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UX Design (User Experience Design)

Have you ever been on a website or app that makes you want to throw your device because you can’t perform a simple task, like changing a password? This is an example of poor UX.

UX takes a poor experience like this and redesigns the product and creates a clear path to ensure the user is not frustrated by such a simple process and ensures the user is able to achieve their end goal.

What is UX design?

The question is a very simple one, but the answer is more complicated.

UX design is an ever-evolving industry so there is no one definition but to summarise, one could say UX design is the process to determine what the user’s experience will be when they interact with your product.

UX design aims to create a product or service that is easy to use and driven by the needs of the user. Creating effortless interactions for the user will lead to people finding more value in your product.

On the surface one would think that it is just about having a nice-looking design that functions but if you dive deeper, you will find it to be so much more. UX design require inputs from various fields such as cognitive & consumer psychology, research, business, and of course technology. All these fields help create a seamless process that allows the user to achieve their end goal in using your product.

Good UX design requires empathy; it’s not just about form and function but also about the way the product makes one feel, what emotions the product sparks within the end user. A positive emotion sparked in the user will lead to repeat usage of the product.

Why is UX important?

The most important thing UX design offer is accessibility.

Through UX design we can deliver much smoother user accessibility for everyone encompassing all the user’s needs. This ranges from page loading time to easy access for people with disabilities that limit their ability to use the product.

UX solves problems user may encounter when interacting with the product. Bad UX will cost a company money and that is the bottom line. If a user’s experience is full of hurdles, they will lose interest and there for the company will lose potential business.

What does a UX designer do?

A UX designer studies the needs of the user. They then design the user experiences. From there they study the process of how the user interacts with the product and tweaks and redesigns the experience where necessary to make it as easy and accessible for the user.

The Designer also creates or updates the products features as well as test and validate new ideas with the target audience.

A few tips for UX designing:

Your goal should always have the user in mind when it comes to designing a product. Here are few tips to help you design a pleasant user experience:

  • Reduce as much clutter as possible to ensure the user doesn’t have to jump over hurdles to achieve the goal, they have in using your product.
  • Don’t try reinventing the wheel. Use certain tried and tested methods and follow the process of creating a good user experience.
  • Understand the needs of the user. Get as much feedback as you can early and often, don’t try build the product based on what you feel or assume the user needs. Find out exactly what they need.
  • Keep the user flow consistent. The user’s interaction needs to be natural and effortless.
  • Make elements visually distinct.
  • Keep and practice responsive design.

UX design Process:

UX is a never-ending process. The more you learn about the user and their needs the more you will need to update your product to meet their continually changing demands.

There is a basic process which helps UX designers create a product that works best for the user’s needs. Here are 7 steps UX designers should follow:

  1. Centre the user: I know I’m repeating myself, but the user is the most important point of focus within user When a user can seamlessly accomplish their task that means you have successfully created a good user experience. Therefore, always keep the user and their needs as your main focus.
  2. Clarify the business goals: At the end of the day the design must be easy to use for the user the design must still serve the overall business objectives. Think about what the design needs to achieve for the business as well i.e. Is the purpose of the design to get signups and sales or to create engaging content?
  3. User Research: Remember that you can’t design a product for the user based of what you think they need. Conduct the necessary research to understand the users’ needs the research can help you discover the problems users face when engaging with products, which will help you find a solution to these problems.
  4. Construct User Flows: A user flow is a map for the UX of the product. It is a list of steps the user will need to take to achieve their goal when engaging with the product. You should always try and keep the progression as logical as possible when creating a user flow.
  5. Wire framing and Prototyping: The UX designer must create two types of wire frames the first is a low fidelity wire frame and the second is a high fidelity. The wire frames serve as a visual tool for basic element layout so that when the product is mocked up it helps streamline the process. The mock-up is the prototyped to bring it to life. The prototype is an interactive version of the mock-up which helps demonstrate the user flow of the product.
  6. Test the Usability: This stage is very important as it can be used for user testing, and you can pick up on problems before the product moves on to the development stage.
  7. Constantly test and update: Once all the above steps are complete and the product is developed and deployed the UX designer must constantly test the design and find ways to continually make it easy to use.

The UX Designers Main Role

Think of the UX designer as the path finder/craftsman of the digital world. They’re not just putting pretty pictures on a screen they’re crafting the user’s journey as they push forward.

Their first venture? Deep research. They dive into understanding what users want, what makes them click, and sometimes, what makes them leave.

With insights in hand, they sketch out an outline of the user’s journey, or in tech terms, create wireframes. These outlines then get a splash of life and interactivity, turning into prototypes that give everyone better picture of the improvements that are possible to that journey.

They’re always open to feedback, they watch how users interact with their creation, refining and tweaking it to ensure it’s at its best possible state for the sake of the end user.

UX Designer Skills in Action

A UX designer is like a Swiss Army knife versatile, reliable, and always ready to tackle the next challenge. They can put themselves in the user’s shoes, ensuring the designs feel human, relatable, and intuitive.

They know their way around design tools, and maybe a bit of code as well. Teamwork? Absolutely. They’re always in sync with their team, be it designers, coders, or bosses.

Just like the tech world never stands still, neither do they. They’re always on the lookout for the next big thing in design, ensuring they’re not just in the game but leading it head-on.

In a nutshell, UX Designers’ skills are constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of modern users.

UX designers make sure the user has a smooth and enjoyable journey through their digital experience be it a website, app, or interface the UX designer is constantly asking themselves the question ‘How can I improve the quality of my users on page experience’.

The world of UX is fascinating. People use products on a daily basis and without UX design they would all be a lot more frustrated and have broken devices all because they couldn’t change their password.