UX design: Why, how and what?
How does your iPhone actually work? And how do you reserve a seat on the plane? Everything has been thought about. The user experience is designed in advance. For example, an ordering process may not be too complicated. We call this User Experience (UX) design. It is not a buzz word, but a characteristic trend of today, where the experiences and experiences are paramount.
What is UX design?
UX design is therefore a hot topic, because it makes or breaks a product or service. But especially the lack of it is often mentioned. But what exactly is User Experience (UX) design? This concept is all about the user experience. That is on the one hand the ease with which an action can be performed and on the other hand the feeling that a visitor gets when using it.
The goal of UX design in the business world is to increase customer satisfaction and make the customer (or visitor) loyal to the service. For this, it is necessary to take into account how easy the service is to use, whether it is useful and how it interacts with the product.
A classic called “Bad Day” from 1997 that reflects a mediocre user experience (fake by the way)
When we think of UX design, we don't just think about user-friendliness, but also about performance, ergonomics, marketing, design and aesthetics. It may seem that User Experience design is only for the internet, but that's not true. Because we are moving more and more from a service economy to an experience economy, the experience is also important for physical products. Think of the experience you have with an iPhone, or your ride in the Vogelrok in the Efteling, or the sound of the car door slamming shut at a BMW. Everything has been thought about and designed.
Still, the emphasis is clearly on online, as products and services are becoming increasingly digital, not the other way around. Especially with websites, apps and a personal environment, the user experience must come first. This applies to all digital channels.
The importance of user experience for companies
Why is a good user experience so important for companies? The main reason is obvious: because as a company you want a customer to return, to become loyal to the company and to build trust. If a good relationship develops between the customer and the company, the customer will promote the company (word of mouth).
In addition, you will see that the conversion increases. This indicates how many visitors eventually become customers. A high conversion means a better profit. Then it is certainly wise to invest in a UX designer.
User experience design also yields benefits for the company itself: production can be increased. If an employee of a company is green and yellow annoyed by a failing system, this is at the expense of productivity. Anyone who has ever filed a police report will know exactly what I mean. But if the system is designed efficiently and is easy to use, employees are much more excited to get started. In this way, productivity increases. The same goes for customers: if customers find your product useful, they are likely to come back.
In short: the user must know exactly how the service, website or app should be used. For example, you can display a website beautifully, but that is of little use if the visitor has no idea how he or she should use it. This is especially important for webshops: the customer must know exactly how to place an order.
What exactly does a UX designer do?
You probably already get a good idea of what a UX designer does. A UX designer creates user experiences. That happens in a few ways.
- The UX designer analyzes the current user experiences. In this way, wishes and bottlenecks become known. This can be done using user experience tests. We will come back to this later in this article.
- In addition, there are improvement plans designed, aimed at optimizing the customer journey. This can actively contribute to conversion optimization and lead generation.
- The designer also advises developers and visual designers in the field of user experience. It is therefore really about management and sharing knowledge.
- Coordinating user experience initiatives is also part of the designer's responsibilities. He collects ideas and develops them into a concept. Ultimately, the concept is worked on until it is ready for implementation. The designer is responsible for this entire process.
- Before an idea is implemented, the UX designer works in proposals prototypes and wireframe. These are a kind of construction drawings of a web page or application screen. You can see an overview of the various components in wireframes.
The tools of the UX designer
The UX designer has a number of tools to design the best possible user experience. We list a few:
1. User personas
User personas create imaginary users, including name, face, and attributes. The idea has to fit these personas. We sometimes call this a benchmark person. An alliteration helps to remember: Impatient Onnie or Pappa Peter.
2. A/B testing
In A/B testing, a test group tries out two variants of an idea. It is possible that the group is split up and that both groups test one of the two variants. A test with several variants is sometimes referred to as an A/B/n test.
3. Card sorting
Card sorting is often used to design a navigation structure on a website. This is a method where respondents have to group cards with topics logically. In short: what exactly belongs together? For example, drop-down menus can be created.
Wireframes have already been discussed in this article for a while. Think of it as construction drawings of a page or screen, in which the different parts become visible. You get more insight into the navigation and layout of a page or an app. Graphical aspects are not yet considered, but only the skeleton.
5. Mockups and Prototypes
User Experience designers can use mock-ups for demonstrations, tests, evaluations or promotions. These are models of software applications that are still in an early design process. If the mock-up works well, it is called a prototype.
6. Customer Journey Map
A Customer Journey Map is a visual representation from the customer's point of view. It emphasizes customer expectations and what is required from the website or company.