If you ask several programmers or designers to explain you the widely used term “user experience design”, you’ll probably involve yourself into hours of vivid conversation without getting precise definition after all. Most of the designers either use some vague explanations of something they’re already doing or identify this term with some other popular terms that are not really synonyms.
User experience design is not web design, graphic design, user interface design, interaction design, usability testing, satisfying of customers or form of marketing. But it some way, it includes all of these.
The term refers to user – centered application based on highly contextual design, developed by various methods and techniques in order to create a useful product that will affect the user in a desirable way.
Confusing as it sounds, it is actually meant to shape the product in such way to enhance users satisfaction and increase product’s sale at the same time. User experience design is applied in that area where user’s wishes and needs overlap with business needs and goals. It is equally based on scientific methods of process management used to improve usability, accessibility and functionality, so as on psychology methods where designers are expected to identify the target group of users, feel their pulse, figure out and predict their wishes, needs and problems and shape the product according to these. While creating the product, user experience designers are actually creating interaction between product and user, taking user’s point of view into account at every stage of product development.
Often used to explain the elements of user experience design, Garrett’s diagram is a useful model. It shows that the whole process starts with programming followed by interaction design, interface design and information design (or information architecture). Furthermore, you add motion, sound, graphic design and written language.
These are the steps designer is expected to do at the point where technology, organization, resources and user characteristics overlap. Usually, you are going to be limited by time and budget, so as by your own experience, knowledge and current inspiration. The company will impose the results of competitive analysis, business and market strategy, short-term and long-term goals and team composition. Assuming that you are provided with adequate technology, it leaves you with the prototype of targeted user you need to figure out.
In order to achieve these expectations, many UX designers use various techniques. Most of them start with wireframes and workflow diagrams – something like rough layouts of a website or applications.
Another helping thing is creating personas and user testing process. Personas are fictive identity meant to represent target user’s profile and reflect characteristics of average user groups. Gathering some actual users and asking them to use your product in front of you give you an opportunity to observe, analyze and get the impression of primary interaction between the user and the product. This step gives a lot of useful information and guides designer further into the right direction toward a desired shape of the product.
The main conclusion is that every person involved with any form of designing should be interested in it, especially knowing that it is quite easy to comprehend.
This brief review was meant to tease the subject and all additional information you might need or want to study further are provided on our blog.