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What is UX Design?

UX Design

User Experience Design

We are hungry. Let's go to a restaurant. Call a waiter, and order food. The waiter brings the food. We eat it to satisfy our appetite.

There are two things -

When we look at the food, if it is piping hot, and properly arranged on the table. All the required things like spoon, napkins, water etc. are available. Everything is in neat and clean condition. We really like such arrangements, which increase our appetite, cannot resist ourselves from eating the food. This is an example of UI (User Interface), that we have already discussed in the previous post.

On the other hand, when we start eating the food. We like its taste. One bite, then next bite, and keep eating until the hunger is fully satisfied. The food is successful in meeting customer demands. Great experience, very delicious, all spices in the right quantity, and able to convey the message to the consumer, "please do come again". He or she realizes all these things after consuming or finishing the food. This is an example of user experience (UX).

User interface (UI) takes place before using the product. User experience (UX) takes place after consuming the product.

User experience (UX) design is a process, which helps us in designing the best product for our consumers. In simple words, the item is very useful, easy to understand, easily usable, able to solve customer purpose, and above all the user is very delighted after using or consuming the product, which could be a digital or physical item.

For example, we want to buy clothes online. Let's go to an eCommerce website. There are thousands of clothes, but there is no way to filter results. We don't want to buy all clothes. Just want to buy from one particular section, but no options to select the suitable size, brand, and other important features. We need to scroll down to view thousands of results, which is going to take more time. This does not demonstrate a good (UX) user experience.

There is another eCommerce website, where all items are properly organized. It is very easy to explore all sections, brands, prices, and other important details. Everything is just one click away. If a user wants to buy one particular item, help is available on every step. All purchases can be completed within a few seconds. Such arrangements make users happy, which is a masterpiece of good (UX) user experience design.

"User experience (UX) design creates a user-friendly digital or physical product that is able to satisfy customer needs."

Let's learn why user experience (UX) design is important in the business world:

User Experience (UX) design is important

1. Customer satisfaction

Customer is king, God, and everything. One happy customer can fetch a huge consumer database for us. He or she uses our product, and if the experience is delightful, numerous good reviews and comments float around to attract more people towards it. Companies spend so much money to resolve customer issues. Instead, if organizations start working on user experience (UX) design, they can save all the money that is being spent on large contact centers.

An immense importance has to be given to user experience (UX) design because it improves customer satisfaction. If they are happy and satisfied, we as a business, our corporate balance sheet, employees, and the partners will be happy.

2. SEO or Search Engine Optimization

We all know that search engines like, Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. love the websites that are properly designed. If a user lands on one of those websites where he or she spends an ample amount of time, search algorithms promote it in their search rankings. The ultimate goal of the search engines is to provide the best results to their users. 

User experience plays an important role in search algorithms. A poorly designed website scores poor SEO rankings. 

Businesses are running ad campaigns, for example, PPC (Pay Per Click) to bring more consumers, but may lose all the money due to poor landing page experience. Please understand that social media platforms and search engines are constantly working hard to give us more and more business. When a customer lands on their page or platform, is successfully sent to our business landing page. Now, it is our responsibility to retain the customer, where a good UX design plays an important role. Spending money on ads is entirely different thing from creating a great landing page. As a business, we must improve our user's landing page experience by using the best user experience (UX) design for our websites and Apps.

3. Trust and Loyalty

A great UX design generates trust and loyalty for our brand. Every day many people visit our eCommerce store, website, or app to consume our products and services. But, how many of them stays there, and how many become our permanent customers. If our page has good UX design, and successful at retaining them, and can also attract new consumers, it shows that the user experience design is doing its job perfectly well. We all want that our permanent and potential consumers should have high trust in our brand, which becomes possible if we implement a customer-friendly UX design in our product, that consumers really love.

4. Cost saving

Unnecessary cost is a big issue in our business world. We want to significantly reduce the overall costs. If user experience (UX) design is not smooth, there are some product usability issues. Consumers are not able to find any help. Our service department, sales, marketing, and other teams will be contacted by customers to resolve such issues. Consumers try to contact every single person in the organization.

If sales sold one product to a consumer, he or she will try to contact the same sales person instead of a customer service executive. A poor user experience (UX) design can upset so many customers, and then pressure is on those departments, which are not able or not their job to deal with such problems, but sometimes they have to do so to keep customers happy and retained. This hampers their daily tasks and targets. No productivity means no profits, means unnecessary cost increment.

This is just one example. We can find lots of examples where money is spent on those things or activities which generate no new business. For example, redesigning the product, fixing bugs etc. This all can be controlled at the initial stage by implementing a well-planned and an excellent UX design while developing the product.

5. Driving profits via smooth conversions

Nowadays, our lives are too busy. Even sometimes we don't have time to talk to our family & friends, no entertainment, no favorite games and movies. Everything and everybody have very tight schedule. Consumers are also a part of this society.

When they visit a website or an app, they want everything quickly, and don't want to face any hurdles. A great user experience (UX) design guides them, they can see a clear path, where to go, what to do next, which button (CTA - Call to Action) has to be pressed to buy the desired item. All these arrangements make customers happy. They would like to come again to buy more products and services.

