What Every Designer Needs to Know About UX

Our role as designers, as always, is to create a meaningful experience for users. Simple.

Looking at it in this way, user experience (UX) design has always existed as a part of the design process. Previously it was included in the general research stage but now, as we realise and understand how important the user is, it’s growing as a field of its own. The reality is now that how well the user experience is designed can often determine the success or failure of a business. Nimble designers are adapting to match this emergence, which is why UX is a powerful and necessary addition to any digital designer’s skillset.

“DESIGN IS ALL ABOUT THE USER EXPERIENCE — WHETHER IT’S READING SOMETHING OR INTERACTING WITH SOMETHING — THAT’S ALMOST THE SOLE REASON DESIGN EXISTS.”

Simon Pemberton, National Head of School at Tractor

Understanding the customer journey allows designers to capture the best elements for a user experience, rather than designing for themselves. As designers, we build, we make, we design for the purposes of other people — so we need to understand how people’s hands and minds work. If you don’t think about the experience people have, you will never create great work. That journey has to be more important than what we, ourselves see for our projects.

If you’re new to design, are more experienced as a print designer or have simply been living under a rock, the UX design process typically goes like this:

1. RESEARCH — UNDERSTAND THE USER

This is the most important step and is the main reason user experience has become a field of its own. Understanding who you’re designing for is the only way to create a relevant experience, and frankly if you’re not considering this then you’re just designing for yourself. Which is selfish.

As well as making sense of behaviours, this step is also crucial for identifying user barriers and influences and how that affects the goals of your design and the client. Designing solutions and eliminating barriers to positive experiences is at the heart of UX. Creating better emotional engagement between user and your goals can only come from an informed position.

“YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD BE SO SIMPLE, A DRUNK PERSON
COULD USE IT.” — Richlitt

2. IDEATION — CONCEPTUALISE AND GET FEEDBACK

With all that juicy information on who it is you’re designing for and what they actually want from the experience, idea generation begins. Initial ideas and storyboards are tested, fine tuned and evolved to increase the value of the design, through user feedback. What aspects of the design worked, what problems were solved, which elements failed to connect?

This feedback indicates what’s worth picking out, and what needs improving or changing. Every validation is a step furthering your goals, aligning the experience to the outcome. Through the process of constant iteration, you’ll gain valuable insights about the target market and validate any assumptions in the early stage.

3. DELIVER — EVOLVE AND TWEAK

Turning over your design to developers to evolve it to an experience that is functional, beautiful and influential doesn’t mean your job is done. Expect tweaking!

There you have it — UX in a nutshell. Even though the principles, philosophies and techniques of UX design are well established, its value is fast becoming a driving force of design. The industry’s expanding and jobs are booming.

If you’re ready to go deeper and immerse yourself in everything UX, our next intake is 16th November, so enquire now.

Looking at it in this way, user experience (UX) design has always existed as a part of the design process. Previously it was included in the general research stage but now, as we realise and understand how important the user is, it’s growing as a field of its own. The reality is now that how well the user experience is designed can often determine the success or failure of a business. Nimble designers are adapting to match this emergence, which is why UX is a powerful and necessary addition to any digital designer’s skillset.

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