A Comprehensive Guideline of User Experience Definition (2019 Updated)
This is a comprehensive guideline for designers to know everything about user experience and learn how to become a successful user experience designer.
With the development of industrial technology and methodology, websites and web applications have become increasingly complex. The content of original static web pages has become very rich, which greatly enhances the interaction and experience of users. Human interaction with the system is termed as user experience (UX). Websites, web applications and Desktop Programs are systems, in the context of human-computer interaction (HCI).
By learning about user experience, you and your company can stay competitive.
Table of contents:
- Definition of user experience
- Difference between UX and UI
- What makes up user experience?
- Elements of good user experience
- User experience principles you should follow
- Why is user experience so important?
- Skills needed to be a UX designer
- How to be an excellent UX designer
1. What is the definition of user experience?
The definition of user experience has been updated several times during the history of its development:
- In 1996, Alben defined user experience as all the aspects of how people use an interactive product, including how they feel about a product, how they use it, how they get guided by the product, etc.
- In the mid-1990s, Donald Norman gave the most authoritative definition of user experience: "User experience" encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
User experience is a subjective feeling of people when they use or interact with a product, service, or website, etc. While user experience design is a subject of how the designers and product managers give users a better experience, easy usability, intuitive interaction, high productivity, and even pleasant emotions. It also involves the amount of value users will get from the product or service.
2. What is the difference between UX and UI?
Although UI and UX have a certain commonality, UX is Not UI. UX is a very large field while UI is a small subset of UX.
An example: if a button has to be designed, a UI designer will design the visual aspects of the button, such as the shape, size, color, etc. However, a UX designer will consider how to place the button from the perspective of users’ real needs and how to solve their practical problems. Therefore, distinguishing UX from UI is key to understanding the concept of user experience.
3. What makes up user experience?
User experience consists of many factors, such as project management, user research, usability evaluation, UI design, interaction design, etc.
Project management: This stage involves making a comprehensive plan for your project, including the project period, wireframe, and how to organize resources in a better way.
User research: With user research you can learn what users need and what problems you can solve for them through a technical solution.
Usability evaluation: Through usability evaluation, you can learn what users think about your product.
UI design: UI design is a part of UX design A simple UI design makes it possible for users to use the product more easily.
Interaction design: A product with good interactivity is beneficial for users to have more interest to explore it and retain users longer.
These are some resources for designing a good user experience:
4. Elements of good user experience
Even though user experience is a subjective feeling of users, there is a standard to measure whether the designer, product, or service, etc. delivered a good user experience.
Peter Morville’s UXHoneycomb is a good framework to understand what constitutes good user experience.
Useful: Your service or product should meet the demands of users.
Usable: The product, service or website you provide should be usable.
Desirable: What you want to deliver to users should evoke their emotions and appreciation.
Findable: The information you provide should be easy to find and understand through navigation or guidance.
Accessible: Information should be easy to access and understand.
Credible: If your content loses credibility from the user, it is very hard to win it back.
5. User experience principles you should follow
Developing a design without considering user experience principles may lead to failure. UX principles are fundamental to making intuitive and easy to use designs to meet users’ expectations.
These are the principles you should adhere to for delivering a good user experience:
1). Usability first
No matter how beautiful your design is, if it cannot solve users’ problems well, users will not care about it. So, how can you succeed in the market? You should remember that UX design is a subject aimed at providing a solution to their problems.
A method of testing the usability of your product is designing a wireframe/prototype in Mockplus before developing it. Thus, you can not only optimize the usability, but also save time and money.
2). Meet user’s needs
All the concepts of user experience design are based on users and are focused on improving the user's opinion about the product or service. Before starting a design, you should focus on what kind of services you want to deliver to meet different aspects of a user’s needs. Be simple and straightforward. Most importantly, you should understand that what you think users will do and what they actually do are totally different.
