What is UX Design and How Can Designers Get it Right?

User experience design is much more than a buzzword in the industry. In fact, it should guide each and every decision a designer makes to ensure their final product is something that users can and want to use. For newcomers to the field or those who are simply curious, the Interaction Design Foundation put together a comprehensive guide called “The Basics of User Experience Design,” which we found very informative. Below you’ll find our take on their guide and how designers can put these UX design tips to work.

We’ve discussed the difference and importance of form and function here on the Proto.io blog before, and it is central to our discussion of UX design. “Good” UX design boils down to a useful experience for consumers. In other words, they opened up your app and were able to accomplish what they set out to do, whether that be summoning a driver to give them a ride to the airport or ordering delivery from a restaurant across town. Whether or not that user enjoyed that experience is the other piece of the UX design puzzle.

Before we get into the specifics of how to implement the main components of UX design, it is important to notice the role of human psychology. There has to be a baseline understanding of how humans interact with products like yours through extensive user testing. What do your users care about? What are their pain points when it comes to solutions already on the market? What are their dream features and functionalities that you can make a reality with your new product? Meeting with your target user and over time the actual users of your product will help you design and refine an experience for them that they will love.

Seven Factors of UX Design

1. Useful

2. Usable

3. Findable

On the other hand, if users stumble and scratch their heads, then it’s time to ask questions to figure out exactly which parts are confusing them. Your design can be the most beautiful and make sense to you, but you will need plenty of input from real users with no background knowledge of your product to gain a full understanding of user pitfalls that (if they go unsolved) could eventually lead them to abandon your app or product.

4. Credible

This expands to design as well. If this health app had a design that was reminiscent of 2003 AOL, then users would be skeptical. With a design that is so outdated, they may wonder how often the health content is updated. After all, countless medical breakthroughs have happened in the last 15 years, and a credible health app would be completely up to date to provide users with the best information available.

5. Desirable

Not all coffee is created equally.

When it comes to mobile app design, there is a good chance that your app has competitors. Knowing their features, design, and how users respond to them is important to create points of differentiation. What are solutions on the market missing? Understanding this gives you the ability to make your iteration more desirable to users and gain market share. Create something that users can’t help but tell their friends about. Design a product that strangers will see and have to ask users where they got it. You want your product design to be something consumers can’t stop talking about.

6. Accessible

This is just one example of accessibility in design, but it contains many lessons for UX designers. Accessibility can’t be an afterthought, it must be ingrained in the design process and continuously iterated on. Depending on where your product is available, there may be local requirements to make sure your product is accessible to all. But no matter where your target market is, designing for accessibility is the right thing to do. It does not leave anyone behind and, as an added bonus, broadens your potential customer base.

Imagine getting access to all these magazines for one flat rate price.

7. Valuable

Final Thoughts

What factors do you think are essential for UX design? Let us know by tweeting us @Proto.io.

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Originally published at blog.proto.io on May 10, 2018.

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