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Why UX is IMPORTANT!

anishaswain profile image ANISHA SWAIN Originally published at Medium ・5 min read
THE UX BASICS

Why UX is IMPORTANT!

UX stands for “User Experience” and as the name suggests, the whole process revolves around the user.

Have you ever wondered how we get hooked to certain websites and spend hours without realising? Or, how it becomes so easy to navigate between some websites while with others it’s simply annoying even to identify the provided action items. So what makes these websites or products stand out? The answer to all these questions is a better User Experience Design. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s know, how, when and where we can use UX to make our products stand out by focusing on the User as the primary source of inspiration.

What is UX?

UX stands for “User Experience” and as the name suggests, the whole process revolves around the user. Now we can define User Experience in a few different ways from the perspective of a designer or a consumer.

For a designer, User experience(UX) design is the process to create products which provide meaningful, relevant and flexible experiences to users. This involves the whole design process of collecting and uniting the product, including aspects like branding, design, usability, accessibility and functionality.

From the consumer point of view, User experience(UX) is how a person feels while interacting with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software or, in modern contexts, is denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).

Not only this, but User experience(UX) design also has many other dimensions like interaction design, information architecture design, visual design, usability and accessibility design etc.on.

“No product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Think through all of the stages of a product or service — from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly.”

— Don Norman, inventor of the term “User Experience”

UI vs UX

Why is UX important?

  • UX tries to fulfil the user’s needs and builds a better customer satisfaction–conversion–retention journey.

  • UX aims to provide positive experiences to the user that keeps them loyal to the product or brand.

  • UX defines customer journeys on your product and establishes a two-way relationship between the maker and the user.

  • UX reduces costs for development/bug fixing/marketing and so on.

  • UX provides improved return on investment (ROI)

  • Sometimes the product doesn’t need to be innovative. It simply takes the usual idea and represents it differently. The user-focused design makes the product stand out.

  • UX helps provide intuitive experience, coherence & continuity and platform-specific designs.

How UX came into the picture?

  • Before the 80s: Programmers were using cumbersome commands which were difficult to remember

  • The early 80s: Non-Programmer using Human-Computer Interaction (The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction: Stuart K Card)

  • **1983: **CHI Conference

  • 1986–88: Couple of books (user-centred System Design: Dawn Norman 86, Designing the User Interface: Ben Schneiderman 87, The Design of Everyday Things: Dawn Norman 88)

  • **1988: **The Internet changes everything

  • 1991: The first web page

  • 1993: Mosaic

  • 1995: Internet commerce allowed

  • 1997–2000: The dot com bubble: And We got Web Designers and everything became pretty.

  • **The 1980s: **Interaction Design ??? Later adopted by web designer which helped go beyond just putting a pretty face

  • Introduction of mobile devices

The 4-Stages of UX Designing:

Step1: Requirements Gathering

Requirement gathering is all about understanding the user and what their goals and current practices are. This step can also be thought of as understanding the “problem space”- what is hindering the completion of the task how can the task or process be improved.

A whole host of techniques are presented that allow the designer to collect data about the user, her goals and current practices

Step 2: Designing Alternatives

Once we understand the users, their goals, and their current practices (e.i., the problem space) we should be able to take this data and develop various design options that will improve the user experience.

Step 3: Prototyping

Prototyping is a technique for modelling the created design alternatives before a final version is produced.

Step 4: Evaluation

In evaluation, we use a set of techniques for ascertaining that our design meets the needs of the user.

What do we Design?

In UX, we design an interface. The interface is defined as the mediation of the user’s task and the system’s core function. It tells us that the user must provide some input and that leads to some output by the system. This graph reminds us that while accomplishing a task we need to engage a whole system with a certain set of instructions. For example, Our cell phone has a core function, one of them is communicating with others. However, we can also do this in various ways, we can either call or text or email.

Input by user -> Interface (Action) -> Output

For whom do we Design?

Now, we operate these interfaces as individuals. Gradually the individuals make a group and groups make society

Individual: *The design and process of use of *Interfaces, get impacted by personal choice/characteristic (Age, personality, experience, Educational background, lifestyle etc)

**Group: **The design methodology also gets impacted by the choice of individuals at an emotional level or by the persuasion of another individual when involved in a group.

Society: While designing the UX, it’s very much important to keep the cultures and Social values in mind. After all, “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”— Robert L. Peters

So in the end, the moral of the story is,

“People ignore design that ignores people.” — Frank Chimero, Designer

So UX helps us bridge that gap between developers’ and users’ mind by considering every variety of user and their taste.

Some resources…

So that’s it for this article. I hope you all liked it and if you liked it then do not forget to tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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ANISHA SWAIN

@anishaswain

Anisha is from Bengaluru, India where she works as an Associate Software Engineer in the Performance and Scale team of Red Hat. She has more than 1-year experience as an Intern and Full-time Engineer

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