Common misunderstandings, misleading job descriptions, and novelty of the field – all these things have contributed to disagreement about what precisely the UX is – and what it is not. The problem is worth solving because currently the market needs more specialists in the UX field.
What is UX – table of contents:
- Meaning of User Experience
- What is UX design?
- Why do you need a great UX design?
- Common MYTHS about UX
Meaning of User Experience
UX stands for user experience – that is clear. But what exactly user experience means?
User experience is a broad term referring to many kinds of reactions to a product. Experience includes sensations, feeling, emotions, and cognitive and behavioral responses.
Do you need an example? No problem!
Imagine you want to drink a coffee from a particular cup. The user experience is everything that you think of and feel in relation to that cup.
Is it easy to grab and pleasant to touch? Do the color and design look pretty?
UX is by and large used in the context of the digital world – but the rule stays the same. UX of digital products refers to reactions appearing while interacting with the product. For example – its intuitiveness or visual attractiveness.
What is UX design?
UX designers do not design the user experience! It is simply impossible. But they do design for the UX, creating circumstances that help users feel in a certain way.
The goal of user experience design is to make the user feel satisfied with the interaction with the product.
How can you do it? There is not one single path to achieve this. Referring to the Peter Morville’s concept of 7 crucial elements, the UX designer should make the product:
- usable (easy to use),
- useful (fulfilling the need),
- desirable (attractive),
- findable (intuitive),
- accessible (including users with disabilities),
- credible (trustworthy).
Why do you need a great UX design?
Let us put this straight – we are sure that you, your company, and your product strive for great UX. Why? Because everybody does!
The author of How To Make Sense of Any Mess, Abby Covert once said that the impact of UX is crystal clear: the more satisfied your users are, the more likely they are to do whatever it is you are encouraging.
According to The Trillion Dollar UX Problem: A Comprehensive Guide to the ROI of UX, the return of investment in UX design is 100 dollars for every $1 invested. If that does not convince you, we do not know what will.
Common MYTHS about UX
We can define UX through statements saying what UX is and what most definitely UX is not.
- UX equals UI
- UX is only about the product
- Customer Experience equals User Experience
- UX is all about the visuals
- UX neglects the visuals for usability
- UX is just one step of the designing process
This statement is a common mistake – probably because people automatically assume that the word design must apply to the visuals.
The simplest explanation is that UI (User Interface) design is a part of UX design. The well-designed interface helps make the overall user experience better.
The focus in the process of UX designing should always emphasize the people – their needs, problems, troubles, and desires.
Of course, the designer always thinks about the product – but from the user’s point of view.
Here we have similar relation as between UX and UI. In this case, the UX (user experience) is a part of a broader customer experience.
Using the product is a part of interacting with the brand. UX design influences the customer experience, but customer experience is a little bit more.
As commonly understood, the UX is how the product appears (e.g.: are the fonts easy to read? does the button encourage the user to click?). But the UX is so much more!
The UX designer is focused more on the concept and the logic of the product. The visuals should support the structure but are not enough themselves.
The beautiful design should present the functions and purposes of a well-designed UX.
Sometimes people hearing the last point, that UX is more than visuals can get into another extreme of the spectrum and begin to think that UX has nothing to do with visuals.
Truth, as usual, is hiding somewhere in the middle.
Bad visuals and an ugly interface are parts of the low-quality User Experience. It is not pleasant, easy, and desirable to use a product that does not seem attractive.
Designing for a better user experience is an ongoing process and should be optimized time after time.
You can’t just check off the UX from the tasks list. You should incorporate the UX design into every step of product life. Ideally, you can also regularly gather new users’ feedback and optimize the UX more.
What is UX – summary
Decently-designed and thought-through UX is necessary for your product and business. Why? It is trivial. The experiences of your customer translate directly into readiness for purchase.
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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