User experience design deals with designing and improving customer experience with the product or service. It focuses on the perception of the user as he or she uses the product/ service.
User experience design is a field that combines the principles of ergonomics and human psychology to create delightful experiences surround products or services. This involves the entire process in the life cycle of customer from the point he/she discovers a product and involves aspects such as usability, accessibility, branding et cetera.
People confuse the word user experience design with user interface designing, however this is not the case and user interface design is actually subset of the user experience design . UX is a very broad term that covers the entire set of touch points and processes that a user has to go through to discover, explore and use a product.
It covers the aspects of not only the product’s consumption but also the process of acquiring ,owning and troubleshooting it and it focuses upon feelings of the users such as pleasure, fun , delight, efficiency, relief, satisfaction et cetera.
A UX designer focuses upon the why, what and how of product design and use. He will ask the motivation of the user and his worldviews, then he will move on to the question of what features or functionalities should the product provide and then later he should answer the question of how the product will take the shape and what will be its aesthetics and how will it be accessible to the user.
The original term was coined by Donald Norman, the user experience architect, as he found the words human interface and usability very narrow to cover all the aspects of person’s experience with the system. Donald norman was the first person to describe the need for user centred design for designing products and services keeping the users needs in mind rather than focusing on the resources and constraints around the product and team behind it.
User experience design involves multiple subsets and elements such as visual design ,information architecture, research and surveying of the user needs, interaction design it cetera.
UX is how a person feels when he is interacting with the system and that system could be a website, a web application or mobile application, desktop software in context of human computer interaction.
UX designers try to break down the system into smaller processes and subsystems and then try to optimise each one of them keeping the user’s need in mind and making sure that is experience is easy and offers least cognitive overload.
So what are the roles and responsibilities of a ux designer.
One of the fundamental role of UX designer is to conduct research for product or service which needs to be designed so that all the product decisions can be data-driven and all the assumptions which are going into product design can be validated.
Product research involves understanding the behaviours, motivations, needs and goals of the target customer segment and it also helps to identify opportunities and understand various products in the market and competitive landscape. It also involves doing online surveys, then based on the collective quantitative and qualitative information product roadmap or spec document is created. Tactically it involves conducting personal interviews with users, doing competitive analysis, doing focus group interviews etc. Product research is usually the first step in user experience design.
Personas and Scenarios
Next step in the process of user experience design is to identify who the customer is in creating representative personas of that customer for user persona is nothing but a fictitious identity that reflects the four attributes of the target user group for whom the product is being designed for the core attributes should should carefully maths in resemble the real users of the product the scenario wizard narration around a day in life of those personas about how they will use their product and service and how outfits and their life.
Defining information architecture
Information architecture for user is a structural map which categorises information at different levels and creates a broader level navigational map. Informational architecture map creation comes after the product research that user experience designer has done and after studying personas and their subsequent scenarios.
Wireframe is a low fidelity representation of the product design and it represents each screen and step that user has to take while interacting with the product. Wireframe is the foundation on which the development of the product start. But wireframes shouldn't take too long to to design and should only be low fidelity representation of the actual screen. There are various online tools in the market for wireframing which can be used by UX designers.
After the designer has created wireframes, he shifts his focus to create prototypes - which are mid to high fidelity representation of the final product and they give an actual taste of interacting with the product. These prototypes can be used for user testing and fetching more feedback from them which can be then be fed back into the product development cycle.
User experience design is an ongoing process and requires constant iterations. So user experience designer should always be ready to learn from the feedback and strive to improve the product constantly.