Design

What is UX design and why is it important

  • Kamil Tatol

  • Jan 09, 2023

  • 5 min read

  • Jan 09, 2023

  • 5 min read

UX design, or user experience design, focuses on creating functional products that provide users with a positive and seamless experience. As technology advances and the digital landscape becomes increasingly crowded, the importance of UX design in building successful products has never been more critical.

What is UX?

User Experience (UX) is the general experience of a person using a product, for example, a website or mobile app. UX takes into account various elements, including the design, functionality, ease of use of the product, and emotions and perceptions of the user while interacting with it.

What is UX in simple words?

Simply put, User Experience (UX) is about the user’s interaction with a product. UX focuses on how they feel about the product, whether they find it easy to use and functional.

What is UX design?

So what is User Experience design? UX design, also known as user experience design, is the process of creating products, systems, and services that offer users a seamless and enjoyable experience. It can be anything from a website or mobile app to a physical product or service. UX design aims to create a product or service that is easy, fun, and user-friendly. It involves conducting UX research and taking into account various factors, such as usability, accessibility, and overall enjoyment, to create a product that is not only functional but also engaging and satisfying for users.

What is the difference between UI and UX design?

One common question people have about UX design is what the difference is between UX and UI design. In fact, UX and UI design are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two different aspects of the design process. UX design, or user experience design, focuses on the product’s general feel and the user’s satisfaction. This includes things like the functionality and usability of the product and the emotions and attitudes it evokes in users. UI design, or user interface design, however, is the specific way the product or service is presented to the user, including the layout, visual design, and interactive elements, such as buttons, menus, and text boxes.

In short, UX designers are responsible for the product’s usability, while UI designers take care of the graphic design, so its visual aspects. Their fields are distinct but closely related, which is why their collaboration is crucial in making the final product both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. If you want to explore the subject further, read the article "UI vs UX: what is the difference between UX and UI design".

User Experience design examples

Let’s take a look at some UX design examples.

  1. An e-commerce website makes it easy for users to navigate and find products with clear and intuitive categories. If you want to see one in action, check the user-centred website of eObuwie. We worked on it and ensured that User Experience is top-notch by giving users almost endless possibilities for customisation.
  2. A mobile app on a smartphone has navigation within reach and guides the users smoothly through their interactions. We had the pleasure of creating a user-friendly mobile app for KFC. See how we did here.
  3. A smart home device uses natural language processing to understand and respond to voice commands and gives relevant information through its visual display.
  4. A self-service kiosk guides users through a process with clear instructions and intuitive navigation.

These are just a few examples of how UX design can enhance the user experience and make usable products and services enjoyable and efficient. If you want to see more, check out our work.

Why is UX design important?

The value of UX design cannot be overstated. It lies in its ability to create products, systems, and services that are easy to use, efficient, and enjoyable for users. This is beneficial for both users and businesses as it:

  1. Improves usability
    Good UX design makes it easier for users to complete tasks and find the information they need, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Increases efficiency
    UX design can help streamline processes and reduce the number of steps required to complete tasks, leading to increased user efficiency.
  3. Enhances credibility
    Well-designed products that work seamlessly can improve the credibility of a business and build trust with users.
  4. Increases conversion rates
    Good UX design can increase conversion rates. Users are more likely to complete a purchase or sign up for a service when the process is easy and enjoyable.
  5. Reduces support costs
    By making products and services easy to use, businesses can reduce the need for customer support and reduce support costs.

UX design brings immeasurable value to products and services by making people want to use them. A well-designed product or service improves user satisfaction, increases engagement, retention, and visibility, and ultimately drives business success. Companies prioritising UX design are more likely to stand out and gain a competitive advantage in today’s highly competitive market. If you want to know more about how your product is performing in terms of user experience, consider conducting a UX audit.

What is the UX design process?

The UX design process refers to all the stages of creating a product that meets the users’ needs. It usually consists of the following:

  1. Research: This stage involves collecting information about the users, the problem, and the market by conducting user interviews, surveys, and focus groups.
  2. Design: This is when designers create the product’s wireframes and mockups to plan out the layout and functionality.
  3. Testing: Here, designers test the product to get feedback from real users on the design and modify it if needed.
  4. Iteration: Based on the feedback, designers iterate the design and advance the product.
  5. Implementation: The final design is implemented, and the product is launched.
  6. Maintenance: Designers monitor the product's performance and make improvements as needed.

What the UX process looks like largely depends on the company performing it. Some of those stages may not happen or be executed differently. At Flying Bisons, we use a well-established, end-to-end process that drives business results.

What are UX design principles?

UX design principles guide designers on how to make user-friendly and effective user interfaces. The main 8 principles are:

  • Usability (ease to use and understand),
  • Accessibility (accessible to all users, including those with disabilities),
  • Flexibility (adaptable to the user’s needs),
  • Aesthetics (visually appealing and consistent),
  • Simplicity (simple and straightforward),
  • Functionality (functional and providing all necessary features),
  • Consistency (consistent across different devices and platforms),
  • Feedback (giving feedback on the user’s actions).

