What is UX Design?

By: Joe Ickes  | 10/21/2015


Wikipedia defines user experience (UX) design as "the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.” 
 
UX design targets a user's problem with their current interaction with a product and tries to solve that problem using design methods. While UX design can be utilized in all fields today, its biggest growth is seen when creating websites.
 
A good UX designer creates a solution to the user’s problem, as well as makes the solution an enjoyable one. A good UX design provides a lasting impression with a product or service brand, so it's important that you provide an experience that's easy to understand and navigate. 
 

What is incorporated in UX Design?  

User experience design incorporates user interface design, interaction design, information architecture, usability, user research and content strategy. If a UX designer does not have all of these components when creating a website, in the end, the website would be incomplete. Below, each element is explained in its role in creating a valuable, user-friendly website.

  • UX design and UI design (user interface design) are not the same. While UX design focuses on the structure of the design, UI design focuses on asthetics.  Both are crucial for the success of the design. As Rahul Varshney, Co-creator of Foster.fm puts it, "A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI."
  • Interaction design plays a pivotal role in how the user reacts to a website.  Interaction design focuses mainly on satisfying the needs of the user. It allows the designer to understand how users and technology interact with each other and can help anticipate and mitigate errors.
  • Information architecture ensures the user can find specific information in a place that makes sense to the user.  It focuses on organizing and structuring content in an effective and practical way.  Information architecture helps users find information and complete tasks.
  • Usability, as it relates to websites, is the ease of use of the website. Usability methods include observing users complete specific tasks on a website and are used to improve user interfaces and predict problem errors.
  • User research gives the designer a foundation in which to base their decisions.Providing main website users' feedback to the designer gives insight into what is and isn't working. This is done with things like stakeholder interviews, focus groups and persona creation.
  • Perhaps the most important part of a website is the information contained within it.This information, or content, needs to be planned out which is where content strategy comes in. A content strategy is the planning and management of content found in the website and helps you manage content as a business asset.

A user experience designer must think of all of the above aspects when creating a useful website to make sure it will be as successful as possible for a user.  

Tell us, is there anything we're missing with UX design elements?  Sound off in the comments below!

 


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