There is an inherent problem at the moment with some businesses not knowing how to properly define UX. It’s a problem that been around since UX became a ‘thing’ and in truth, it can be difficult for some to articulate what UX is, or what a UX designer actually does. It doesn’t help that the internet has about a zillion and one different definitions!
We’ve found that there are some companies out there that would really benefit from having a dedicated UX team, but just don’t have one. They’ll often hire creatives or developers who are aware of what UX is, but don’t do enough to integrate it into their day to day. This is why the definition of UX becomes skewed, because some businesses just aren’t recognising the value in it. The clue is in the title… UX is all about your user’s experience – so, surely you would want to make this a priority….right? ?
We can help make it a little easier to digest by breaking down UX and UX Design into manageable sections. Let us help you understand; at least from our perspective, what UX is really all about and why you should make your user experience a top priority!
To start, let’s look at a couple of common UX misconceptions:
“UX is all about making things look pretty”
– True and false. The user interface (UI) doesn’t define the product and it isn’t necessarily the solution. UX plays an integral part in ensuring that the UI is usable. This is one of the main problems that some businesses have – Windows 95 looking UI’s that are plagued with usability issues. This is where you’d introduce a UX team – to highlight issues with your user journey, sort out that frustrating navigation and interaction design and then you can focus on making it look like the Sistine Chapel!
“UX is just a small part of a bigger process”
– You couldn’t be more wrong! Your user experience is everything! Unlike some software design methodologies, UX doesn’t follow a typical linear process. It’s extremely adaptable and should be integrated into everything you do. You could say that the user experience is the process!
Digital Problem Solving
UX Designers are effectively digital problem solvers. Users have needs of all shapes and sizes – some simple, some complex. UX is all about recognising and creating tailored solutions that ensure those needs are met, first and foremost.
UX teams spend most of their time researching. A big part of the job is studying your users, learning about their behaviours and understanding their frustrations (we can’t stress enough how important this is!) Take the time to discover who your users are, what they’re trying to accomplish and what they need from you in order to achieve their goals.
Restoring Product Value
Meeting user needs can completely change the way they interface with your product. The goal is to ensure that they can use your system to successfully complete an objective with very little to no difficulty. With this achieved, your user will start to re-connect with your product and recognise the value in it. For some businesses, this can be like CPR for digital products – resurrecting them from the beyond! ?
Framing the Challenges
Design Sprints and collaborative workshops are a great way to identify challenges with existing products and rapidly validate ideas. Typically, UX teams will start a Sprint by conducting contextual interviews designed to help frame initial challenges and align everybody behind a single overarching goal.
They’re a tool utilised by UX professionals all over the world to highlight user pain-points and develop really effective solutions in a relatively short space of time. At the end of our Sprints, something we’ve started hearing more and more from our clients is; “wow, why didn’t we do this sooner!?” (This is why we love Sprinting so much! ?)