Have you ever visited a website that is easy to navigate, where you found the links where they were supposed to be? Where the text size felt correct. On the other side, have you ever visited a website where you didn’t know where to click, with broken links and rambling text? Then you’ve seen the two opposites of What is User Experience Design?

User experience design, commonly abbreviated as UX can be defined as the experiences (sensory, emotional, mental, and physical) a person has when they interact with a digital tool. Although it’s not a term commonly used in blogging resources, it’s important as a digital marketing topic. I’ll explore more about it next.

What does a user experience designer do?

You’ll find a UX designer write UX copy, design, research, test/validate, and present/sell the design to the business. The UX designer represents the user and it’s their advocate, seeking the balance between business goals and the user’s needs.

UX copy is the art and science of using language to make the brand experiences more enjoyable and easier for users. It’s all about using language to create a conversation between the user and the brand.

Experience designers also design. They use design principles and design tools to create an aesthetic pleasant presentation of what the final product should look like. This is the part most of the public is aware of since is a prominent part of the process.

UX validation is the gathering of hard data to check you are making the right choices at every phase of the project. As you can see, the design is an artistic endeavor, but it becomes more useful when it’s mixed with real facts to make decisions and guide a project.

When it comes to presenting and selling the design to the business, the benefits are obvious. There is a clear return on investment to be made, and the process becomes simpler because there are many stakeholders who have witnessed the development of the program.

What skills do you need to be a UX designer?

A designer in this field needs to be knowledgeable about information architecture, wireframing, research, visual communication, and prototyping.

Information architecture, usually abbreviated as IA, is the science of creating structures and organization for content on the web, mobile applications, websites, and social media. An example of this is the creation of different screens designed so a user can find the information they need.

Wireframing is seen as a sort of architectural blueprint. It’s a skeletal outline of an app or website made in two dimensions. It usually represents the initial concept, and it is refined until the designer is happy with the result. The use of color, style, and graphics is kept to a minimum since at first, it’s more important to understand the big picture of the design or redesign.

UX research is systematically studying the requirements of users. This adds insights and realistic processes to design. By placing the user in the front seat, the results are usually different from the initial hypothesis.

Visual communication is all about the implementation of images, colors, and text so they enhance the interaction or the design. This field has evolved from graphic design and user interface (UI) design.

User Experience design process

It’s important to mention that not every single time all these aspects are performed by a single designer. They are usually the result of teamwork. So, this design process is followed by design teams to provide relevant and meaningful experiences to users. The entire process is considered, and it includes integrating and acquiring the product, adding branding, design, function, and usability features.

The process can be the following:  

  1. Understanding
  2. Researching
  3. Sketching
  4. Designing
  5. Implementing
  6. Evaluating

As you can see, there is an order and structure to the process. Understanding involves the creation of user personas, defining use cases, and gathering requirements. Researching means analyzing competitors, using UX trends, and following guidelines.

Sketching is all about gathering ideas, drawing wireframes and sketches, evaluating, and re-drawing. The design consists of creating images, prototypes, and defining UX guidelines. Implementing is adding functionality and building the experience. Finally, evaluating is performing usability tests, creating audit reports, and identifying improvements.

Some processes are longer than others. The idea is to solve the design problem. It’s interesting to understand this methodology as a problem-solving angle. This metaphor provides context for every action the designer takes.

What is a good user experience?

Although great user experience is intuitive. That means just finds that a website or app just works, it has a science behind it. The most important items to consider for a good interface are:

  • Conciseness
  • Clearness
  • Responsiveness
  • Familiarity
  • Attractiveness
  • Consistency
  • Forgiveness
  • Efficiency

The perfect product is a rare occurrence, iterating over results over time is more common. You’ll find that the difference between a bad user experience and a good one is many times subjective. It can vary between contexts and individuals.

Not everybody has the same needs, which is why it’s important to understand the user. This understanding is central to the user experience design process.

A key point is that although much of the design experience is subjective, it is also true that many scholars and practitioners have studied the field and created principles and conventions to follow. The result is that no matter what the audience is, a good user experience is possible. Two examples of these conventions are the Nielsen Norman heuristics, and Peter Morville’s user experience honeycomb.

These guidelines explain what a good user experience is. The result is that customers will be satisfied with your offerings. When customers are satisfied, you are more likely to grow. UX design can make or break a business.

Conclusion

Today, we’ve explored the definition of User Experience Design using an example. This leads to the question about what a user experience designer does? The answer is not short, and the list is usually performed by a team of professionals. We then answered the question what skills do you need to be a UX designer? They must be knowledgeable about information architecture, wireframing, research, visual communication, and prototyping.

We then analyzed the User Experience design process and understood what a good user experience is. With all this information at hand, we can explore a bit more about the subject and think about how many of the digital products you use to make your life easier exist thanks to User Experience Design.