What is User Experience (UX) Design?
UX design is the process of designing products and services that are easy to use and beneficial to the user, making the overall experience with your product enjoyable.
The term “user-centered design” was coined by Don Norman (the first person to hold the title of User Experience Architect at Apple) in his 1988 book “The Design of Everyday Things". Norman defines UX as encompassing “all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” Given its overarching influence on the way consumers interact with brands, UX design has become an essential component of today’s business world, and is already changing the way organizations create their products and services.
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What is User Experience Design Process?
UX professionals must methodically follow a process to successfully execute one of their designs. Below is an example of the steps UX designers may follow to bring their ideas to fruition for a good design.
UX designers are problem solvers. To do their job, and to provide an accurate solution, designers must first understand the underlying problems.
Designers regularly conduct brainstorming sessions with clients to get their feedback. A UX team frequently lets users test out new or existing company products or sites to give the team unbiased feedback on what works and what doesn’t. From there, UX teams will identify user personas (what types of users will spend the most time with this product) and then will draft strategies based on these personas.
User feedback, plus the team’s digging, discover the underlying problems of a product and establishes a solid starting point for UX designers. Both user and team-generated data are vitally important to the overall success of the user experience process.
Designing the product is a lot more taxing than it sounds. UX teams spend weeks or months taking a product from concept to production. The teams use all of the user and team-generated data to start planning their product. First, they involve user interface (UI) practices, like sketching, whiteboard flowcharts, and wireframing to share and communicate ideas with stakeholders.
Then, the design team will create mockups based on the initial design meetings. These mockups are essentially prototypes of the finished product (i.e. they don’t have the full functionality, but they get the look and feel across). Once the user flow, visuals, and wireframes are complete, it’s time for styling. This is where the images, colors, typography, etc. get added to the product.
Software engineers and product managers get involved early on in the design aspect of each product because they’re the people who make the product execute its tasks. Engineers and product teams work side-by-side with the design team to communicate progress, ask questions, and voice concerns. Communication between these parties is key to a successful product launch.
As soon as the user experience product is done with the design phase, it rolls to more testing. Because nobody wants to launch a broken product to the world, each product goes through vigorous testing to ensure that it’s running smoothly and up to a user’s standards. Sometimes, it even goes to consumer review groups that use and critique it. Other times, testing is done internally. Is it usable? How easy is it to use? Does it fix the user’s original problem? How efficient are we making the process? These questions (and many, many more) need to be answered before a product can be released to the general public.
As soon as all stakeholders sign off on the new product, it’s time to ship it out to the world. The UX design team takes in a few moments to appreciate all of the efforts they put into creating a revolutionary product; then they get back to work fielding consumer feedback for the product and gathering more information for future ideas.
Which Skills a UX Designer Should Have?
Boersma’s T model involves six key user experience principles, which in essence describe the disciplines required to be an effective UX professional.
The individual must be able to look at data objectively while correlating the data with various user behaviors. Proper testing protocols must be utilized and testing must be ongoing so that we have the most relevant and recent data available.
A UX professional must be in tune with how most people use products, devices, platforms, and systems. Whether they’re clicking a link or swiping right, usability is of the utmost importance when designing digital properties, and users must find them a delight to use if the product is going to be successful.
UX is about delineating information so that it’s easy to absorb and comprehend. Every user that picks up your product or uses your platform must be able to find the necessary information, read it swiftly, and comprehend all the information, even if they’re merely skimming the information instead of thoroughly reading.
This describes that elements of design that users may interact with, such as animations and clickable links, as well as hover effects. These should be easy on the eyes and a delight to use without being overbearing or data-heavy. An interaction design expert will know how to create engaging designs that users love to interact with.
By using shapes and various colors, UX designers can create a soothing environment that boosts enjoyment and increases the chances of conversion. Experts in this field use color combinations and visual effects to draw users in and keep them entertained while pushing for the sale or otherwise the conversion.
A content specialist will know how to keep users educated, informed, and entertained. With the right information formatted especially for your target audience, you can keep users arriving and lingering longer, which is always great for business.
How UX Designers Use Colour?
When crafting your design, it’s standard to select sets of primary colors and secondary colors that will act as the dominant and accent colors of your design. These can all be complemented by a neutral or grayscale color selection.
“Color is what many students struggle with the most during the UI phase. To fully understand color, you need to dive into theory, however today there are many color generators and online resources that make the process much easier.
If you’re having difficulty, the 60-30-10 rule is a good place to start. Choose a dominant color and use it 60 percent of the time, then use a secondary color that matches the dominant one. Use an accent color (the 10 percent) sparingly, or in situations where you want to highlight content. It also helps to choose a light background (white) or dark background (dark grey) to keep things simple,” Sebastian said.
When starting a design, Sebastien suggests that you create a mood board that experiments with the feeling you want your product to instill in the viewer or user.
How to Choose the Right Font
When selecting a font, pay attention to sizes, height, and whether you’re using serif or sans serif. Each element has a different effect on the feel of the content.
Google has an extensive Font Library which provides a great way to explore different styles and how they work together. “When learning typography, it’s best to pick one typeface with many weights – italic, light, bold, medium, etc. Learn how to work with different weights to create visual hierarchy and to better understand balance and structure. Once you’re comfortable with that typeface, pick up another one and try the same thing,” Sebastian said.
Sizes are important to distinguishing hierarchy and establishing balance on a page. It’s important to UX specifically as it helps with website navigation. In the example below, you can see where the eye should be drawn first. The Call to Action and title predominantly draw the eye, the rest is deprioritized secondary information.
Be sure to order information in a way that guides the reader to important information first.
Design thinking is an approach to conceptualizing and building products that solve problems while creating positive experiences for end-users. As it emphasizes empathy, it is a great companion to conducting good user research and high-quality UX design.
Establishing customer empathy is an essential aspect of the design thinking process. When creating designs, prioritize a user-centric approach to uncover insights and develop marketplace solutions that fulfill your customer’s needs.
The ability to build and measure success based on customer experience allows you to reap the benefits of prototyping. Validation frameworks test assumptions, confirm solutions, and maximize the efficient use of resources before a product launch.
It’s essential in design thinking to formalize your ideation process so that you can identify concrete opportunities and create more innovative solutions.