The goal of user experience (UX) is simple: It’s to keep customers coming back. The UX design process is built on research, and its goal is to satisfy the needs of the user. Research methods can include basic analytics, heatmaps, surveys, focus groups, interviews, diary studies, and contextual observation.
A successful UX isn’t about looking good. Appearance matters, but is there intuitive ease of use? An appealing visual presentation can engage a user initially, but the real question is whether the experience is satisfying and creates value. To determine whether that is accomplished, data collection and product improvement are crucial steps that help designers understand user behavior.
What Is UX Design Anyway?
UX designers create and test digital products for intuitiveness and ease of use across a variety of touchpoints. UX design is based on design thinking and user-centered design (UCD).
Design thinking means working with customers, brainstorming about possibilities, developing ideas, and testing ideas for feasibility. UCD refers to a collection of design methods that are concerned with end users’ objectives. These methods involve observing, analyzing, and evaluating a consumer’s relationship with a product. UX design brings user-centered design principles into digital product design.
Because they are inherently empathic, UX designers ask the right questions to intuit the needs of their users. They bring forth effortless journeys that achieve users’ goals. UX design principles help designers to optimize experiences for users based on how users want, need, and expect to use products.
The UX design process might begin by identifying problems and then creating profiles of end users called personas, along with use-case scenarios and possible solutions. That information guides the product development process and generates prototypes to test. Test results from end users are then used for additional testing. The testing process continues until designer expectations match end user experiences.
Feedback loops are used to identify elements that are hampering the UX. Heuristic analyses are employed to identify usability issues and to test whether a digital product is in compliance with device interface guidelines.
What’s the Difference Between User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)?
UI designers bring the identity of a brand into its digital products and make the UI useful. UX designers identify problems that need solutions and suggest changes to improve system efficacy. Most designers are well-versed in both UX and UI. As the gap between the two narrows, more unicorns will master the UX design process and build sites from start to finish.
The Mission of UX Design
Dieter Rams believes that in the UX design process, the form should follow function and the design should be minimal. The design that exists should be focused on essentials. A minimalist design captures the role of the UX within the design field and constitutes a user-centered design approach.
A successful user experience feels intuitive. It offers clear calls to action and adds value to a user’s experience with a brand. There is satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. UX design isn’t something users should see; it’s something they should feel. A poorly designed site creates anxiety and frustration that can generate lasting resentment against a brand.
A good UX design delights users; it delivers the best solution at the most opportune time and in the most engaging way. A good UX designer uses empathy to understand the needs of users and to optimize digital products to satisfy stakeholder needs and end user goals.
Successful UX designers create value in relationships between brands and consumers. They design experiences. They solve problems. Their products are accessible across a variety of touchpoints. Because of an inherently empathic nature, they can easily walk in another person’s shoes.
Investing in design is investing in the success of a product. A satisfying user experience that starts early in the engagement process can increase the value of that product for many years to come.
Want to learn more from UX design experts? Contact the Rebels today!