It seems to be one of the most popular topics for businesses these days but many of us don’t really know what UX Design is or what a UX Designer does. Experts anticipate that to run an online business you need a good UX Design team to help you with your website or digital product development. There is no doubt that the pressure to make a great first impression online is huge. Nowadays when digital transformation is at its peak, consumers expect even more, and businesses are ready to do whatever it takes to meet their expectations.
What is the UX Design process?
User experience is a process when the design team works on creating the best experience that a certain product, system or service can give to users. This includes how easy it is to use, whether it brings joy to the user or not, and most of all, if it makes the user’s life (or at least the process of using the interface of product) better. UX Designers look for the answers to these questions to make the best end product that also aligns with your brand and reflects your business objectives.
Although quite often we hear about UX Design in relation to software, website or e-products in general, this discipline isn’t new and exclusively related to the digital world. The user experience design process is most likely the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution.
Mechanised manufacturing motivated 19th-century inventors to study interactions between workers and their tools, and as a result, to adopt basic UX design principles in the production process. In the mid-50s, when more electronic devices and new home appliances were introduced to consumers, Henry Dreyfuss created the very first definition of UX Design as we understand it.
But it was Don Norman hired by Apple in 1993, who made the term user experience design popular and established the role of UX Designer as a key role in any design team in the tech industry.
What does a UX Designer do?
We’ve asked Spyrosoft’s Senior Product Designer, Toby Pestridge, to explain UX Design discipline and UX Designer role in a few simple words, here’s what he says:
“UX design as a discipline has existed far longer than most people think. Although it appears to be a purely digital role, think about any time that you’ve had to interact with a system or interface in order to carry out a task.
Turning on the heating or air conditioning in a car.
Setting the degree of crispness for your morning toast.
Getting money out of a cash machine.
In all these examples you have a goal and a system or product that enables you to achieve that goal. The bit in-between you and your goal is the interface - this is where UX design comes in.
How can I best enable someone to turn bread into toast? - asks the product designer of themselves.
Is a numbered dial the best mechanic to make a selection, or a sliding scale? What about a push-button digital interface? This is a very simplistic reduction of the problem, but the process is the same – we're trying to help people achieve a goal or resolve a problem.”
Considering that UX Design is such a vast discipline covering multiple aspects of the design process, the UX designer role really depends on particular business challenges and market requirements. the UX Designer’s main responsibility is to conduct thorough user research, recognise the most substantial problems and find a suitable solution, so that the end result is a ‘ready to use’ product, software or service that meets market expectations and makes consumers’ lives easier.
At this point, someone could ask: ‘what is the difference between UI and UX design?’. UX focuses on how an end product solves a user's problem, UI Design is about the visual design and functionality of an end product, focusing on aspects like typography or navigational touchpoints. Although UI and UX are different disciplines, they are equally important as the product’s interface has a direct impact on the user’s experience.
Why UX is important for business?
It’s indisputable that customer satisfaction plays a key role in business. Whether it’s a good quality product, outstanding service or user-friendly interface, it all directly affects the experience of the end user when they interact with your company. Ignoring this is a great mistake and business owners know that. In times of instant gratification, users will always choose easy-to-use apps or fast loading pages over those which are less intuitive and slower. Furthermore, Google penalises websites that perform poorly, particularly on mobile devices. Experienced UX Designers think about all of that and provide you with ready-to-implement solutions. UX Designers are always looking at user needs and how to solve their problems. They have in-depth knowledge of the expectations in your market. Whether you are a small business owner or run a larger enterprise, you should prioritise working with an experienced UX Designer.
UX design not only helps with creating user-friendly and intuitive websites, but also has a substantial influence on SEO, helping your website to rank higher in Google searches. Experts stress that having the right UX design in place reduces the number of customer support enquiries on e-stores, which leads to lower support costs. Not to mention that happy customers mean loyal customers who are more likely to recommend your brand to others. All of that is the result of the hard work of the committed UX Design team.
If you'd like to know more about how to conduct a successful UX audit, visit this article >>> UX Audit – why do you need it and what are the key metrics?