What is UX?
Since I started dealing with usability, I have come across quite a lot fascinating reactions when I talk about my profession. Some people just stare at me without knowing how to react; some might say “Oh, I see” giving me that look, the look of judgement “I knew it. You are one of those fancy pants doing nothing for big bucks.”. And my personal favorite: “Is that thingy with the Internet, right?”
Usability is all about UX, i.e. user experience, so let’s start with figuring out what user experience design is. The expression itself was created by Donald Norman in the ’90s.
“I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose its meaning. “
I must agree with him. It feels to me that UX is like responsive design, everyone uses the word (well, letters in this case), but no one can really answer when you ask for explanation.
There are many different definitions and approaches circulate on the web. My preferred one comes from Matthew Magain (Co-founder of UX Mastery) saying that the user experience design takes the users’ needs into account at every step of the production to provide obstacle-free, smooth and enjoyable interaction with the product. It’s simple as that. Check out his videos, they are fun and informative at the same time.
UX aims to enhance user satisfaction, to make you, as a user, happy and to remove all frustration from any interactions you have with a certain product. UX designers focus on the users, on how they interact with the product, hence the name of the process, they apply: user – centered design process. This process also has various models and approaches, but what should be the takeaway here is the fact that UX main priority is how you, as a user, feel when you interact with an interface.
Doesn’t it feel good to be the center of it? Sure, it does.