User experience

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User experience

What is user experience?

User experience includes all the aspects of an end user’s interaction with a company, its services, and its products. It’s essentially how a user interacts with and experiences your product, system, or service.

It includes your users’ perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency. User experience (UX) concentrates on attempting to gain a very deep understanding of your users, what they require, the things they value, their abilities, and their limitations. UX also considers the business goals and objectives of the group managing a project. It seeks to improve the user’s interactions with your products and their perceptions of your product and other related services. User experience concentrates on making sure that your users find value in what you are offering them.

Essentially, user experience is the holistic journey that your users go on when they make use of your product or service. It is not limited to the direct interactions that users have with your product, it also extends to the manner in which it fits into your overall task completion process. It includes the entire experience that your users have with your product and your brand, irrespective of whether the various aspects of their experience can be directly controlled by the product (or your company) or these aspects are simply associated with the product.

The user experience is the feeling that they experience when your customers or users make use of your product, website, application, system, or service. It includes how they navigate through the product, the usability of the product, the relevance of the content that is displayed, etc.

User experience
Source: Medium

Why is user experience important?

According to a study from the Oxford Journal Interacting With Computers:

The purpose of user experience in business is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.”

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What are the facets of user experience?

Peter Morville explains the facets of user experience by developing the User Experience Honeycomb.

User Experience Honeycomb

Here’s how he explains the facets of user experience:

1. Useful

As a user experience practitioner, you cannot afford to be satisfied with simply doing what your managers instruct you to do. You need to actually ask yourself whether your products or systems are useful and then apply your expertise to create solutions that are more useful to your customers.

2. Usable

Usability is a vital part of the user experience, but it is not the only part of it. Ease of use is essential, but there are other aspects that your product needs to have.

3. Desirable

Efficiency and usability on their own are not enough. You also need to use image, identity, brand, and other elements of emotional design to evoke emotions and appreciation in your customers.

4. Findable

Your websites, platforms, and applications should be designed in such a way that they are very easily navigable and objects are very easily locatable. Your users must be able to find what they are looking for on your product with minimal effort. Intelligent chatbots are one of the tools that you can use to help your customers find what they want instead of forcing them to wander through your website for ages without finding what they are looking for.

5. Accessible 

Just like physical properties like buildings have ramps and elevators, your digital properties need to be accessible to people who have special needs. The websites that you build should be in compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines.

6. Credible

You should use design elements and other things that influence users to trust in you and believe what you tell them. 

7. Valuable

Your product should drive value for you and your users. For example, your website should improve customer satisfaction and give your customers the information that they are looking for while also helping you drive sales and earn more revenue.

What is user experience design?

User experience design (UX design) is a design approach that considers the users and how they will feel while using the product or service. It is essentially the process that you employ to determine what the experience will be like and how your users will feel when they use or interact with your product.

It involves keeping your customers and users in mind and focusing on their experience when you build products. Your aim with user experience design is ultimately to evoke positive emotions through product interactions. To excel at user experience design, you need to have a very deep understanding of your users’ needs and objectives.

User experience design goes beyond traditional human-computer interaction (HCI) design and addresses all the facets of a product or service as its users perceive them.

It’s the process that design teams employ to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. UX design focuses on designing the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including facets of branding, design, usability, and function.

Its a multidisciplinary field and UX designers come from varying backgrounds and disciplines like visual design, psychology, interaction design, and programming.  The tasks that a UX designer performs could include user research, the creation of personas, designing wireframes and interactive prototypes, and even testing designs. 

Does user experience design require coding?

No, UX design does not require coding abilities or knowledge. However, there could be certain circumstances in which being able to code would be beneficial to you as a user experience designer. 

Two skills that are more important than the ability to code for a user experience designer are:

  • The ability to conduct user research, understand your users and figure out what user pain points your design should solve.
  • The ability to create designs that address the user’s pain points and alleviate or eliminate the problems that the user faces.
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