Experience DesignUser experience (UX) and user-centered design principles drive everything I do. Is there any other way?
What Experience Design Means To Me
User Experience, commonly referred to as “UX” is the intentional application of user-centered design principles during the creation and development of any product, service, and process. In short, the goal of UX is to reduce inefficiencies and improve performance by creating the correct outcome for the right person. Considering the end-user from the beginning of the design process helps to ensure an expected and delightful result, which from a business point of view lowers customer acquisition costs, lowers support costs, increases retention, and eventually improves market share.
UX seems logical and right, but too often we find ourselves developing solutions for non-existent users, or we foolishly believe we are the end user. Another misconception is that user interfaces (UI) are the same as UX. A quick glance at any popular job listing site will include numerous jobs titled “UI/UX”. While it is true that for some products the interface is a major component, the UI is only one part of the overall UX. Applying UX principles to the development of the correct UI will help to reduce development time, and help keep end-users happy with a product, but applying UX principles to the entire experience one has with a brand ensures loyalty and return on investment.
UX principles are universal and their application and methodology is tailorable to everything we want to create. At a high level UX combines research and design, and includes at least four things:
• Understanding the specific user or persona first, including their environment.
• Wireframing, rapid prototyping, or design-thinking early.
• Usability testing with actual users.
• Iterative design, to refine what is learned along the way.
As a UX practitioner, this is my approach to everything I create. As a designer, UX gives my creations purpose. And as a user of products, services, and processes, UX is the lens by which I judge value. Life for me is all about gaining experiences, and if I can elevate the experience of other people with the things I create, then their quality of life is improved and life is more fulfilling to me.
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