Explaining the Basics of UX Design

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User experience design can seem confusing when you first come across it. The concepts can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to find a place to start, much less begin to understand. This article can serve as a guide for comprehending what UX design is and where you can implement it for your company. 

Principles of UX Design

To begin, you first need to understand the five principles of UX design. They include empathy, strategy, usability, accessibility, and testing. Together, these elements create strong UX designs that improve user experience and increase customer satisfaction. Empathy is important because the whole goal of UX design is to make a satisfying and easy experience for the user. In order for this to happen, market research must be conducted. A company needs to understand its target market in order to cater design toward them. This can be done in a number of ways including surveys, focus groups, and general research conducted online. This research allows designers to tailor their materials directly to the consumer, providing them with an enjoyable experience. 

Strategy and usability go hand-in-hand when it comes to UX design. Designers typically create wireframes, or outlines for their designs, before completing a design with color, graphics, and animations. These wireframes provide designers with the ability to make adjustments and discuss what could be improved. It also gives them a chance to talk about the path a user will take through the digital product. Usability is a measure of how easily a user can navigate through a digital product. By outlining the path of a user, the designer can see where the user might get stuck and if there are other pathways that could improve the experience. The strategy can then be edited to allow users to seamlessly move through the product. 

Accessibility refers to the ability for anyone, including people with different abilities, to use the digital product with ease. For instance, the product should ensure the colors used meet ADA requirements for contrast. All images should include alternate text so a screen reader would be able to describe the graphic to someone who can not see. There are a variety of tests that can be done to ensure accessibility. Testing is used for accessibility but also general use of the product. Tests are run to ensure the user is able to move through the product easily and identify any stuck points or challenges. 

Create and Recreate

UX design is all about iterations. When one design underwhelms, ideating and enhancing is the best practice. UX designs go through many different versions before finding the final one, part of the normal process of user interface designs. It is really challenging to create a perfect design with no errors the first time around. Iterations can sometimes be the best thing for a product because they create pathways and add details that might have never been considered in earlier versions. While design is meant to be helpful, it should also look nice. The best design is easy to use and makes a user feel excited to use the digital product. This excitement might come from an interesting mix of colors, beautiful images, fun typography, vivid animations and much more. The small design details can be the difference between a repeat user and a one time user.

Easy to Find

Arguably the most important aspect of good UX design is that it is easy to find. If a user is not able to easily find your digital product in the first place, then they are not going to spend time hunting it down, even if they love your product. SEO, or search engine optimization, allows a website to appear easily on a search engine. Some minor things that can be done to improve SEO are adding images, creating and updating a blog regularly, ensuring all images have alt text, and so much more. These seemingly simple and subtle changes can be the difference between your website being the first on a list from a search engine and somewhere toward the bottom. 

The Jist

Overall, UX design is fairly simple when you break it down. The pathway a user needs to follow to reach their goals should be simple and easy to understand. Along the way, the user should see interesting designs that keep them excited by the brand and interested in coming back for more.