What Does A UX Designer Do
During the inspiration stage, the UX designer seeks to understand and observe. To do this, they conduct extensive research and competitor analysis in order to fully grasp the problem or challenge they are setting out to solve. This involves interviewing those who are, or will be, directly engaged with the product.
The designer then uses this feedback to identify the user’s goals, emotions, pain-points and behaviors. All of this information helps to form user personas. The next step is to consider what these personas are trying to accomplish when using a particular product, and the journey they will take to do so. The designer considers information architecture and uses various techniques, such as card sorting, to map out user flows.
Once the user flows have been determined, the designer knows what steps the user needs to take to complete their desired tasks. They will visually brainstorm solutions for each of these steps, creating wireframes and prototypes of what the final product might look like.
With prototypes to hand, the UX designer will then conduct usability tests to see how users interact with the product. This shows whether or not the user is able to complete their desired tasks, or if changes need to be made.
UX designers not only come up with solutions to user problems; they also need to present their ideas and designs to key stakeholders as part of their day-to-day work.
No matter what product or service they are designing, or what stage of the process they are at, UX designers will ask themselves the following questions:
- Is the product usable? Is it logical, self-explanatory and easy to use?
- Does the product or service solve an existing user problem?
- Is it accessible for different categories of users? You can read more about accessibility in design below.
- Is the product or service desirable? Does it create a positive experience which the user would be happy to repeat?
What Tools Do UX Designers Use?
UX designers rely on a number of different tools as they go about their work. At the research and inspiration stage, they will use survey and polling tools as well as video chat software to interview users and gather as much information as possible. There are also specific programs for wireframing, prototyping and usability testing, with Balsamiq, InVision and UsabilityHub among the most popular in the industry. In addition to design-specific programs, designers also use communication and project management tools to keep track of their work at all times.
What Kinds Of Projects Do UX Designers Work On?
As the tech industry grows, the field of UX design is becoming increasingly varied. UX designers can find themselves working on a wide range of projects within various contexts. Here are just some applications for UX design:
- Website, App And Software Design
UX designers are responsible for ensuring a smooth online experience for the user. From ecommerce websites to dating apps, from CRM software to web-based email clients, each and every online journey you take has been carefully designed by a UX professional.
- Voice Design
Voice user interfaces are revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. UX designers have a huge role to play in the rise of voice, as products like Amazon Alexa can only be successful if they are user-friendly and accessible for the masses. Designing for voice requires a slightly different approach to that of websites and apps.
- Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
With the global VR market expected to be worth around $27 billion by 2022, UX designers will increasingly be required to design immersive experiences. Reality has also been working its way into the mainstream. More and more, UX designers will have to adapt their approach to ensure the latest technologies are accessible and user-friendly.
- Service Design
UX design doesn’t only apply to tangible objects and digital products; experiences need to be designed, too. This is where service design comes in.
Whenever you buy a coffee, stay in a hotel or use public transport, your experience is the result of service design, and service design methodology is very similar to that of classic UX design.