User Experience (UX) is the process of creating user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility in the interaction with the product. Contrary to the belief of many people, UX is not just about websites but is also used for all other software based products that require user interaction.
UX is the how, what, where, why and who of using a product. How the product will be used, What people will be using it for, What are they trying to achieve by using it and Who are they? UX designers are often also referred to as Product Designers. Now, this doesn’t mean designing physical things, UX designers curate the journey of a software based product.
UX designers try to hit the sweet spot of both business and client needs. People often make the mistake of thinking UX designers are just interested in the users experience of the website or app. It partly is. However, it is also about getting information from the user, for the product journey to work, and for future marketing and sales needs. A good UX designer will blend brilliant signposting and frustration free journeys with the needs of a business.
For example, if a customer is trying to buy a pen, you want the buying process to be as easy and streamlined as possible. But, you also want to get their email address, show them options and other information to sell them more pens in the future.
UX is about user centred design, how will the user interact with it, and how stress free can that experience be. Equally important to this is the science behind the visuals. How functional is the site, and the product journey. This is true for both the business and user’s needs. As a UX designer, function can be considered more important than form. The job of making the site look good and aesthetically pleasing is the job of a Web designer or User Interface (UI) designer.
The collaboration of developer, UX designer and web designer work in unison together through-out a product design process in order to deliver the best product possible. At the start of the development process a UX designer will create a user journey. This may be done by creating a series of cards. These can then be used to mimic the user journey from start to finish, taking into consideration their personal circumstances. One of the most important things in this process is considering the target audience. Who will the user be? Why will they be on this user journey? and what tool will they be using? Creating a user journey for somebody on a laptop is very different to designing one to be seen through a smart phone.
In summary the purpose of UX is simply to make the process of using a site, from start to finish, as smooth sailing as possible. Avoiding frustration for any user, no matter what their needs.
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