Do you want to know about UX which stands for User Experience, and its importance in shaping how users feel when interacting with a product or service?
In this article we will help you understand the impact of UX on a company’s relationship with customers, explore the basics of good and bad UX, as well as concepts like the UI..
Keep reading to learn more on what UX really is, why does it matter and what UX designers’ role is.
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What does UX stand for and what does it mean?
“UX” means “user experience,” which is how someone feels when they use a product, service, company, or brand. It’s not just about digital stuff like apps and websites; it can be anything a person interacts with.
For example, imagine going to your nearby bank to open a new bank account. If it’s easy and fast, with clear instructions, and friendly service, you will feel like it was a good experience.
The same happens when you order things online or use an app on your phone. If you can do what you want fast and with little effort, it makes the experience enjoyable.
UX is not about one thing; it’s about all the little parts that add up to determine if the overall experience is positive. It’s like the impression you get and whether you’d want to do it again.
Where does the term “UX” come from?
The term “UX” was invented by Donald Norman, a cognitive psychologist who started working at Apple in the early 1990s. He took on the role of User Experience Architect, making him the first (known) person in history to have UX in their job title.
Explaining the origins of UX, Donald Norman said:
What is the difference between UX and UI?
If you know about UX, you might have also come across UI. People often talk about them together, but it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two.
UX is a big term that includes everything affecting how a person feels when using a product or service. It’s not just one thing; it’s about the overall quality of the whole experience.
UI stands for “user interface,” which is where a person interacts with a digital product. It includes screens, buttons, and other things you use to move around in an app or on a website.
The design of the user interface (UI) can affect the overall user experience, so UI is an important part of UX.
Why is UX important?
User Experience (UX) is crucial as it directly shapes how a company connects with its customers. When people have a positive interaction with a product or service, they’re more likely to stick with it, become loyal customers, and even recommend it to others.
This positive sentiment is key for building a strong brand reputation, which greatly influences the success and financial health of the business.
On the flip side, a negative user experience can harm the perception of the product, service, or company, leading customers to explore other options / competitors with better user experiences. In competitive situations where similar products or services are in contention, superior UX often becomes the deciding factor.
Therefore, ensuring a positive user experience is not only essential for attracting and retaining customers but also for establishing a favourable brand image, ultimately contributing to sustained business growth and profitability.
What is UX Design?
User Experience (UX) is about how users feel when using a product or service.
UX design is the process of creating these experiences to make them positive and user-friendly.
It’s not just about the looks of the product; it’s about making sure the product makes sense, works well, is easy to use, and ultimately enhances the overall satisfaction of the person using it.
By focusing on practicality and ease of use, UX design aims to create interactions that leave a lasting positive impression on the user.
In the field of UX design, there are five essential elements to take into account:
1. Strategy: This involves determining the objectives that the product should achieve, encompassing both the goals of end-users and the interests of clients or business stakeholders.
2. Scope: Detailing the specifics of the product, and identifying the features and functionality it should provide to meet the outlined objectives.
3. Structure: Planning out how the product is organized, considering how users will navigate through it, and identifying the information necessary for them to move around and accomplish their goals.
4. Skeleton: Delving into the finer details of page structure, specifying the placement of elements such as buttons, menus, and other content.
5. Surface: Addressing the user’s sensory experience of the product, defining its visual aspects, including colours, imagery, spacing, typography, and more. This is where UI design plays a crucial role.
What is the UX Process?
The UX design process is about figuring out and fixing a problem for a specific group of people.
Here’s how it works:
1. User Research: Find out who you’re designing for and what issues they need help with.
2. Identify the Problem: Choose one main problem and think of ways to solve it.
3. Design the Solution: Create the solution for the problem you’ve identified.
4. Make Prototypes: Build models to test if the design actually solves the user’s problem.
5. Develop the Product: Turn the successful prototypes into a complete product or service that people can use.
6. Keep Improving: Continuously make the product or service better by testing and getting feedback.
Who is a UX Designer?
While “UX” isn’t limited to digital products, UX designers usually work in the tech industry. They closely collaborate with software developers, product managers or owners, and other business stakeholders to ensure that every aspect of the product’s user experience is well-executed.
As part of their daily tasks, UX designers:
• Perform user research.
• Develop user personas, which are imaginary characters representing the target user. This helps UX designers better understand and summarize the needs of the end user.
• Outline the information architecture of the product, deciding how the content will be arranged and organized.
• Design wireframes and prototypes to plan out the product’s structure and the path users will follow to complete tasks.
• Conduct user and usability tests to figure out where and how the product’s user experience can be enhanced.
This list doesn’t cover all the tasks of a UX designer since their work can change depending on where they work and the industry.
However, it shows that UX design involves a range of tasks and considers many different factors.
What other UX roles and job titles are out there?
Some of the most common UX job titles include:
Specializes in user research, analysing findings, and understanding the target audience.
UX Architect/Information Architect:
Focuses on organizing and structuring all the information and content that a user will encounter.
Responsible for creating an overall UX strategy, balancing end-user needs with business goals.
Specializes in writing micro copy, which is the content placed throughout a digital product to help users navigate and provide useful information at various touchpoints.
Similar to the broad and diverse nature of UX, a career in this field offers opportunities for a well-rounded role covering various aspects of UX or a specialized pathway concentrating on one specific element of the user experience.
Learn More About UX
Now that you understand what UX stands for, its significance, and why it matters, there is still much more to explore in the expansive and diverse field of UX.
Keep delving into the subject for a more comprehensive understanding and keep learning about the skills needed to become a successful UX designer.
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