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What is UX Design? – UX design basics

What is UX Design?

User experience (UX) is a concept that has many dimensions, and it includes a bunch of different disciplines – such as information architecture, interaction design, visual design, usability, and human-computer interaction. Simply put, UX design is the process of designing products that are useful, easy to use and easy to interact with. It all comes down to enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your product – they easily find what they are looking for, or they find the value in what you are providing.

As the years have passed, websites and applications have become more and more complex – thanks to advances in methodologies and technologies UX design has come a long way from its former static medium.  Where before the user interface was static and visually boring, nowadays it’s a very rich experience full of interactive elements and dynamic pages.

UX design is a relatively new notion that is all about the user and how users interact with certain products. That’s why good UX designs are always centered on these 3 principles: usefulness, usability and how enjoyable the experience is. Its aim is to avoid pointless functions and frustrating experiences – in other words, to optimize web traffic.

Why is UX design so important?

Before the wide-spread adoption of UX design, web designs were mainly about two things: what the business wanted and what the clients/users wanted to see. There was almost no thought given to how the user would feel about their time spent on the website or while using the application. The main priority of UX design is to make the design friendly and functional at the same time –it takes this so that it’s almost science!

Every website must work on every browser and every type of internet connection, every application must function at a level that is fun. Every application must work on smartphones as well –as accessibility is a must in design.


What are the main qualities of UX Design?

The main characteristics of UX Design should be:

  • Effectiveness
  • Memorability
  • Efficiency
  • Error reduction
  • The satisfaction of its users

It should make the website or application do what the user wants and when the user wants it, while always providing feedback. It should reduce the workload and make the user’s life easier and make the whole experience more satisfying and possibly fun.

These concepts sound quite simple and straight forward…but they’re not. UX designers have a difficult job – they need to visualize the whole flow of the website, they need to know how the users prefer to interact with the interface and most importantly, they need to give users what they want and do not create any obstacles for them. UX designers usually study and evaluate how the users feel about the system – this is done using surveys and usability studies in the beta testing phase.

The goal of a UX designer is to produce a product that can be used by the targeted users to achieve their goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. The goal of a UX design is not a one-size-fits-it-all end product, but a product that satisfies a specific category of users. Just as every brand knows its target audience in advertising – it must also know it stronger in web development.

To create an end product that is usable and meets all the customer expectations, UX designers must know their audience. It’s impossible for them to design a good product without knowing who they are designing it for, how the customers will use the product and what they need to do. There is a fine balance between user goals, business goals, and technologies that UX designers have to be aware of. Although the design is user-centered, it must meet the needs of the company the product is produced for – all this while being within the confines of the technology available to this company and their budget.

What is the job of a UX designer?

The UX designer needs feedback from the users – like how they feel about the product, how easy it is to use and how they perceive its value. A good UX designer dives into the processes and various sub-systems within the site or application to see how intuitive the navigation flow is. UX designers might look at ways of improving the check-out process, they are interested whether it’s frustrating or annoying for the customer, or seamless and easy (leaving the customer happy about their experience). UX designers design the interface interactions and the wireframes – first by sketching everything down on paper, and then using a wireframe app to carefully build the navigation map.

Overall, UX design determines the success of a website or app – the easier and more pleasant the experience, the higher the chance of it to take off. Users are very picky in general and don’t hesitate on going to another website or using another application if they find it easier to use.