In the humblest terms, UX design is making the user’s experience with the product the best it can be. It targets to interest people to a site they are interested in. Then, once they are there, to make their journey to the homepage of the product as easy and enjoyable as possible.
The goals of UX design include:
- To know the goals and context-of-use of potential users or customers.
- To use that understanding to design a product, service, or app within the limitations of business and technology.
We use UX design because of the benefits that it produces—happy customers and increased sales. We experience these benefits when the goals of UX design are met.
As a first step, a good experience depends on when a service or a product has successfully solved a real problem or filled
an actual need gap. User Experience, therefore, needs to be a combination of visual appeal and utility. It’s an amalgamation of engineering, marketing, and the elements of graphic, industrial and interface design. A pleasing design (or UI) alone will not result in a good user experience. Here’s another example. It’s late and you’re returning from a party so you’re not driving. What you need is an app for booking a cab that will load fast and will allow you to pick a cab, add the location and destination and pay for your trip in maybe just a couple of clicks.
So if we were to define UX, we would like to describe it as leveraging technology to enhance the quality of interactions between customers and the services or products they use. UX goes beyond technical specifications and also looks at improving how users feel about products, starting from the experience of buying the product.
UX Design Process
Over the years the UX design process has progressively shaped into the following steps:
Good user experience needs everyone involved – developers, designers, testers etc. – to spend a lot of time on researching the end user. It helps them understand things from the user’s outlook and identify real needs. The research process involves listening to and witnessing customers, conducting surveys, running interview sessions. Once the research is complete, the research team using the collected data to create user personas based on the survey set, and separate them based on their motivations, needs, goals and expectations. This guarantees that the end-user remains at the center of everything.
The design phase is all about arranging the development journey based on the understandings developed from the research. Developers now begin to conceptualize the functional elements of their product or service, and typically they rely on information architecture to form ideas, product features, designs specs etc. before they proceed to build a wire frame. Wire framing basically means creating a physical representation to showcase how a site, software program or app will look, and is a very critical process because it helps designers visualize the final product and improve its overall effectiveness, functionality and features.
A prototype is a draft version, an initial version of a product. It lets designers and developers to experiment with designs, check for and correct any bugs and conflicts, check if the product is stable and functional, enhance the original idea and add more user-friendly features and eventually have a functional product ready to present to senior executives before production.
Once a prototype it can be used to test the functioning and practicability of the product with a closed sample set of users. Simple UX tests involve observing a user interact with the product, while the more detailed UX testing has multiple versions of the same product presented to users and feedback is gathered on which version gets the most positive results. UX developers collect feedback through questionnaires or survey. The testing phase of the UX development process is very critical to ensure future success.
The job of a UX expert continues even after the official product launch because of the characteristic constant nature of user experience management. As long as your product or service is out in the market and you have a current or potential customers, you will have to remain investing in enhancing the UX. Because UX is an ongoing process, developers need to constantly test and improve product performance to ensure that the product meets user expectations, both existing and future. A very important aspect of measuring UX is to increase the likelihood of existing customers recommending the product, and in the case of services you need to measure your repeat business from the same customer as well.