Now -more than ever- everybody is talking about user experience (or UX) and the design process involved. Few really understand what it is about. Well, it’s not rocket science, but it is a methodology. In other words, a process that could be challenging, rewarding and pays very well.
UX design deals with the satisfaction, usability, accessibility and coherence of any product (digital or… yes, real). It’s quite a new field hard to pinpoint from a single traditional university career and very attractive for people who feel they just don’t fit in that traditional academic scheme.
But what exactly is User Experience Design?
Said simply: UX Design is the design behind the design of a product. That’s a lot of design, I know. But there is no other way to express it right and straight.
UX Design is the process that enhances user satisfaction by improving usability in the interaction of any user with a product.The idea is to get the highest level of satisfaction in any experience the user could have.
For example, if you like coffee, you must know there are different types of cups for that. You will not have the same experience drinking your coffee from a paper cup that from a mug.
A UX designer will ask himself: “How can I make that drinking-coffee experience more pleasurable for the user with a paper cup? A thicker paper cup will help? A cartoon ring around the traditional paper cup will make it easier to grab? Will it give more satisfaction to the drinking experience? How should it look and integrate the coffee shop brand?”
As you can see, UX designer should be curious, a very observant person. Also, he/she should be able to ask as many questions as possible (to everyone).
How does UX Design works?
UX Design is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field of work and that is crucial. You could be a great designer, but the worst UX designer ever. Why? Because if you focus your efforts on visual beauty only, you are letting the experience to be exclusively aesthetic.
And, don’t get me wrong, that is good if you are creating an object which only point is to be beautiful. But even if your are designing animal decorations for a toddler’s room, keep in mind it would be preferable if your designs were educative and soothing beside beautiful. By doing that you will be designing the experience of that toddler’s room, not just the decoration.
Let’s see it from another point of view. If you focus only in the proper function of a web site -say, to be an online catalog for hand-made bags-, you will loose it as fast as you can sneeze in allergy season.
Why? Because you cannot focus your efforts in the boring function. You have to make it attractive, easy and even fun to browse, to select and, yes, to buy every single item! Otherwise the UX of that web site will be the worst. You have to design a wonderful experience of shopping singular hand-made bags.
That is how UX Design works. It is the creation (or improvement) of a experience, not a product. It’s not rocket science, but in order to succeed you have to follow a methodology. So, be open minded and learn from every single discipline there is.
[Drop a comment if you want to know about any subject concerning UX Design]