Foundation of User Experience (UX) Design - Part 1

Foundation of User Experience (UX) Design - Part 1

What is User Experience?

User experience defines how a person, the user, feels about interaction with or experiencing a product

What is product?

A product is a good, service or feature that has two types:

  • Physical product (game controller, chips bag)

  • Technology product (website, app)

For a user to have good UX, product needs to be:

  • Usable

  • Equitable

  • Enjoyable

  • Useful

What are the jobs in UX field?

  1. Interaction Designer

    They are responsible for focusing on designing the experience of a product and how they functions. They also figures out how to connect users need, business goal with what actually is feasible to build.

  2. Visual Designers

    They focus on how the product looks. They are also responsible for designing logo, illustrations, icons. They do have responsibility of deciding product font, color, size and layout.

  3. Motion Designers

    They focus on users feeling i.e how they feel to move throughout a product. They are also responsible for making smooth transitions between applications and pages.

Product development lifecycle

  1. Brainstorm

    In this stage of life cycle we generate ideas to solve problems. Yes we identify needs, challenges that audience face. All the research works are done in this phase.

  2. Define

    The aim is to determine the product specifications by addressing questions such as: Who is the product intended for? What functions will the product perform? And, what features are necessary for the product to succeed? The research done on initial phase of brainstorming comes in use. Using what we've learned we've been pinpoint the potential users problem

  3. Design

    The design stage in the product development life cycle involves UX designers creating wireframes and prototypes to convey the product's functionality. UX writers contribute by writing copy for the product's wireframes and prototypes. Designers ensure that all product specifications from the define stage are included and that the design elements flow intuitively for the user. This includes checking app screen flow, interactions like button taps, and task clarity for users.

  4. Test

    In the testing phase, UX designers work closely with engineers to create functional prototypes that matches the original designs. These prototypes undergo testing, including internal evaluations and stakeholder reviews, before external tests with potential users.

  5. Launch

    This is the last stage in life cycle and during this phase, a product is introduced to the market, for example, by publishing a website or releasing an app on app stores. For physical products, this may be the end of the product development cycle. However, digital products such as websites or apps continue to improve user experience even after launch from the users feedback.

Characteristics of good UX design

  1. Usable

    Usable in a product means design, structure, purpose of product is clear and easy to use. Everything in design must be easy to find with a design functionality that is easy to understand. A product is said to be usable if use again accomplish specific task easily within a design.

  2. Equitable

    Equitable in a product means design is helpful to all the people within different abilities and backgrounds. For a product to be equitable it needs consider all the needs of diver diverse group of users. Also they should be able to address the need of traditionally under represented and excluded groups

  3. Enjoyable

    If a product is enjoyable, it means the design matches with the user, reflecting their thoughts and feelings, and fostering a positive connection. It is not necessary back up product must be enjoyable for functioning properly.

  4. Useful

    if the product is useful, it means it solves users problem. The product can be useful and usable at the same time but it can't always be same at each design. A useful product add values to user experience. Also, it helps users to achieve specific goal

Type of designers according to work

  1. Specialist Designer

    They are specialized in one aspect of UX design, such as interaction, visual, or motion design, allows for in-depth expertise. This specialization is common at large companies like Google, Microsoft etc. Some benefits of being specialist designers are:

    • Focusing on one type of design that you enjoy more than others.

    • Gaining deep knowledge of one type of design.

    • Becoming well-known in the industry for your expertise in a particular type of design.

  2. Generalized Designer

    Generalized designers have broad responsibilities in comparison to specialized designers. They have to do visual design, research, prototype, interaction designs and other responsibilities. They have a good knowledge on every field of design. Some benefits of being generalized designers are:

    • Expand skill to different types of UX work

    • Keep yourself refreshing by involving in different variety of job task

    • Exploring different fields of UX design helps you to find your expertise

  3. T-shaped Designer

    T-shaped designers are those, who are expert on one field and also holds capabilities on other fields of design. The vertical line on T-shape represents expertise in one area, while the top or horizontal line represents related skills across various areas. These designers blend the benefits of both specialists and generalists, making them valuable team members.

User centric design

User centered design is a framework that puts the user front and center. By focusing on the users, designers must consider the story, emotions and insights gather about them. Users are a person who is trying to solve a problem and is looking for product or service to help them solve it.

3 ways to put user first in your design

  1. Universal Design

    It is also known as One-size-fits-all approach. Universal design is a process of creating one product for users with the widest range of abilities and in the widest range of situation. One solution design is done for everyone.

    But the problem with this design process is, they might lose their efficiency and it's difficult to achieve any goal with the product when we have so many intended users. Example: If we buy a hat in a shop that labels one-size-fits-all but still it might not fit to all the users. So to overcome this problem inclusive design was proposed

  2. Inclusive Design

    It is also known as Solve for one, extent to many approach. Inclusive design means making decision choice that includes personal identifiers like ability, race, economic status, language and gender. This approach includes researcher and designers from traditionally excluded populations in the process, so that they can give their unique ideas or views during design process. Accessibility is one of the aspect of inclusive design. Though, it solves the problem of universal design it only when benefits the group to which the design was created for and the existing users. Many are still left out. And to overcome this we today find ourselves from equity focused design

  3. Equity-focus Design

    Equity focus design takes the idea of inclusive design by step ahead. It ask designers to focus on designing for groups that have been historically underrepresented or ignored when building products. For this the design should be made by keeping equity on focus. Equity means providing different levels of opportunity and support for each person in order to achieve fair outcomes.


Conclusion

Lastly, UX involves how users perceive and interact with products, that can be physical or technological. Good UX requires usability, equity, enjoyment, and usefulness. Specialists focus deeply on one aspect of design, while generalists have broader responsibilities. T-shaped designers combine expertise in one area with skills in others. User-centered design prioritizes user needs and emotions. Strategies like universal, inclusive, and equity-focused design aim to make products accessible and beneficial to diverse users, improving overall user experience.