There is no generally accepted explanation for the UX design. The field is dynamically developing, and so is the definition of this concept. We will try to discover what UX design means!
Do you know what UX Design means? – table of contents:
- The meaning behind user experience (UX)
- The DESIGN part of UX Design
- Components of the UX design process
- Misconceptions about the user experience
The meaning behind user experience (UX)
User experience is a group of different things all put into one phrase. What meaning can we find in this group? For example:
- all interactions between user and product or service,
- the internal experience of the user,
- feelings, emotions, thoughts, and impressions of the user (that appear while using the product).
Good or bad user experience?
Generally speaking, a good user experience is when the interaction is simple, pleasant, smooth, and joyful. A long, frustrating experience is a symptom of bad UX design.
You can also measure great or poor user experience by the business goals or success indicators. A good user experience will prone the user to use the product more (and pay for it), while a poor user experience discourages them from using the product and it forms a risk of losing the user to the competition.
When does the user experience happen?
The user experience occurs when there is an interaction between the user and the product.
The user experience while using a pen happens when you are writing something or just looking or fidgeting with the pen. The shape, color, and feeling – all these things create a user experience.
When the writing experience is pleasant and smooth, the designer did a good job. When the writing is ongoing pain, gives you blisters on your fingers, the pen stops working from time to time – now that is a piece of poorly designed experience (and product).
All these indicators can be applied to other products, services, and virtual products (f.e. websites or apps).
The DESIGN part of UX Design
Everybody knows you don’t have the power to design the experience. The designers are not fully capable of controlling all of the impressions. The user experience, besides the product, also depends on other things, like memories, the mood, or the attitude – and we cannot control that. So what are we designing during the user experience design?
We can (and we do) design conditions that will give the best probability to give a good experience to the user. We can design the product, its functions, looks, and smell, and we can choose colors and fabrics to give the user the best experience.
The brief history of UX design
Don Norman is the co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group and the author of the term user experience (which he developed in the 1990s).
What the author of the term says about the user experience? According to him, user experience contains all elements of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
Components of the UX design process
UX design is not about one evening with pen and paper. The UX design is an ongoing process of developing – and improving user experience. So what examples of tasks are on the UX designer list?
- Market research – designers must know for whom they are designing.
- Product development – UX happens in the context of business, so there must be some business objectives, market, and product.
- Mapping out a user journey – designers think through all the different steps users have to go through. The smoother the process, the better the experience.
- User tests – only end-users can verify the assumptions of designers and business owners. So UX designers have to test the product on real users and improve the experience depending on the feedback.
Misconceptions about the user experience
The UX and UX design are often confused with others (more or less) related terms. Let’s take a look at the most common misunderstandings.
- User experience versus the customer experience
- User experience design versus user interface design
- User experience versus usability
These two terms are closely related, so it is not surprising that some people (often not experts in the field) are confusing them.
Customer experience is a broader term than user experience. The customer experience includes user experience (interacting with the product) and every other interaction with the brand (for example: with salespeople, advertising, or experience of being in the store).
These terms are also closely related. The UX design and UI design relation are similar to the relationship between customer experience and user experience. In this case, the UI design is a part of the overall UX design.
The UX designer must think beyond the visual layer of the product. Functions and usability are the keys to good UX. User experience is not only about how things look but also how things work.
Here we have an analogical situation to the relationship between UX and UI designs. Usability is a crucial part of user experience – but there are plenty of others.
The difference between good and bad user experience design may directly translate into the difference between buying or not buying the product. The key to understanding UX design is knowing that the term contains a lot of things – and all of them are important to creating good UX design.
Now you know what UX design means. Follow our series so you don’t miss future articles.
The ultimate UX Guide:
- What is UX – and what it is NOT
- UX and UI – are they comparable?
- 7 factors of (outstanding) User Experience
- Do you know what UX Design means?
- Are you designing user experiences? Take care of these things!
- 10 usability heuristics for UX design you need to know
- The UX design process in 5 easy and simple steps
- User-centered design and its main principles
- Stages of User-Centered Design process
- What is Customer Experience?
- User Experience vs Customer Experience. A simple explanation of their relationship
- What is a Brand Experience?
- What is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)?
- Why UX is important?
- Usability vs functionality in UX
- Examples of good UX design