What is UX design?
Well, I think it’s important to start by saying there’s no commonly accepted definition.
User experience design is a concept that has many dimensions, and it includes a bunch of different disciplines—such as interaction design, information architecture, visual design, usability, and human-computer interaction.
But let’s try to get a clearer picture of what that really means.
The definition of UX design
According to this study from the Oxford Journal Interacting With Computers, the goal of UX design in business is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.”
In other words, UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your product, and making sure they find value in what you’re providing.
But unfortunately, that isn’t a comprehensive explanation of UX design either. So to help you get a better understanding of what it really is, I reached out to 15 smart and talented user experience professionals and asked them:
What is UX design?
Said differently: “How would you describe UX design to someone who was learning about it for the first time?”
Here’s what they had to say:
UX design is the process used to determine what the experience will be like when a user interacts with your product
Examples of Good UX
Sky Rainforest Rescue
Why It Matters
In terms of design, user experience is just as important as visual identity. Seriously. It doesn’t matter what your site or app looks like if people don’t know how to interact with it. And moreover, they need to enjoy that interaction.
While UX is important for any digital product, it is even more important for certain types of digital products: complex sites or applications, retail or online sales, start-up sites and businesses, small-budget projects and projects or sites that are expected to last a long time.
UX is key for complex sites because users must be able to easily navigate the site and understand how to use it. Neglecting UX can result in a sloppy site that people will not come back to. Developing an interaction-rich experience will drive users back to a site.
One of the most complex types of sites can be those that include retail or online sales. Not only does the site have to be well-organized, it also has to have clear and easy to use signals for how to make a secure purchase. This is also true of sites that are expected to be around for extended periods of time, such as retail sites. Consider Amazon.com, it has worked using the same basic UX for years.
User experience is key for small and start-up businesses as well because the site is their first impression to users. This debut matters when it comes to directing future traffic and business to your product.
This same concept applies to companies with small budgets. User experience is important because it can create the momentum that propels the business forward. Remember, users decide in just a few seconds whether your site or app is worth their time. That’s the only opportunity you get to reel someone in.