3). Maintain consistency
Users prefer to use a product you design to be consistent with the one they used in the past. You cannot change conventional thinking easily. So, the more familiar the design of your product, the easier it will be for them to get used to it without a long learning curve.
The less you go against the users’ habits, the better the user experience they get. Also, it saves you a lot of creativity, even though it is a very important element of design. You can follow the standard pattern to keep things simple and commonsensical.
4). Keep a clear hierarchy
A design without a clear hierarchy makes it easy for users to get confused. There are two aspects of hierarchy: information architecture and visual hierarchy.
Information architecture is a layout of how the content is organized in a product or service such as a website or mobile app. The most common hierarchy of this type is the navigation system. In this structure, you can see the primary navigation, secondary navigation, and smaller units that guide users to reach the final options gradually and smoothly.
Visual hierarchy focuses more on visual effects to distinguish the primary and secondary, such as use of a bigger font and different color in the title or main content. So the users can recognize the importance of the information delivered about the product or service.
5). Be easy to access
Accessibility involves not only information but also operation. It is necessary for designers to ensure that their design is accessible and usable for all people including users with disabilities. So, from the very beginning, you should think about how to remove obstacles for users and help them to delve deeper into your product.
6. Why is user experience so important?
As the concept of user-centered design continues to be strengthened, the importance of user experience design is increasing. Over the past ten years, we have witnessed huge progress in web design. The web has become so complex and rich in functionality. If we want to enable the web to become more efficient, the web must deliver a good user experience.
In addition, there are variations in how users access websites: mobile devices, browsers and modes of connecting to the internet, which make us aware of the importance of usability.
In terms of web-based products, it is not just sufficient to meet the requirements of screen readers and non-traditional input devices, the demands of those who do not have broadband connections or use the old-fashioned mobile devices, etc also need to be satisfied. With these tremendous changes, the websites which are pleasant and easy to handle stand out.
In essence, UX design should follow the principle that the users are always supreme. The users’ feelings are very important, and we need to pay attention to their preferences and needs. Our products should not only be designed based on our vision, but they should also put the user's needs at the forefront of the design.
7. Skills needed to be a UX designer
The booming and promising future of UX design has stimulated the need for a new job role, UX designer. But who is a UX designer and what does a UX designer do on a day to day basis? If you are thinking about making a career in this field, what are you expected to do?
Going by the definition by Wikipedia, we can determine that a UX designer is directly involved in the process of making a product useful, usable, and enjoyable for the user. But what does a UX designer do on a daily basis? Your workday will differ depending upon the size of the company you are working for but there are some general functions a UX designer can be expected to perform.
- Product research
Product research includes user research and market research. How does one conduct product research? Four strategies for data collection includes personal interviews with users and stakeholders, competitive analysis, online surveys, and focus groups. These strategies should provide valuable data from which a UX designer can make decisions.
- Personas and Information Architecture (IA)
After the data is collected, UX designers can identify and create representative personas. Once the personas are determined, it is time to work out the information architecture and site map for users. It is important to think through the steps that a user might take while interacting with a product or website.
Wireframing and prototyping represent different deliverables- they look different and communicate different information. The wireframe is similar to a building plan, while the prototype is a medium to high fidelity representation of the final product. To learn more about these, please refer to this article: Basic UI/UX Design Concept Difference Between Wireframe, Prototype, and Mockup (Updated).
Testing is an essential step for UX designers to find out what problems users will experience while interacting with the product. This step should include user testing and product testing. User testing involves studying users’ behavior and helps UX designers create a better user experience. Product testing helps in the development of better iterations of a product, app, website, or service, and results in a good user experience.
- Visual Design
After wireframing/prototyping and testing, the next step is to visualize the design. Normally, this involves selecting colors, fonts, and typography. Technically, these decisions are handled by UI designers.
- Reading UX Design Books
The Design of Everyday Things: A book by Don Norman. It shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action, with the right control at the right time.
The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how and why some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
Don’t Make Me Think: A book by Steve Krug. It has helped guide hundreds of thousands of web designers and developers in understanding the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, common sensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.
