The Basics of UX Design

What is UX Design?

According to User Testing Blog, “UX design is the process of designing products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with.” In essence, UX design places the user at the center of every design design. UX design must take many human factors related themes into account when designing products due to its focus on the human.

UX designers must blend analytical skills and artistry in order to maximize the human experience while using the product.

What responsibilities does a UX designer have?

According to Adobe Blog, UX designers do product research, create personas and scenarios, information architecture, create wireframes, prototype, and product testing.

Below, is a brief synopsis of these six responsibilities:

1) Product Research: During this phase, the UX designer must learn all that he or she can about the user that uses a specific product and the product’s competition. They do this through interviewing, surveying, and doing competitive analysis.

UX designers must fully understand their product’s market before moving onto the design phase.

Creating Personas/Scenarios: A persona is a stereotypical customer that would use your product. This is an in depth summary that includes things like personality, demographics, needs, and wants from your product. These personas are then used to create scenarios of when and how someone would use your product.

3) Information Architecture: This is an outline of the product and helps UX designers get a general overview of what the product will provide. It is during this stage that what will be covered on a macro scale is identified.

Shown above is a picture of a wireframe. Notice how the wireframe outlines how the user would hypothetically interact with the product.

4) Wireframes: After the information architecture has been identified, it’s time to create the wireframe. The wireframe will show the flow of the product and illustrates “every important piece of the final product.”

5) Prototyping: Prototyping allows the wireframe to become interactive. It’s during this stage that an interactive version of the product is produced.

6) Product Testing: This is the part of the design where user testing can now be practiced. This is the stage where weaknesses are identified and strengthened before the final product is unveiled.

How do I become a UX Designer?

Most people that are UX designers studied an entirely different subject in school. Because of this, getting the coveted UX designer role requires heavy training and networking on your  own part. Take Christine Chun who studied chemistry in college but made the switch over to UX design. Christine recommends first ensuring that UX design is something that you want to pursue by talking to industry professionals. Then it is important to research the UX industry (even consider taking a class/bootcamp) and then create an online portfolio. At this time, you’re ready to start looking for jobs. While the job process is occurring, you can do freelance work and find mentors for additional feedback. By doing freelance works, you get real experience and expand your own networks. During these freelance projects, you also get works that you can add to your portfolio and experiences that you can talk about during interviews.

The simple motions shown above are the responsibility of the UX designer to understand and make intuitive for the user to understand.

As you can see, if you want to become a UX designer, you have to really want it and pursue the career passionately.

Works Cited

0154006465327021. “How I Landed a Job in UX Design with No Degree or Work Experience.” Prototypr, Prototypr, 27 June 2017, blog.prototypr.io/how-i-landed-a-job-in-ux-design-with-no-degree-or-work-experience-ca22c22a1c68.
theblog.adobe.com/what-does-a-ux-designer-actually-do/.
“What Is UX Design? 15 User Experience Experts Weigh In.” UserTesting Blog, 27 Feb. 2017, www.usertesting.com/blog/2015/09/16/what-is-ux-design-15-user-experience-experts-weigh-in/.

3 Comments

  1. This post was super informative! Especially the section on the specific functions of a UX designer. I wonder how those responsibilities shift at different types of companies but also what is the difference bewteen a UX and UI designer

    • I have also been wondering what the difference between a UX and UI designer is and based on the google searching I’ve done it sounds like the two roles are largely interchangeable. I think the main difference between the two titles depends on the company. For example, larger companies like Facebook and Google may separate the roles due to the large user/customer base that they regularly deal with and the fact that they have so many different features for customers to use across all of their interfaces.

  2. What continues to amaze me about the field of human factors and UX/UI design is the interdisciplinary aspect to it. It seems that to be a good UX designer, you need to not only have a solid grasp on the technical field, but you also need to know how to incorporate human psychology and art into your prototypes. The amount of detail in some of the hand drawn mock ups that we’ve seen in class and like the one you posted on your blog post seem to require a crazy amount of not just artistic ability, but also a solid amount on the technical skills as well. I really do tip my hat to the professionals of this field because they really are just that: professionals.

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