UX Design in a Nutshell

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what UX design really is. For one, a lot of people seem to make a mistake that UX is the same as UI. UI stands for user interface which are the elements that users interact with to use a website or app. UX on the other hand, stands for user experience and deals with how users react and respond to the system that is being presented to them.

What makes UX complex it is a gigantic umbrella subject that branches into many sub topics. For example, UX design will involve, UI design, information architecture, usability, web design, content strategy, website/app functionality, and much more. It’s akin to the topic of business which has many sub topics underneath such as marketing, accounting, branding, etc.

UX is also not about appearance. It may seem from the outside that improving the appearance of something will also improve the user experience. Yes, the visual design is part of UX but what you need to pay attention to are the results. Just because something looks sleeker or fancier doesn’t mean the changes will translate into improvements in the performance of a website/app or the experience of the user.

In a nutshell, UX is about how a user feels about using a system. If the user finds it rewarding, easy, intuitive, and valuable to use a system, they will be more likely to interact with the system and develop an emotional affinity to the system. While many businesses think of UX as an afterthought, there are numerous case studies that prove investing into UX can produce a big return on investment.

If you think about it, the more positive users feel about your system and about using your system, the more they will interact with your system. The more users interact with your system, the more that engagement levels will go up. When engagement levels go up, then so will the amount of leads and sales generated for your business which ultimately translates into more profits. If the system in question is an application, investing in UX also helps save money in future development costs.

There are a few fundamental concepts that you can follow when it comes to UX. First, make it intuitive. UX designers always stress the importance of simplicity, efficiency, organization, ease, consistency and clarity. Those ideas combined all make a system intuitive. Second, focus on the form. Function is important but form is what allows for functionalities to be interacted with in the first place. Poor form results in users getting distracted, confused or frustrated.

Third, makes it rewarding. You want to users to be able to get what they want from your system. Create a linear path that users can follow and deliver what they want in the best way possible. Study how other systems allow for users to get a rewarding experience so that you can model their ideas for your own use. Finally, improve the performance. Reduce load times, improve the functionalities, fix bugs/errors, and simplify everything as much as possible (without dumbing down the system). This will get users choosing your system over others and coming back to use your system over and over again.