What are the three pillars of UX?

Often referred to as the “UX triangle”, here are the three pillars of User Experience:

  1. Usability: The product should be easy to use and understand.
  2. Utility: The product should have all the necessary features and functionalities.
  3. Desirability: The product should be visually appealing and emotionally engaging.

These pillars are also part of UX design principles and work together to provide a user with a positive product experience. Usability ensures that the product is easy to use, utility guarantees all the necessary features and functionalities, and desirability completes it by making the product visually appealing and emotionally engaging. Together, these three pillars create a well-rounded and satisfying user experience. So if you’re asking yourself what is a good UX design, then it’s one that fulfils all three pillars of User Experience.

What are UX design tools?

UX designers use many different software programs to create and test user interfaces.

Wireframing and prototyping tools

These tools enable designers to create a basic version of their interfaces, including layouts, navigation, and interactions.

Examples: Balsamique, Axure, Sketch, Adobe XF, Figma

UX research tools

These tools are used to research and collect user data through surveys, interviews, and usability testing.

Examples: UserTesting, SurveyMonkey, Typeform

Collaboration and project management tools

UX Designers use these tools to share and collaborate on design files or communicate with other team members. They often work in teams with UX researchers, UX writers, and UI designers.

Examples: InVision, Zeplin, Jira, Trello

Design and prototyping tools

These tools are used to create detailed design comps, animations, and interactive prototypes.

Examples: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Principle, Figma

Accessibility tools

These tools ensure that the designers’ products are accessible to users with disabilities.

Examples: aXe, WAVE, Color Contrast Analyzer

Analytics and heatmap tools

Designers use these tools to track user behaviour, e.g. clicks, scrolling, and mouse movements on their designs.

Examples: Google Analytics, Hotjar, Crazy Egg

What are UX design patterns?

UX design patterns are solutions to common design problems that have been proven to work for other users and can be applied to a variety of contexts. Here are some examples:

  1. Navigation menu
    A navigation menu is a common design pattern that enables users to easily navigate through a website or app, allowing them to access different product sections.
  2. Search
    The “Search” design pattern helps users find the information they want.
  3. Pagination
    Pagination refers to breaking up large amounts of content into smaller pieces.
  4. Filtering and sorting
    Using filters and sorting allows users to organise information according to what’s important to them.
  5. Carousel
    Carousel is most known from Instagram, and it refers to the design pattern that enables users to rotate through a set of items, such as images or products, in a slideshow-like format.
  6. Loading indicators
    Loading indicators provide users with visual feedback while waiting for the content to load.

In UX design for the web, those patterns are commonly used as they’re already tested and make a good starting point when creating a user-friendly interface. However, it’s important to note that each project has a different context and purpose and responds to different user needs. Designers can adjust these design patterns or come up with entirely new ones that would be more fitting to the product at hand.

Will UX design be automated?

With AI on the rise and the UX design field constantly evolving, people are asking themselves if the new tools and methods will be able to replace UX designers. It’s normal to wonder, but it’s doubtful as they can only automate certain aspects of the design process but never replace the human perspective.

Some AI-based tools currently in the making are supposed to help with certain aspects of UX design, e.g. user data analysis or generating design suggestions. But all those tools are still in the early stages of development and will definitely require human oversight.

Besides, the human touch is an essential part of UX design. Understanding users and their preferences is crucial for UX design decisions. Empathy is a human skill and, as such, cannot be fully automated.

Of course, the UX design field continues to evolve. Still, it will always need the human factor: creativity, expertise, and critical thinking that only human UX designers can offer.

What does a User Experience designer do?

A UX designer is responsible for designing a user's experience interacting with a product or service. This includes creating the flow and structure of user experience, as well as the design of individual screens, pages, and interactions.

A UX designer can work on a variety of projects, including:

  • Web and mobile applications,
  • Software products,
  • Websites,
  • Physical products,
  • Services.

The specific tasks a UX designer performs vary depending on the project and needs of the team, but they often include:

  • Conducting user research to understand user needs, behaviours, and preferences,
  • Creating wireframes and prototypes to demonstrate design concepts,
  • Designing the layout, typography, colour scheme, and imagery for a product or service,
  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams, including developers, product managers, and marketing professionals,
  • Testing and iterating on designs based on user feedback,
  • Creating design guidelines and standards to ensure a consistent user experience across a product or service.

A UX designer may work in a variety of industries, e.g., technology, healthcare, finance, and e-commerce. They may work in-house for a company, as a freelancer, or as a consultant for multiple clients.

Summary

Having been working and delivering solutions in this industry for so long, we can tell you three things. One, a product will not be successful without UX design. Two, a process in UX design is everything, and three: nothing can replace UX designers. UX design is a crucial part of creating a digital product.

Kamil Tatol, CEO at Flying Bisons.

Kamil Tatol

CEO & UX/UI Consultant

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