More people become aware of our brand and services after seeing nice reviews by consumers. This is what every business wants, more and more growth, which is not possible without happy and satisfied customers, and that is not possible without a good UX design.

 6. Driving uniqueness via user experience (UX) Design

"Wow, this website looks so great." It is our first impression when we visit a beautifully designed website where everything is properly arranged. Similar items don't become popular. Our product has to be unique to become popular. Only then it will be creating a lot of buzz on social media, and among people. Please ensure that people are able to resolve their problems by using our product. It has to be highly efficient and usable, where all the interactive parts are crystal and clear.  While investing in UX design, instead of thinking about what you like, think about what consumers like. Full concentration has to be on customers' likings and dislikings. It is possible that we may like some features that are not suitable to consumer needs. 

These three things are very important in our product to make it unique, and distant from other items available in digital or physical world.

Useful - It should be able to resolve consumer problems.

Usable - Consumers are able to understand how to use it.

Lovable - People absolutely love our products and services.

We have talked a lot about why a great user experience (UX) design is so important. If people are looking for some products and services, and land on our web page, their needs should be fulfilled.

In order to deeply understand the concept of user experience (UX), let's discuss all those various steps that are involved in it.

Important steps in user experience (UX) Design Process:

Steps in UX Design Process

1. Visualize and Understand

Just close eyes, and think what problems people face, and how we can resolve them. It is important that we understand real issues and customer requirements. Consumers look at the interface, and try to judge if our product can really resolve their problems or not, and buy it once they are fully convinced. 

Be in customers' shoes, and visualize what they want, how our product can satisfy their needs, what features to be added etc. Try to imagine everything in a real environment.

Sometimes it is important to meet users to understand their requirements because visualization cannot solve every problem. In this scenario, we need to meet people, listen to them carefully, identify the real issues, and try to find out what they think about the existing UX design of our product.

Also use some case studies to explore other items, their market positions, UX designs, and users’ response.

2. Research

Collect data related to user needs, their taste and preferences, and the products that satisfy them. Also collect information about those items and services, which have failed to meet customer expectations. This technique can help us learn about those mistakes, which were made by others. Learning from others' mistakes is a part of the research process. In UX design, involve all those components which have helped customers, and remove or improve the components (if required) that are not fruitful.

An in-depth discussion with a user can help us design the best product.

Conduct online surveys to understand consumer needs. Send a questionnaire to the target audience.  

Please ensure that all the information that is collected through different sources, is absolutely correct because incorrect data can ruin the whole project. An interface, components, and features of our UX are going to be designed on the basis of available information.

3. Design

At this stage, we have got lots of ideas that will turn into reality. We draw them using white papers, white boards, wireframes, and other systems. This is very tough because we share our work with various internal people who are team members and experts from relevant departments. In case of improvement suggestions, we need to draw it again. This is basically a circle - Create wireframes and prototypes > Some improvements are required > Make changes or redraw > Again, the same chain is followed for approval.

Prototype - A draft version of our product.

Wireframes in UX (User Experience) Design

May be many rounds of improvements, or at one go it is approved by technical managers, team members, and other experts. Design teams should always be patient with their UX design because it is important that all stakeholders are on the same page while giving their approval, which is a very daunting task. Everybody thinks in their own way. They have got their own experiences and ideas about end-user satisfaction. 

My personal advice to all stakeholders is that think unanimously. Don't think individually. Unanimous ideas, thinking, creativity etc. always help us create a unique product, and also helpful for the design team which is consistently working hard on the design process for many weeks or months. 

Work, and rework until the final design is ready, which is useful, usable, and delightful.

4. Implementation

It's time to build the product. Our developers enter into the picture. This task is accomplished by our back-end and front-end development teams. They build it based on the final design.  

Design teams just produce ideas and designs, but developers turn them into reality using their coding skills, and build fully functional product that we want to experience. It could be an app, a website, or any other item. 

A human brain can generate thousands of things, but it is important to evaluate every idea if it is possible to achieve it in our practical life or not.

Similarly, in our UX design process, there are thousands of ideas that we create in our mind and draw them on paper. In order to evaluate them, we are in constant touch with developers and other technical teams, if such UX designs or ideas are possible or not. 

Products have their own limitations. They cannot be built to achieve everything. If we try for one functionality, another functionality may have to be compromised to some extent. It is difficult for UX designers to understand all limitations. Only technical people and developers can understand, and they can try to resolve such issues by suggesting various things to make our products better.

For example, UX design team wants to add one extra functionality to a product, but it may create a technical glitch. In this situation, technical teams can suggest various solutions to overcome the problem, and the UX design team can choose the best solution.
That's why it is important to involve technical teams and developers in UX design project from the beginning.

5. Launching the product

Once our final product is ready, launch it, and evaluate its performance. Especially its UX design. If end users really like it or not, and if it is producing the desired results or not. All these things are very important for our future projects. After launching it, we have to listen to the users who could be our customers or internal employees. Let's see what they say, how comfortable and satisfied they are with our product, if there is any scope of improvement etc.

User experience (UX) design is a constant process. We are not allowed to halt, or relax after launching the product. We have to keep an eye on feedback, and on the basis of that, improve its UX design.

UX Design says, "Just feel the experience."

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