What is UX design?


By Ryan Tan

Design
24 July 2017

Just last weekend, I had a conversation with my friend about design industry trends. After chatting a while about how the digital industry has changed massively over the last 10 years, we came across a question: what is UX design exactly? Why do we hear so much about this word?

UX design. It’s still a murky term in the design field. According to Teague designers Clint Rule, Eric Lawrence, Matt McElvogue, “UX design” has become too broad and muddled. They say, “the design community has played fast and loose with the title ‘UX designer’”. Especially nowadays, where user experience designers are among the most in-demand designers working today from start-up, mid-sized businesses to fortune 500s, but yet the idea of UX design is still quite vague.

working on laptopSo, what is UX design exactly?

Every time you interact with a product, a software, or an object you are experiencing that as a user of that product. UX design is how people use your product, and a good UX design should provide a clear journey or process for the users to acquire the things they need from said product with seamless ease. It’s an interaction between the product you created and your user.

For me personally, good UX design doesn’t need an explanation. If you’re using a product and you don’t need an explanation on how to operate it because the product itself is intuitive, immediately identifiable and effortlessly functional; that’s an example of good UX design.

Why did the term come around so suddenly?

The truth is, UX design has been there for a long time and it has existed way before the rise of the digital era and tech bubble. It’s because media platforms such as website, apps and web-app developments are becoming more ubiquitous. People care about the usability, the visuality and the interaction of a product more than before; it’s not just about being functional anymore.

collaborationUX vs UI

There also seems to be a lot of confusion between UX (user experience) design and UI (user interface) design. UI design does not equal UX design, as UI focuses on how it looks whereas UX  focuses on how it feels. The user interface normally comes after the UX design has been established which means after the data, research, planning, usability testing, lo-fi prototyping, wireframing, creating sitemaps and workflows. UI design works mainly with the visual side of it, from colour palette, hi-fi prototype, font selections and compositions.

Despite the differences, UX has also become more of an umbrella term for a number of different fields. This includes User Research, Information Architecture, Usability Engineering, Service Design, and so on.

UX design in many ways has affected our lives massively, without us even realising it. We’ve developed a certain behaviour and standard when it comes to interacting with a product. This enables us to distinguish a good and bad UX design instantly. With increasing competitivity of companies showing the best practice of UX design, we are becoming more technology savvy in a very subtle way, whether we realise it or not.

To find out more about website design and UX in the changing technology landscape, get in touch with the experts at SpiderGroup. We can help find the right customer journey for your website, so it fulfils your business objectives. You can call us on 0117 933 0570 or fill in our contact form and we will be in touch.

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