User Experience

What is User Experience (UX)?

User experience (UX) describes the quality of interaction that a user has with a system and their resulting perceptions. It is how useful and usable the system is, and consequently the how the user feels about their experience using the system.

User Experience is a major factor that determines whether a customer stays or goes elsewhere. Paying attention to it helps you to make the user the center of everything you do. It makes the solution less of what you think it should be and more about how users want it to be. The people who work on user experience are known as UX designers. They assess how users interact and feel about the system to see how they can make things better.

UX vs. UI

Whereas UI design is about emotions and aesthetics and making an interface fun, exciting and brand consistent, UX is looking at the logical aspects of use flows and interactions, all in an effort to make the system easy to user and understand.

Great user experience design starts with understanding the needs of the users and works backwards.  A UX designer is an architect of the user interface.  They create wireframes and prototypes analogous to blueprints and models in physical architecture.   It is only after the architecture is done that an interior decorates – that is the element of UI design that is layered over the top of a solid UX design.

When UX Matters Most

All products should strive to deliver a great user experience. But there are some cases in which more special attention must be given to this quality, including when working on.  For example, complex systems and workflows.  

It is critical to give specific focus to UX when building a system that has many parts. Failure to take proper care about this when making your plans for complex products could result in what users find unwieldy. Amazon’s website, for example, could have been more complicated to use in a different scenario, but the UX team has done a great job to promote a nice user experience.

UX Design isn’t Universal

User experience design is specific to a given solution, context, and user need. There are some aspects of UX design that carry universal truths that can be applied broadly such as interactive components from your pattern library, but the workflows composed from those components must be designs specific to that system and its user’s needs.

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