No idea how to start your way into the web design process? Then this article may help you understand a little better why UX design ( user experience design ) is a valuable asset while designing your next client website or student project.
UX design in simple terms is the work dedicated to helping a user or viewer have a pleasant experience through a digital product or website. UX design has been evolving and more graphic and web designers are picking an interest in such field. The main purpose of UX design is not to design a website but to solve navigation and loops that we may encounter while using a digital product.
There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the work, which is why, as a UX designer, you’ll often find challenges between different departments and wear different hats as they can not only understand basic functions of web design but they can also design as well. UX design is a field among industries with digital products, such as software and digital services. UX design mainly focuses on a user experiencing a digital environment, like an app.
UX is not a new term. In fact, the term has been around for a while. The term was first introduced by , Don Norman. Hw was interested in all aspects of a user’s experience with a product or service. His interested started with the intention to know more of how a user feels while reading or using any type of product, that’s how he came up with the term “user experience”.
Misconceptions about UX design
UX design is often confused with graphic design because UX designers often use graphic design in their work. However, UX design it’s a separate field governed by its own rules. The same goes for UX design and web development, since both fields create web apps or digital products. The boundary between user experience design and web design and development could be confusng because of old methods used for hand-coding experiences and these ones can’t keep up with the evolving user expectations.
Nowadays, with so much emphasis on user-centered design, describing and justifying the importance of designing and enhancing the user experience seems almost unnecessary. We could simply say, “It’s important because it deals with our users’ needs and everyone would probably be satisfied with that.
UX design is not as easy as many may think. Typically, web designers depend on UX designers to complete some parts of the web design process since they know best what is the right steps for a user to take while navigating a digital product.
The difference between UX and UI
UX design and user interface (UI) design often get mixed up, and that’s fair: They’re sister disciplines both focused on product design, but carry some key differences. In general, UI is about the “look” of a product and the actual elements of layout, where UX is more concerned with the overall “feel” of a product experience.
UX and UI complement each other, but it is better to have different professionals to focus on each job in order not to get things mixed up.
Why is UX design important?
Without UX design, we wouldn’ preform many tasks that are accessible with just one touch or one click. But also people with visual impairments, for example, those with difficulty reading small text on a dark background, and people who experience seizures can’t comfortably visit a website with flashing, bright animations. This is where a UX designer comes into play, a UX designer takes all of these needs into consideration to create user experiences that are effective for every user, making the web a better experience for everyone.
Good UX design can decrease the number of frustrated customers exiting a website, platform or terminating their subscriptions.
What is the UX design process?
The more you learn about your users and customers, the more you’ll need to meet their needs and requests. Here are five steps that every UX design team or UX designer must follow for a successful digital products, web apps or websites.
All about the user
All UX design must center the user to be effective in helping accomplish their end goal. The purpose of UX design is improving a process for a user, and without considering the user at every step of the design process, you won’t be doing user experience design.
2. Product goals
The user is the most important factor in the design process, but redesigns should also serve as business objectives. Are you designing to increase sign-ups and purchases, or to engage people with content? Before proceeding with your design research, get the insights of your users.
3. Know your users
User research is a crucial in UX design. Allow the user to define their needs for you, instead of assuming what they need. Tools like surveys, and data analysis will save you a ton of time but also it will help you cross out assumptions that designers may make about a user.
To bring a UX design idea to life, designers use wireframes, mock-ups, and prototypes. Wireframes are a visual tool for basic layout elements in a web design project before you begin to build, and can be as simple as boxes.
A mock-up is a designed wireframe, usually “flat” or not interactive, for a more fleshed-out idea of the look of the website. Before getting your hands into the actual development, you should create either a prototype or wireframe to see any visual problems that may be an encounter in the future.
5. Test your design usability
Usability testing is especially valuable in the beginning stages of design, so designers don’t waste time building out features that are ineffective or busywork for the user.
Designing user experiences requires a learner’s mindset in order to adapt and grow along with the user and the industry.
Zaida M. Velazco
Design Lead, UX/UI / Web Management