100 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT DESIGN  |  JUNE 4, 2020

100 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT DESIGN
JUNE 4, 2020

2. What is UX Design?

2. What is UX Design?

What is UX Design?

Back to the basics. What is UX Design? UX Design, or User Experience Design, is the art of designing experiences for users.
 
Let's dissect, starting with the word Experiences. What are experiences?

In the context of UX, an experience is how people interact with a product. That could mean listening to a song or watching a video on a mobile app. It could mean searching on a desktop app. It could mean checking out a social media website. It could even mean pushing buttons on your microwave to heat up your coffee in the morning.
 
These are all user experiences.
 
And who are these Users? Users are people. People like you and me.
 They're the people that use products. They're the people that UX Designers, create products for.
 
And here's the glue that brings it all together. Before you can design an experience for people. A product that people want and enjoy using.
You must first understand people. Understand who they are, their needs, desires, motivations, and goals.
 
That's what UX Design is all about. UX design is:
Understanding people. Designing for people.
 
And if we don't?
 
There's a quote from Frank Chimero that sums it up nicely
"People ignore design that ignores people".
 
Just take a second to think about that. Think about the last time you had a bad user experience. Did you go back and use that product again? No. You found a better solution. A solution that understands your problem and helps you solve it. A solution that meets your needs.
 
That UX Design. Again, it's:
Understanding people. Designing for people.
 
And how do you do this? You don't open up your laptop and start designing. It's a process.
 
 
UX Design is a process
It's a series of steps that you take each time you start a new project. And the outcome is:

a. a clear understanding of the people you're designing for

b. a product that not only meets people's needs, but "that goes far beyond what they say they want" - Don Norman, Jakob Nielsen 

c. ultimately, a wildly successful product
 
The UX Design process is a recipe. It outlines the ingredients and steps. Follow the recipe and you're golden. Don't follow the recipe and you end up with a deflated soufflé.
 
I've experienced both sides. I've worked on projects where me and the team have followed a rigorous process. I've also worked on projects that are scrappy and where a lot of improvisation happens. And while both will get you to the finish line, I can say that the projects where I've followed the process consistently have a better outcome.
 
What does this process look like? Here's how I approach every UX Design project that I work on:

-Research
-Design
-Test
-Deliver

Side-note: The following post provides an in-depth description of my UX Design Process
 
One important callout here is that Design is only one of the four stages. There are three other stages that are a crucial part of the UX Design process. Which leads me to my next point:
 
 
UX Design is multidisciplinary
In the years that I've been teaching UX, the most common question I get is: "Do I need to know design to become a UX Designer?"
 
My answer is:
A background in design certainly helps, but it's only one piece of the puzzle.There are many other pieces—or disciplines—required to form the whole, including:
-Engineering
-Research
-Psychology
-Information Architecture
-Accessibility
-Writing
-And more...
 
As a UX Designer you should have a well-rounded understanding of each of these disciplines. And that means, if you're coming into UX with an engineering, writing, research or psychology background, you have the same advantage as a graphic or visual designer would have.
 
And if you're starting from scratch? You're a human, which means you're capable of understanding other humans. That's a huge advantage too.
 
 
UX Design is collaborative
The reason UX is multidisciplinary is because the business of desining products entails collaboration with a lot of people, with different roles. And even though UX Designers have User Experience in their title, everyone involved on the project contributes to the UX Design.
 
That means designers, engineers, researchers, writers, etc. These are the different pieces of the puzzle coming together to form the whole. And a good UX Designer should be the glue that holds these pieces together.
 
That means collaboration with the different teams involved on the project. The exchange of information. And most importantly, advocating for the user at every stage of the product lifecycle.

Back to the basics. What is UX Design? UX Design, or User Experience Design, is the art of designing experiences for users.
 
Let's dissect, starting with the word Experiences. What are experiences?

In the context of UX, an experience is how people interact with a product. That could mean listening to a song or watching a video on a mobile app. It could mean searching on a desktop app. It could mean checking out a social media website. It could even mean pushing buttons on your microwave to heat up your coffee in the morning.
 
These are all user experiences.
 
And who are these Users? Users are people. People like you and me.
 They're the people that use products. They're the people that UX Designers, create products for.
 
And here's the glue that brings it all together. Before you can design an experience for people. A product that people want and enjoy using.
You must first understand people. Understand who they are, their needs, desires, motivations, and goals.
 
That's what UX Design is all about. UX design is: Understanding people. Designing for people.
 
And if we don't?
 
There's a quote from Frank Chimero that sums it up nicely
"People ignore design that ignores people".
 
Just take a second to think about that. Think about the last time you had a bad user experience. Did you go back and use that product again? No. You found a better solution. A solution that understands your problem and helps you solve it. A solution that meets your needs.
 
That UX Design. Again, it's: Understanding people. Designing for people.
 
And how do you do this? You don't open up your laptop and start designing. It's a process.
 
 
UX Design is a process
It's a series of steps that you take each time you start a new project. And the outcome is:

a. a clear understanding of the people you're designing for

b. a product that not only meets people's needs, but "that goes far beyond what they say they want" - Don Norman, Jakob Nielsen 

c. ultimately, a wildly successful product
 
The UX Design process is a recipe. It outlines the ingredients and steps. Follow the recipe and you're golden. Don't follow the recipe and you end up with a deflated soufflé.
 
I've experienced both sides. I've worked on projects where me and the team have followed a rigorous process. I've also worked on projects that are scrappy and where a lot of improvisation happens. And while both will get you to the finish line, I can say that the projects where I've followed the process consistently have a better outcome.
 
What does this process look like? Here's how I approach every UX Design project that I work on:

-Research
-Design
-Test
-Deliver

Side-note: The following post provides an in-depth description of my UX Design Process

One important callout here is that Design is only one of the four stages. There are three other stages that are a crucial part of the UX Design process. Which leads me to my next point:
 
 
UX Design is multidisciplinary
In the years that I've been teaching UX, the most common question I get is: "Do I need to know design to become a UX Designer?"
 
My answer is:
A background in design certainly helps, but it's only one piece of the puzzle.There are many other pieces—or disciplines—required to form the whole, including:
-Engineering
-Research
-Psychology
-Information Architecture
-Accessibility
-Writing
-And more...
 
As a UX Designer you should have a well-rounded understanding of each of these disciplines. And that means, if you're coming into UX with an engineering, writing, research or psychology background, you have the same advantage as a graphic or visual designer would have.
 
And if you're starting from scratch? You're a human, which means you're capable of understanding other humans. That's a huge advantage too.
 
 
UX Design is collaborative
The reason UX is multidisciplinary is because the business of desining products entails collaboration with a lot of people, with different roles. And even though UX Designers have User Experience in their title, everyone involved on the project contributes to the UX Design.
 
That means designers, engineers, researchers, writers, etc. These are the different pieces of the puzzle coming together to form the whole. And a good UX Designer should be the glue that holds these pieces together.
 
That means collaboration with the different teams involved on the project. The exchange of information. And most importantly, advocating for the user at every stage of the product lifecycle.

Ready to learn 
UX Design?

Ready to learn
UX Design?

Get started with our online UX course.
 

Get started with our online
UX Design course.

 

© 2020 BUTTER DIGITAL INC.

PRIVACY POLICY  |  ACCEPTABLE USE  |  TERMS & CONDITIONS

© 2020 BUTTER DIGITAL INC.

PRIVACY POLICY  |  ACCEPTABLE USE  |  TERMS & CONDITIONS

© 2020 BUTTER DIGITAL INC.

PRIVACY POLICY  |  AUP  |  TERMS & CONDITIONS