User Experience (UX) Design is the process of improving user satisfaction.
Through UX design, the usability, accessibility, and pleasure involved in interacting with a product can be greatly improved. Put simply, UX Design is employed to make a product more fun, easy, and satisfying to use. Nowadays it is primarily used to enhance our interactions with computers and mobile devices. Love your 10″ tablet? Thank a UX Designer!
UX Design is no easy task. A good user experience designer must understand what potential users need, and must tailor his design to meet those needs in a manner the user can understand.
So how the heck do they do that?
The first stage of UX Design is to gather information about a product’s user’s requirements. Will the users be businesses or individuals? Adults or children? Will they access the product through a PC, tablet or phone? Do they have any special needs? All of these questions, and usually many more, must be answered in the requirements phase.
Once UX designers understand what is required for their design, (ie: this product will be used by deaf people) they must consider what tasks the users will expect to perform. Will they use the product for banking, or staying in touch with friends? Reading news, or playing games? Once UX designers know what tasks the product will perform, they can begin to focus on functionality.
Allocating functions is necessary, and determines how, and where, a function will be handled by a product. For instance, (in terms of web apps) is the function server or client based? Is it automated or manual? When all of the necessary functions have been allocated, UX designers will start sketching.
Sketching is the part of the design process where sparks really fly. A good UX designer can get his thoughts on paper quickly by sketching them out. Questions like: “Where does this button go?” or “When should this screen appear?” are answered in the sketching phase. Designers can make changes, try new things and work out ideas. When sketching is complete the process moves to wireframes.
Wireframes are like flow charts for the app, software, or website being designed. They’re a formalized version of a designer’s sketches, and can be used to really nail down the user experience.
With the wireframes complete and the design coming together, the project enters the prototype phase. This is exactly what it sounds like. The wireframes are converted into a functioning (although perhaps not fully) model of the finished product. This prototype model will allow user testing of the new design.
Testing the usability of a new design is one of the most exciting parts of the process. In this stage, the product is placed in front of actual users, and designers observe users actually using the product for the first time. It is in this phase that careful notes must be taken regarding any functionality problems that require correction.
When the testing is finished and revisions to the design are complete, the final phase of the process begins. This is visual development. The visual development phase is where all of the finishing touches are added. It’s here that the prototype becomes a finished product ready to be released on the open market.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of this complex and fascinating process. The next time you use any application, be it on your phone, tablet, or computer, remember the UX designers who made it possible. ∼Cleveland SEO Guy
The Cleveland SEO Guy, Danny Todd says ‘It’s not what you sell; it’s how you sell it. He understands that sometimes the best brands get left behind because their web design and SEO has become outdated. The Internet is always changing! Google and the other search engines are always adapting! Keep your brand current and reach Google’s #1 spot.