What is UX?
A person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service.
Who do we make our products for? Who do we have in mind when we design websites, applications, or any other product in general, such as cars or egg cutters! How did egg cutters come into existence anyways? I am sure someone must have gotten fed up of all the kitchen staff complaining about struggling to cut even slices of boiled eggs. My point is designers design for people to use their product. If people do not like the product then it equates to a faulty design.
UX (or User Experience) is beneficial from a business perspective as well. Now, what happens when the user is not satisfied with your product? Yes, the user goes to your competitor. A good UX thereby helps retain customers and help you get customer loyalty. It helps to increase efficiency and productivity. For instance, e-commerce websites, the better the UX, the faster users buy a product and more likely than not they will be coming back to buy again. The e-commerce website was efficient and helpful for users by being fast. UX stands for User Experience. UX design and engineering is completely User- centered. User-centered design requires analysis that is applied to human behavior. UX designs need be able to answer 5 questions: what, when, where, why and who would use a product. A UX designer’s job is to combine the user needs with business needs and coming up with designs that add value to the user’s life consequently making the product profitable for the business.
A classic and outstanding user experience means that the product or service met the exact needs of the user without any hassle. UX has a lot of disciplines in it. User Research, Information Architecture, Interface Design, Graphics and visual design, Content Strategy, Usability and Accessibility would be the core disciplines of UX. A proper user experience would be a seamless combination of all these disciplines coming together to meet the needs of the user.
We should always distinguish between UX and UI. User Interface is a means of UX and not UX itself. If for instance an e-commerce website for clothing is visually appealing and has clothes for both genders and kids but it doesn’t cater to elderly people. The UX would not be considered optimal. It could also be that it has an online payment option that accepts credit cards only then that would lead to a disappointment for debit card users. Similarly, Usability is how users use the interface to interact with the system. Usability and UX are not one and the same thing. Usability testing is done to verify whether the product is easy to use, learn and adapt to or efficient or not.
In short, a good UX only happens when it is incorporated in all aspects of the product design and development in order to make the end user’s life easier – by giving them a product that adds value to their life.