What user experience (UX) is and what it isn’t

How a user experiences your website is becoming increasingly important as Google progressively ramps up the intensity of its user-intent driven search results. However, not many businesses understand how user experience (UX) works or why it contributes to business success.

What is UX?

UX is any aspect of a person’s interaction with a system. This includes everything from the interface and graphics to the user manual.

Meanwhile, user experience design (UXD) refers to the process of improving customer satisfaction through design changes to a system in order to make it easier and more pleasurable to use by the audience and owner.

Despite this simple definition, there is still confusion surrounding what UX practitioners actually do. Mashable compiled a list of the top industry misconceptions.

some UX principles

UX isn’t just a step in the process

Instead, it is the process. Designers continually need to listen and adjust elements in order to deliver the best experience for users. It is an ongoing effort in which designers must learn about users, respond to their needs and emotional reactions as well as adapt products accordingly.

Liz Danzico, an independent user experience consultant, and chairperson of the new MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts explains: “User experience design isn’t a checkbox. You don’t do it and then move on. It needs to be integrated into everything you do.”

UX doesn’t have to be expensive

While every project demands some expenses, good UX design isn’t necessarily costly. Small improvements, such as repositioning a call-to-action can go a long way and may often save money in the long run.

It’s all about what works best for the task at hand. According to Dan Saffer, product design leader at Twitter: “In reality the best designers have a toolbox of options, picking and choosing methods for each project [depending on] what makes sense for that particular project.”

It’s not always easy

The UX process isn’t always a breeze. There is no secret formula or quick fix that will solve UX design problems. In reality, proper UX design takes a lot of research and fine-tuning based on your particular target audience. Taking short cuts is definitely a recipe for disaster and may cost much more as work has to be redone.

Some companies view themselves as their own end users – believing they will create the experience while building it. However, making assumptions about the people who use your product is dangerous. Whether it’s who they are, how they behave or what makes them tick – you’re likely to get crucial information wrong. Rather take the time to understand your clients, this will ensure your success.

Now that you understand more about what UX is, find out more about why it’s so important, or contact us for UX assistance.

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