1.The Value of UX Design
The value of UX design is immense, not only for the end user, but also for the business or brand behind the user experience.
From a user perspective, good UX design ultimately enables us to go about our daily lives as effortlessly as possible.
When designing these experiences, UX designers must consider how they can bring value to all kinds of users. They do this by practicing inclusive design otherwise known as universal or accessible design.
Universal Design (UD)
Universal design follows seven key principles:
- Equitable use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
- Flexibility in use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
- Simple and intuitive use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
- Perceptible information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
- Tolerance for error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
- Low physical effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
- Size and space for approach and use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.
Good Design Is Good Business
From a business perspective, designing first-class user experiences is absolutely key to ensuring customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty. Only if a product or service is hassle-free and enjoyable will the user want to return.
The Competitive Advantage Of Design-Driven Companies
According to a study conducted by the Design Management Institute, design-driven companies consistently outperformed the S&P 500 by 219% over a 10-year period. Furthermore, a study commissioned by Adobe found that design thinking in business creates a measurable competitive advantage. Design-led companies reported 41% higher market share, 50% more loyal customers, and 46% competitive advantage overall.
User-friendly, universal design is beneficial to everyone, and UX designers are in a position to truly shape the world around us.
- UX Design Disciplines: The Quadrant Model
UX is a broad umbrella term that can be divided up into four main disciplines: Experience Strategy (ExS), Interaction Design (IxD), User Research (UR) and Information Architecture (IA).
Experience Strategy (ExS)
UX design is not just about the end user; it also brings huge value to the business providing the product or service. Experience strategy is all about devising a holistic business strategy, incorporating both the customer’s needs and those of the company.
Interaction Design (IxD)
Interaction design looks at how the user interacts with a system, considering all interactive elements such as buttons, page transitions and animations. Interaction designers seek to create intuitive designs that allow the user to effortlessly complete core tasks and actions.
User Research (UR)
UX design is all about identifying a problem and designing the solution. This requires extensive research and feedback from existing or potential customers. During the research phase, UX designers will launch surveys, conduct interviews and usability testing, and create user personas in order to understand the end user’s needs and objectives. They gather both qualitative and quantitative data and use this to make good design decisions.
Information Architecture (IA)
Information architecture is the practice of organizing information and content in a meaningful and accessible way. This is crucial in helping the user to navigate their way around a product. To determine the IA of any given product, information architects consider the relationship between different sets of content. They also pay close attention to the language used and ensure that it is both convincing and consistent.
Within these four areas, there is a whole host of sub-disciplines. User experience design is so much more than just a case of sketching and wireframing. It’s a multidisciplinary field, drawing upon elements of cognitive science and psychology, computer science, communication design, usability engineering and more.