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What is UX design? Origin, Practice and Tools

Mockplus Team 59843 Views

What is UX design? What makes a good user experience? This article explains UX design definition and introduces orign, practice of user experience and UX tools.

What is UX design? User experience design goes far beyond the usability and the interaction design of a product or service. Especially during the usage phase, the touchpoints of customers should also be considered and designed with products or online service before, during and after use. Each of these points and every detail should be contemplated by UX designers with great attention, as a negative experience of customers or users at any point in using a product can lead to a loss of confidence in the product and a poor reputation for the company. Positive experiences with the products or services of a brand result in loyal customers, who may turn to brand ambassadors of the brand.

1.Verifiable usability


Markets are conversions, which we know since the "Cluetrain Manifesto" was published in 1999. At the time, the Web thinkers Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger postulated “market are conversations” and thus referred to the importance of the new interactive media to classical marketing. The theory of the authors of the Manifesto have proved to be wise predictions: Since 2004, the phenomenon of user-generated content has been grouped into wikis, blogs and social networks under the keyword Web 2.0. It also means that customers exchange products online. A bad experience with a product or service is becoming more and more independent in social media and can no longer be controlled by the marketing department of a company. On the other hand, only honest and authentic communication helps - and the prerequisite for it is good products and services.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which sets standards for human-computer interaction in its series of standards 9241, defines the usability that is quantifiable by three factors: “The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” The improvement of a product compared to its previous version are therefore measurable and no longer decided by the subjective taste of designer or responsible product manager.

2.What is user experience design?

The design-relevant occupational fields, which deal constructively with usability questions, are diverse and range from user research and usability engineering to interaction design, screen design and user interface design to graphic design, visual design and motion design et cetera. User experience vs user interface is also a common question.They all deal with the design and improvement of a product or service for certain users and their tasks.

The competencies of product design are now no longer sufficient to successfully place new products on the market and win customers and users. Apple understood it as one of the first companies and already in 1993 Donald Norman was appointed to the world's first user experience architect. Norman was previously a professor of psychology and cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, and in his book “The Design of Everyday Things” (1988) discussed the psychological relationship between human beings and everyday objects that can lead to frustration or pleasure.


3.User experience design considers the customer lifecycle holistically

Not only Apple, more and more people have realized that user experience design should consider the customer lifecycle holistically. This means that customers long before the purchase or long before the creation of a user account will assess the expected product or service’s value. They want to know what they spend their money on or what invest their time in. They want to know what features the product has, under which condition the hardware was produced, the friends or colleagues who already use the system, and the status of product ownership or network membership. All this has nothing to do with usability because the potential customer has not even tried the product or the service. Nevertheless, all of these aspects contribute significantly to the UX design of the product or service.

In this case, the holistic view of the UX Designer also includes the phase after the actual use. What about the guarantee and service conditions for defective devices? What are the upgrade options? Can the user migrate his photos, movies, or contacts to other platforms? After the use, the customer will decide whether he will become a paying customer again or abandon the company.

user experience

4.User experience is individual

It lasted until 2010 before the concept “user experience” was defined for the first time within the framework of the ISO standard 9241-210 “Process for the Design of Usable Systems”. User experience therefore includes the cognitive and emotional perceptions of users and their physiological and psychological responses to a product or service during use, as well as the anticipation before actual application. All of these experiences influence the overall impression that customers receive from the system and thus from the brand, the product and the company. The definition explicitly takes services into consideration, so that the discipline of service design which has emerged in recent years also contributes to a good user experience.

In contrast to usability testing, "what is UX design" is not measurable, because it is mainly psychological and mental processes. In other words, there is no user experience design, as many aspects of user experiences are subjective and designers can not directly influence these subjective aspects. Everyone is different and therefore experiences his/her own user experience design definition. To influence these individual customer experiences indirectly the design of digital interfaces and services makes user experience design attractive.

As Donald Norman required in Apple at the beginning of the 1990s, a user experience designer should design interactive systems with a holistic view of the user, thus creating a condition for positive customer experience. It obviously meets the need of not a few designers, because the job title of UX designer is growing in popularity.

The competences of pure product design are no longer sufficient to successfully place new products and services on the market and to win customers and users.

5.Understand the user

The results of their user research make more and more UX designers getting in so-called personas, who represent the potential users as an example in the further design and development process. With these customer or user models, they use scenarios and storyboards in UX design to quickly and iteratively exploit the use of new products. Rapid prototyping tools and wireframes help a lot to visualize, understand the future system behavior. Comparing with a large number of prototyping tools, I personally think Mockplus is the best one.

With Mockplus you can easily create mockups for mobile and desktop apps. Without any programming knowledge, you can also master this easy-to-use tool. By simple drop & drag you can create interactions. Its pre-designed elements, like pop-up menus, sliding drawers and picture carousels, are also worthy to be highlighted here. In addition, Mockplus supports team collaboration.


The insights gained in this process flow into the following design round until the concept is convincing with outlook to the personas as well as in the business context. These steps are just a few of the many techniques from the toolbox of a UX designer, which also includes design thinking, human-centered design, user experience journey mapping, cross-media storytelling to improve your UX.

These methods ensure that the UX Designer has a holistic view of the user as well as the usage context of a product or service. This is the only way to create an adequate and coherent offer because consistency across the various channels, platforms and user interfaces is one of the central concerns of UX Design. In order to secure a company's success in the long term, in order to develop new and innovative online services or even to generate ideas for start-ups, a holistic approach is required that embraces all aspects of customer experience. This includes branding, possible flagship stores in real life, the social media presence, as well as interactive elements such as navigation, gesture control, animation or voice and chatbots as well as screen design, layout and typography. In this way, UX designers create the framework for products and services that lead to a positive user experience among customers, strengthen their trust on the brand and transform them into loyal ambassadors.

All in all, we make the question "what is UX design" clear. User experience design is a profession in motion because customer life cycles always go with times. If you would like to work interdisciplinarily in teams, combine your psychological interest with your own creative impulses and like to surround yourself with people who think about products and business models, and you will have a good prospect of UX Designer. If one also has the future-oriented researcher spirit, the professional choice is correct.

Read more:

The Best UI/UX Design Books & Resources for Designers

User Experience First: Creating Optimal Product with Prototyping Tools

For UI/UX Designers - What Does UX Mean in Web Design?



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