What is User Experience Design?
You have probably heard the terms UX and UX design mentioned in discussions related to software development before. UX stands for User Experience and reflects how a user or customer feels when interacting with a website, service, or product. A positive user experience means that your customer or client can access, navigate, and engage with your website, product, or service in an easy and pleasant manner.
UX Design revolves around making the user experience as seamless and efficient as possible so that customers or end users are not hindered from completing their intended tasks.
Why is UX so important in business success?
Effective UX design means anticipating the customer’s goals and designing a website, product, or service tailored to help them achieve those goals smoothly and successfully.
Let’s take for example, the UX design of a website. As a digital representation of your store, product, or service your website is the primary point of contact for a customer. The home page, the layout, and the content have to be designed to assist the customer in gaining the information they need and guiding them through the next steps to complete the task they set out to do.
When a user or customer has a good experience on your website, they will consider returning, and you will have the opportunity to build a loyal customer base. On the other hand, if they are unable to find what they are looking for or having difficulty navigating your website, they will quickly switch over to an alternative.
What is the UX Design process?
The UX Design process involves five main sections:
- User Research
- User Flow
In the User Research phase, you must research what the needs and goals of your customer are. Knowing how your customer thinks will inform the decisions around the design and functionality for your website.
This is an in-depth list of all the actions or paths a customer or user will take once they arrive at your website. Imagine a customer entering your store, browsing around, asking for information, finding what they require, verifying, and then making a business decision that satisfies them.
User Flows are created as flowcharts to track each action and result the user will encounter as part of the overall purpose of your website.
A sitemap is a detailed list of all the pages on a website and can be displayed in a hierarchical diagram. Sitemaps displays the link structure of the website navigation, which helps identify where content of the pages will be placed and its relationship to other pages.
The wireframes are simply the skeleton layout of a website, much like blueprints. The wireframes will convey some of the key branding guidelines and overall structure of a page template. They will be designed to convey the key features and contents of a page template.
During the prototyping phase, the designer would create interactive mock-ups of the website for clients and developers to navigate and test out the user flow of the website.
The purpose of the prototyping phase is to test and experience any outcomes that can hinder user experiences and goals. Prototyping is also a great way to see and experience how the final website will look for mobile and desktop devices.
The 5 sections of the UX design process is a strategy that is best used during the design phase of a website. These phases can also be made after a website is completed and redesigned with changes that are focused on user needs, purpose, and values.
UX is a never-ending process as UX designers adapt to the ever-changing user behaviors and find ways to serve users better.