UX design: what is it and what does a UX designer do?
What is UX design? It can be hard to explain in one sentence what this new and vast discipline is. This has led to many misconceptions about it. Clarifying the role of UX is necessary to avoid misunderstandings when you work with a UX designer or hire one.
For one thing is sure: user experience design is a must have for any company that wants to innovate starting from its users’ needs. So let’s have a look at what UX design is and what a UX designer does.
What is UX design?
User experience is every interaction a user has with your product, brand or service. Every element can contribute to shaping the user experience. If you have an app, the user experience is what happens before the download of the app, when the user uses the app and after that.
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The goal of UX is to create meaningful solutions to users’ problems. This means an easy, efficient, relevant and all-round pleasant experience for users.
UX design is also referred to as product design, a trend started by Google.
What are the disciplines of UX design?
User experience indicates how users experience your brand. This explains why UX is so strategic and it goes hand in hand with other aspects that influence your brand.
As the graph above shows, UX embraces aspects of market research, marketing, product development and strategy. However, you will rarely find a UX designer who’s equally good at all the skills listed above.
UX design combines all these disciplines to create engaging user experiences and products or services that users want to use.
How is UX different from UI design?
“UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a problem; UI is focused on how a product’s surfaces look and function.”
— Ken Norton, Partner at Google Ventures, Ex-Product Manager at Google
UX and UI design are often combined or used together. However, they indicate two different things. User interface design (UI) refers to the interface a user sees. For example, the visual part of the screens of an app. UI is more related to the visual part and it embraces aspects like typography, colors and animation. Many UX designers are also UI designers. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be this way.
User experience is on a more strategic level than UI design. UX designers often use design thinking to combine users’ needs, technical feasibility and business viability.
Credit: Career Foundry
Design thinking is an approach to problem solving that starts with empathizing and observing. It is an iterative process where the solution is identified starting from the users’ needs. In this process, the solution is then challenged and the problem often redefined. The goal is to achieve continuous improvement by identifying alternative strategies and solutions.
The value of user experience
Good UX design creates solutions that solve users’ needs. User experience is one of the business activities that generates higher return and its value is huge both for users as well as for business.
A good user experience creates high user engagement and high conversion rate.
If you want to read more on how good UX shapes the success of your product, check this article.