The reason we’ve chosen to speak about this topic is because we speak to many people who are confused about what UX is. These are clients who ask for UI/UX work because that’s what they’ve heard they need, but they don’t quite understand what it is. Then, there are graphic designers who write to us asking for a job and they claim to be a UX designer, but in fact, they are not.
Therefore, we thought it would be good to clear up what UX is and how we use it in our business.
What is UX (User Experience)?
The term UX was founded by Don Norman, the co-founder of the Nielson Normal Group. Here’s how he originally defined it:
“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
When someone uses a product, they are often thinking about these 4 aspects:
- Value: do I get value when I’m using this product?
- Function: does this product work as it should?
- Usability: is it easy to use?
- Overall impression: how does it make me feel when I use it?
Essentials of UX
User experience is not just about what people think but it’s largely about feelings. Humans act very emotionally when it comes to purchase decisions and their connections to products and services. So, we need to consider how the user experience makes people feel during their interactions.
Therefore, a user’s experience is likely to change over time. When using a new product or service, most users will have a mixed set of feelings. However, as they become more familiar and have more experience, their minds can change… for better or for worse!
So, what is UX design?
Since you cannot actually design a user’s experience, UX design is quite an interesting term. Essentially, UX designers are ones who design to create a great user experience. Therefore, they create products (both digital products like websites and physical one) that are functional, usable and creates pleasure.
We absolutely love Semantic Studios’ UX Honeycomb to explain this! Here are their 7 categories of UX design:
Useful: A product should fulfil a need, otherwise there’s no point for it to exist.
Usable: A product should be easy to use.
Desirable: The aesthetics of the product should be attractive, but also contain elements of emotional design.
Findable: Users should be able to find a solution to any issues they have with the product
Accessible: There are web standards for digital products which we need to follow to ensure those with disabilities can also enjoy the products.
Credible: The company needs to be trustworthy and understand what users get influenced by.
Valuable: The design must match the company’s mission and help with the bottom line, including customer satisfaction.
What’s the difference between UX and UI?
The terms UI/UX often go hand-in-hand, as you need both to create a truly beautiful product. Naturally, UI is a big part of UX, but they are different.
UI stands for User Interface and relates to the visual design of the various elements of the product. For example, the typography, animations, colour palette, CTAs etc.
It’s important that UI designers understand good UX too.