I have compiled a list of the Best UI/UX Design Books for Designers. I update it regularly so you can keep up with the latest UX design books.
- Take a UX Design Course
Reading books can help you grasp the principles of UX design, but as a beginner, reading alone will not help you gain high-level skills in UX design. With the help of the internet and its many resources, it is not hard to find a UX design course online.
A UX design course will teach you about the most important UX design concepts, tools, and resources. It will guide you how to use tools, as well as what you should do and don’t do in UX design. For beginners, the 30 Best Online Course Websites to Learn UI/UX Design is a good place to start.
- Find a UX Mentor to Guide You
Ideally, you will want to find someone who has extensive knowledge and work experience in UX design. If you do not know anyone who meets these criteria, you may be able to network with professionals who frequent one of the Top UI/UX Design Communities online. Guidance and suggestions from an advanced UX designer will help you to build confidence and grow as a professional.
- Refer to UX Design Tutorials
Online UX design courses and UX mentors are great resources but the practice is necessary.
UX design tutorials are effective for most self-learners to master a UX design tool or develop their design skills. UX design blogs and YouTube videos are recommended.
Lynda.com: This website provides a comprehensive collection of short videos, articles, and checklists covering the basics needed for user experience design.
Designer & Developer: A YouTube channel for beginners to learn and implement UX design through step-by-step tutorials. You will learn how to use design tools/software quickly.
- Master At Least One UX Design Software
As a UX designer, it is necessary to learn and master some basic UX design tools to help you work systematically and improve your productivity.
Want to learn about other software tools? Read this list of 13 Must-Have UX Tools for Designers.
- Learn Great UX Design Examples
Great examples are the best motivators for beginners and advanced designers alike. The UX designer portfolio is a great resource to learn from, as well as to get inspiration.
Sometimes, although people might be aware about the definition of UX, they may not be capable of designing excellent experiences. Thus, if you want to be a successful UX designer, you should do the following:
a) Convey feelings and reduce cognitive load
b) Listen to the users’ voices, pay attention to their feedback and interactions by conducting user interviews.
c) Allow users to use your design conveniently in their usage scenarios
d) Provide value for the users
To sum up, the most important aspect of being an excellent UX designer is that you need to design a useful product and help users to solve practical problems. In common parlance, there are three features of an excellent UX design: usefulness, ease-of-use, and safety to use.
1. What is end user experience?
End-user experience (UX) refers to the experience delivered by a product or a service to the end user.
2. What is user and end user?
A user is a person who uses a product or service with an account. A user may not have a lot of interaction with the product or service.The end user is a person who ultimately uses or intends to use a product as opposed to the person who designs or maintain the product. He/she has a different purpose or interest from the designers or product managers.
3. What is an end user in business?
In a business environment, the end user is a group of people who are influenced by the decisions taken by designers, product managers and other stakeholders. The number of the end users decides the business could win or lose. They bear the risk of bad user experience or product quality provided by the designers.
4. What is the role of an end user?
The end user faces and uses the product directly, therefore he/she has the most important role in the product development process. He/she undertakes the roles of testing products, reporting user feedback and suggestions, and is a beneficiary of a product or service. If we separate UX design into two parts, the first part is focused on the work of designers and product managers, while the end user is the leading actor in the second part of product development and iteration.
5. What is the difference between user and end user?
The end user is the person/people actually doing the data entry, clerical tasks, keyboarding, reporting, etc.
The user is the company or department they work for. They might not care if an application does not have F-keys, navigation, and context-sensitive help, but they will care if it is missing capabilities.
Company A is a development company that has made a service that allows its users to sell products to the public.
Company B is a pet store that uses Company A’s service. It is the user.
John has a cat and buys pet food from Company B’s website, that uses Company A’s service. John is the end user.
More on UX design:A Rising Industry: Why UX Design Salary Is Incredibly Appealing