One of the most popular words being thrown around the digital world is the term UX. Here is a quick gateway into what UX is and why it is important to anyone considering making a business website or mobile app.
UX Design is short for User Experience design. UX is the process of helping the user experience the product (digital or physical) to be of greater ease of use, better designand accessibility. For greater relevance, from here on I will talk specifically about digital products. UX people are really interested in how much users enjoy using the product and whether the design and layout of the information will help the user to utilise the product according to the intentions of the business.
Like many other multi-disciplinary fields, it can be quite hard to pinpoint what UX is and what it isn’t. Here are a few areas that UX encompasses.
Understanding the user and their behaviour
A lot of people have the misconception of UX designers being graphic designers. Some people think UX designers are Front-end developers with graphic design skills. Although there is large overlap in these fields, UX designers think more like behavioural psychologists. UX designers are more interested in how people think and also feel when they are using a digital product. UX designers research and plan what should be in the app, how it should be presented. UX designers gather qualitative and quantitative data to assess prove their whether their thoughts are correct. They gather data in order to remove the guesswork when creating a certain web layout or a mobile menu page.
Why is UX design important?
UX is important because it helps businesses run more smoothly and successfully. If your customers enjoy the product they use, they will use it more often and may be loyal customers. Studies have shown mobile experience has a big impact on how customers will view your business image and brand and furthermore interact with it.
Now let’s imagine two mobile apps. One app has nasty graphics and there are just too many things on the page. It is difficult to navigate around the app and the pages lack consistency. The developer creates the app and it turns out that the target market that the business wanted to reach find it way to difficult to use. The business now has to go back to the drawing board and think about what went wrong. They now have to think about which part of the app is difficult for the user to use and why. They also have to rework their app information layout. In other words they have to go back to work on their UX!
The second scenario is an app with methodical UX work undertaken. Thorough research has been completed even before a line of code was written by the developer. A prototype has been created and tested by the relevant target audience. The layout is intuitive and the overall feel of the design is great. People are able to engage in the app and they love using it.
Here I have presented you two extreme examples but I hope you can draw out from this illustration the importance of UX design.