks on the subject, though you may not necessarily come out better informed. Even the original inventor of the term, Don Norman, thinks it’s been “horribly misused”. So what does it really mean? Norman summarises it best as this: “It’s everything that touches upon your experience with the product. It’s the way you experience the world, the way you experience your life, the way you experience a service, an app or a computer system. It’s everything” So what Don is saying is that UX is not just about the interface, it’s an all round experience, because we humans are tactile, visual and emotional.

“Great design is a multi-layered relationship between human life and its environment.” –Naoto Fukasawa

It seems that UX is a step by step process of researching, understanding, testing and designing. It’s the search for a universal language without words, it’s designing something that can be understood and loved. Crafting an experience that people can interact with no matter their background. It needs to be approachable and intuitive because interaction involves emotion. Design is a feeling that is deeply connected to our emotions, the frustration or the joy that happens when people experience a bad or a well designed product is immense. Just have a look at reviews on Amazon or in the Apple store.

Amusing Amazon reviews.
Reviews of Flappy Bird.

That said, we all experience things differently and though user research and testing will help in many ways, we can’t make everybody happy.

In my opinion, no single design is apt to be optimal for everyone. — Don Norman

Despite the differing opinions of what UX design is or isn’t, what’s important is to have empathy for those you are building an experience for. “To design means to care for the needs of others” (Ralph Ammer, 2016). In a world where people must deal with constant change, providing experiences they don’t have to struggle through is the ultimate courtesy.

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