User Experience: What Is It And Why It Matters?

“People ignore design that ignores people.”

– Frank Chimero

If you had to ask ten UX (User Experience) designers to define what UX means, you’d get ten different answers. And all of them would be correct.

The reason for this is there is no one single definition that fully encompasses the role of UX as an approach to design. However, by the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what UX is and why it matters.

UX can be considered as an intelligent approach to design. It considers the user at the centre of the design process. Making it more enjoyable, accessible, and more straightforward for people to use and interact with digital or physical products.

UX designers will utilize ethnography and psychology to help them design frameworks that support user needs, requirements, and expectations.

For designers to do this successfully, there are some fundamental elements they need to consider:

1. Designing for human behaviour: research

Creating with users in mind requires designers to understand user behaviour. Identifying certain behaviours and the goals and needs that influence them will allow designers to develop efficient solutions and solve real problems.

2. Usability & Accessibility

Usability is a crucial element to master in UX design. Usability means that whatever is being designed is simple and easy to use. No user should have to struggle to figure out what they should do or what steps to take.

It’s not enough that the UX is usable; it also needs to be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Designing an experience that is inclusive of all humans should always be a priority.

3. Visual design

UX is about the experience users feel when using products or content, not just each part but also how the design works together.

Creating the desired feeling relies on different visual aspects such as the shapes, colors, textures, and typography used. Visual design is about focusing on aesthetics that trigger certain feelings.

4. Interaction design

UX design is about shaping the experience of using a product. The designer’s job is to anticipate how a user might interact with the different elements in the system. A clear understanding of the user’s behaviour will impact how the interface will be built.

Why UX matters

Excellent UX design removes complex steps and makes things simpler. It’s a way for businesses to improve their offering by making people (their customers) the centre of everything they design.

By doing so, they enhance the experience users have while interacting with their products and ensure that each person is receiving maximum value.

There is a famous quote by Dr. Ralf Speth, the former CEO of Jaguar & Land Rover. He said, “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” It’s no surprise then that design-driven companies outperform their competitors.

The reason for this is design-driven companies takes the time to understand their audience, the behaviours they exhibit, their goals, needs, and requirements before rushing to launch or share their latest product.

UX is an ever-evolving field of design. By adopting UX fundamentals, companies can keep up with the times and learn how to best deal with users’ pain points and design solutions for them. Helping them attract and retain customers.

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