User Experience Design, the Complete Guide to Start

User Experience Design, the Complete Guide to Start

“User experience design” is a term that a lot of people have heard about, but don’t truly understand. Yes, it is about designing with the user in mind, but it’s more than this. It is about considering each and every element of the user’s journey while they are on your website and making sure it is optimised so they have a great experience on your website.

Below, we will explain everything you need to know about user experience (UX) design, including what this concept is, how to implement it, and some of the different elements of user design that professionals prioritise today.

What is user experience design?

There is only one place to begin, and this is by explaining what user experience design is, which we commonly see referred to as UX design.

So, what is UX design? Well, to make matters a little bit confusing, there is no definition of user experience design that is commonly accepted.

User experience design is a concept that has a lot of different dimensions. It also includes a variety of disciplines. Examples include human-computer interaction, usability, visual design, information architecture, and interaction design.

What UX design aims to do?

The goal of UX design in business is to enhance consumer satisfaction and loyalty via the pleasure, ease of use, and utility provided when interacting with a product.

In other words, UX design involves designing and creating physical or digital products that are fun to interact with, easy to use, and useful. It is about improving the experience people have while interacting with your product and ensuring that they get value in what you provide them with.

Understanding the difference between UX and UI design

UI stands for User Interface design. A lot of people get UX and UI design confused. However, they are two different things, even if people use the terms interchangeably.

UX focuses on the journey the user goes on to solve a specific problem. UI refers to the way a product’s surfaces look and function.

What is UI design all about?

UI is a term that references the product’s actual interface. What does the design on the screen look like? How does it appear when users are looking through your website or mobile app?

It is all about the interactive and visual elements of a product interface. This includes navigational touchpoints, animations, colour palettes, typography, and such like.

While UX and UI are not the same, they go hand-in-hand.

The quadrant model: UX design disciplines

As mentioned earlier, UX is a very broad umbrella term. It can be divided into four different disciplines, which are as follows:

  1. Experience Strategy (ExS)
  2. Interaction Design (IxD)
  3. User Research (UR)
  4. Information Architecture (IA)

Let’s take a look at each of these chief disciplines in a little bit of further detail:

Experience Strategy (ExS)

Let’s start with Experience Strategy (ExS). UX design is not purely about the end-user. It will also bring a great amount of value to the company that is providing the service or product.

Experience strategy, therefore, is all about putting together a holistic business strategy, which incorporates the needs of the customer and the business too.

Interaction Design (IxD)

Interaction design involves looking at how your users interact with your website, taking into account all of the different interactive elements, including animations, page transitions, and buttons.

Interaction designers look to generate designs that are intuitive and give the user the ability to complete core actions and tasks in an effortless manner.

User Research (UR)

X design is all about finding a problem and then creating a solution for it. This demands a huge amount of research and feedback for possible customers and existing consumers.

While researching UX designers will carry out usability tests, conduct interviews, and launch surveys. They will also generate consumer personas so that they are in the best position to understand the objectives and needs of their target audience.

Both quantitative and qualitative data should be gathered so that the best decisions are made for the business.

Information Architecture (IA)

The fourth area that we are going to take a look at is information architecture (AI), which is the practice of organising information and content in a manner that is accessible and meaningful.

This is vital in helping the user to navigate their way around your website!

To figure out the information architecture of your website, the relationship between the user and the content on your website must be considered carefully. Furthermore, the professional will pay a lot of attention to the language being used to make sure that it is consistent and convincing.

While these areas represent the main disciplines when it comes to UX design, there are a lot of other sub-disciplines as well. Examples include communication design, audio engineering, motion design, industrial design, marketing, computer science, and much more!

5 UX principles for great website design

When designing a website, you need to make sure you provide the ultimate user experience. You need to put the user first. A lot of web design agencies are still stuck in the old days, designing for search engine bots instead of real people. This is not advised. With that in mind, read on to find out more about five UX principles for great website design.

1. Remember that websites are scanned, not read

One of the most critical things to remember when providing a great user experience is that users will scan your websites rather than reading them. This is why visuals and infographics are so critical for conveying data or instructions. You must make your website scannable to appeal to your audience.

2. Get familiar with the key user experience qualities

There are a number of different qualities that are essential when it comes to UX design, and you must understand these and incorporate them into your website. For example, your website must be credible, which means users must trust and believe what you tell them.

Aside from this, content must be accessible to all types of people and it needs to be navigable and locatable both onsite and offsite. It also needs to be desirable, which means using design elements to bring emotion and appreciation. Plus, the site must be easy to find and content should be original and fulfill a need.

3. Know your audience

Designing for the user is not going to be effective if you do not have a clear view of who your audience is. You need to understand the wants and needs of your audience so that you can create a web design that will meet all of their desires. The competition can show you some inspiration for how this has been done in terms of features, style, layout, and colours.

4. Visual hierarchy

When you are putting the most critical elements on the interface, you can make sure that users focus on them by highlighting them. There are a lot of different ways to highlight something when it comes to design. However, there is no denying that the easiest way is to simply make them bigger than everything else.

5. Simplicity and clarity

You need to figure out what you want the user to do. What is the action you want them to take next? Then, make this apparent. Don’t make it a challenge for them to find action buttons. You need to constantly reconsider what your site or app does in order to make the experience easier for the users. After all, the Internet is all about convenience and so your website must be a reflection of this.

The difference between UX and UI: A visual overview

Infographic from careerfoundry.com

A wide range of tools are available to facilitate UX design

We hope that you have gotten a good snapshot of what user experience design is all about. To achieve these amazing designs that are catered to the end-user in an expert fashion, UX designers rely on a whole host of different tools.

At the inspiration and research stage, they use both polling tools and surveys, as well as interviewing users, making the most of video chat software, and using a number of other tools to gather as much data as they can.

There are also a number of specific programs that can be used for usability testing, prototyping, and wireframing, with some of the most popular in the industry including UsabilityHub, InVision, and Balsamiq.

Aside from programs that are design-specific, there are other tools that are used by UX designers, including project management tools and communication software so that they can manage all of their projects effectively. After all, there are many different elements of UX design so it is vital that professionals keep on top of their workload.

Final words on UX design

As you can see, there is a lot to take in when it comes to UX design. We hope that this has given you a better understanding of what user experience is and how you can go about implementing it.

Putting the user first is critical when it comes to creating a website that delivers real results.

Kerry Harrison

Kerry Harrison

Kerry started her freelance journey while studying at Canterbury Christchurch University, where she graduated with a First Class Hons degree in Multimedia Journalism BA. She now has a decade of experience, and her love of writing only continues to grow.