What exactly is user experience?
User eXperience is how a being feels while interacting with a system. This interaction could be with a website or an application, desktop software or any product really, essentially anything that is a form of human-device interaction.
So, is UX important?
Well, yes. UX is important because it enables us, as designers, to fulfill the user’s needs. It helps provide positive experiences that keep user engagement with the product or brand. A meaningful user experience allows designers to define customer journeys on our designed platforms that are of utmost importance to sustaining the work.
What helps make a great UX?
The answer to this may vary from person to person because user experience is different for everyone. However the most important thing to remember with an interface, is that you are not your end users. Do not assume you know what they want or what they need, back all your work with research and case studies that help you understand your end user. Put yourself in their position. To do so, you must get up close and slightly personal with your users. Talk to them, watch them interact with your design, get inside their heads and ask yourself questions about their decisions. Your users and customers will teach you, they will help make your product great! They are who you are designing for.
Microsoft Word has come a long way since 2003 and have drastically improved their UI and UX. They studied the user behaviour and redesigned the outlook to help cater to the users needs.
Here we have an example of a panel that operates the lift. How would a first time user comprehend this? There is a 50% chance the user will not press the correct button to complete their task. UX helps eliminate this error.
UX is not a loner?!
UX is not limited to your interaction with a 2D interface, it’s everywhere! One example is of Universal Design and User Experience coming together to produce life changing products for everyone and we really mean everyone. Universal Design focuses on designing products that are accessible to every user, here accessibility is defined by the ease at which a product is used. Architects and designers create products based on usability, aesthetic and function, all three are part of the basic UX foundation. Have you ever wondered how accessible your own building was to people other than you? How does someone in a wheelchair enter? How does someone who has difficulty seeing maneuver around? Universal design looks into coming up with design solutions that are inclusive, universal designers create environments for users that allow them to complete their tasks easily without any form of discrimination. To do so the Designers look into the cognitive and physical aspects of the design solution to make the experience better. Essentially the experience already exists, the designers work to make it better. The look, the feel and the usability (UX) help come up with your end product.