What is User Experience and User Experience Design?

experience design is about making emotional connections with people

In today’s information society, we’re spoilt for choice and bombarded with information. There is nothing we can’t find, buy or diagnose online. The world is literally at our fingertips.

Websites, applications and other interactive digital mediums have become progressively complex as our industry’s technologies and methodologies advance. What used to be a one-way static medium has evolved quite rapidly into a very rich and interactive digital experience.

Although production and development methods continue to advance, the success of a solution still hinges on a few emotionally driven triggers; How is it perceived, Is it easy to use, Does it meet needs and expectations and Is it an enjoyable experience. Subconsciously users will base their evaluation on these factors and decide whether to become regular users or not.

User Experience (abbreviated as UX) can be explained as the feeling or impression created when interacting with a company, its brand or service and how this is communicated and perceived by users within the digital realm. Whether this impression is emotional, like loving a brand and consequently loving everything it does, or one of approval when something works the way it should, it’s all about how it meets users’ needs.

So what makes people wait inline for 25 minutes for that cup of coffee? Sure, the coffee is probably good, but no cup of coffee is that good…

User experience embodies not only the product itself, but also the user and the context in which the product is used. And as User Experience is a subjective feeling, it cannot actually be ‘designed’. Instead, we design for the experience a user has, reinforcing and enabling a positive brand experience.

User Experience Design (abbreviated as UXD or UXDesign) can be explained as affecting all aspects of the user’s interaction with a product: how it is perceived, learned, and used. User Experience Design is how the elusive and invisible concept of User Experience is made tangible.

User Experience Design is a broad discipline, starting at inception and affecting the whole lifecycle of a project or a business. It is not just a step in the process, but is intrinsic and parallel to every other process and underpins all aspects of the project delivery.

User Experience Design promotes outstanding experiences, rather than simply preventing usability problems. We, the shareholders in our own everyday experiences, want User Experience to contribute to a higher quality of life by designing for pleasure rather than the absence of pain.

It’s about understanding your users, solving their problems and crafting amazing digital experiences. Done well, it’s the difference between good digital solutions and great ones .

So how do companies differentiate themselves in the competitive arena they operate in when everyone is promising the same thing? How do you keep your customers from dumping you for the next thing?

The answers is simple; User Experience Design.
Good User Experience Design = Happy Users

Happy users become your brand advocates and are more likely to recommend your services. They’ll be less likely to desert you when things occasionally go wrong. And if you really do a good job, they’ll even dedicate time to help you grow and improve your services by contributing ideas and valuable feedback.

In summary, happy users generate return on investment. Unquestionably, spending the time and effort crafting an amazing User Experience is definitely worth it.