What do UX designers do?
UI is the saddle, the stirrups & the reigns.
UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse & rope your cattle
— Dain Miller
UX designers are responsible for delivering functional, usable and delightful products. The process starts with unprocessed data collected through channels like interviews, surveys & analytics.
The data collected is then analysed and converted into quantitative and qualitative information. This information is later used for sound reasoning and decision making. This research allows creators to avoid assumptions and make information-driven decisions. This process also helps with prioritising various aspects of a product.
Users are the most important aspect of any product. UX designers find out what defines a user for a product. They categorise the different type of users. Get feedback from them. Create personas and stories to cover all possible use-case scenarios.
The next phase is to create a skeleton of how information flows through the product. Information architecture (IA) helps to define & to prioritise the flow of information through the product. Methods like sitemaps and card-sorting help to find the right flow.
At this point, the product (or feature, or redesign) is still in the conceptual stage. All the data collected from previous phases is ready for use in design. Designers create low fidelity wireframes of UI concepts. These wireframes include screen details, item positioning and even flows. The main goal behind wireframing is to try out various possibilities and improve.
Testing a concept with users is another key responsibility of a UX designer. A designer’s intuition, gut and experience help to ease the process. But, even experienced designers have to do user testing time to time.
After wireframing the process of detailing starts. Motion, transitions, sound, vibrations and animations are tools to create a great UX. A good product is not only usable but also a delight to use. An informed user is a happy user, while a confused user would hesitate to make decisions.
To sum up, A UX designer ensures the general adoption of a product by the end-users. A product with great UX increases user stickiness, adaptation rate, reduces learning curve.
This short essay was submitted by me as an answer for a questionnaire for a university level UX course. There were many other questions related to UX & product design. This one was particularly tough given the answers were supposed to be short & concise. What do you think about this answer? Yes, It’s still very far from covering “everything” that a UX designer does, but the idea of the question was to explain the concept using minimum words (there was a character limit to it as well). I’ve already submitted this answer, but I’d love to know more about how do you define a UX designer’s role more precisely.
Thanks for reading.