What Is User Experience Design
User experience (UX) refers to any interaction a user has with a product or service. UX design considers each and every element that shapes this experience, how it makes the user feel, and how easy it is for the user to accomplish their desired tasks. The goal of UX design is to create easy, efficient, relevant and all-round pleasant experiences for the user.
UX designers combine market research, product development, strategy and design to create seamless user experiences for products, services and processes.
The Difference between UX and UI Design
User interface design is not the same as UX. UI refers to the actual interface of a product; the visual design of the screens a user navigates through when using a mobile app, or the buttons they click when browsing a website. UI design is concerned with all the visual and interactive elements of a product interface, covering everything from typography and color palettes to animations and navigational touch points.
UX and UI go hand-in-hand, and the design of the product interface has a huge impact on the overall user experience.
UX design is everywhere: the layout of a supermarket, the ergonomics of a vehicle, the usability of a mobile app.
To understand the principles of UX design, it helps to explore the history behind it:
- The History Of UX Design
In the late 19th century, great thinkers and industrialists like Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford began integrating basic experience design principles into their production processes. On a mission to make human labor more efficient, Taylor conducted extensive research into the interactions between workers and their tools — just like UX designers today investigate how users interact with products and services.
In the early 90s, cognitive scientist Don Norman joined the team at Apple as their User Experience Architect, making him the first person to have UX in his job title. He came up with the term “user experience design” because he wanted to “cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a system, including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.” Since then, each of these areas have expanded into specializations of their own.
For centuries, humans have been seeking to optimize their surroundings for maximum user comfort. These days, the term UX design has strong digital connotations, often referring to apps, websites, software, gadgets and technology.