What could UX mean

What is this UX actually?

Have you heard people talk about this UX but never understood what it is? I want you to understand this article in a very understandable and concise manner Explain UX (design). I go into how it relates to other creative and technical fields and what it actually isn't. In other words: How do I know that my project needs UX and what can UX designers do?

What does UX stand for?

User experience. Sometimes one speaks of UX / UI design, i.e. User Experience & User Interface Design. A "interface“Is for example the screen of a smartphone, tablet or computer.

"Downloading an app, calling a hotline and even buying a broccoli - it's all a user experience."

What exactly is an experience?

According to Wikipedia (sorry, I know!) UX is in German "User experience, better User experience or User experience ". So we are talking about the entire experience of a person “when interacting with a product, service, environment or facility”.

What? Interaction? The opposite of this would be passive perception. Everything we do, like downloading an app, calling a hotline and even buying a broccoli - everything is a user experience. Although such an experience does not only take place digitally, UX design today means the design and improvement of digital products and services.

Aha, and what do UX designers do?

Pure UX designers ensure that digital services reliable, useful and intuitive are. So that they are easy to use. This involves a lot of brainstorming, analytical thinking and research. UX designers create journey maps, story boards and flow maps in order to optimally design the entire "user journey" before, during and after use. A user journey comprises all steps an online user takes on the way to his goal.

UI / UX or only UI designers, on the other hand, deal with the fact that interactive applications to look good. Buttons, texts, lists, navigations, colors, icons and dropdowns are designed down to the smallest detail and recorded in a style guide. The look should convey the right mood of the brand / service in milliseconds.

The important thing is that you can hardly be a good UI designer without having a clue about UX - that's why it's often the same person who does both.

Is UX important?

Absolutely! You too have had some frustrating moments online. A few years ago, Marion wrote about what frustrates her with online shopping UX and that she would like more transparency, relief, orientation and a feeling of elation - for example, when you are only forwarded to the Austrian online shop when you pay for the goods, and half of them Articles are then no longer available.
UX designer make life easier for people and ensure that companies are successful with their products and services. To do this, it is imperative to know people's needs and goals. This school of thought is called human-centered design and is the only correct way to offer new products and services these days. In my opinion. We talked about that recently on our podcast.

First the scaffolding, then the expansion. It works similarly on the web: a UX designer thinks about the overall concept and architecture at the beginning, details such as color and icons follow later.

UX = graphic design?

No! Jürgen already wrote in 2012 "Why graphic designers are not user interface designers". Graphic designers mainly deal with print products, which are more of a static nature. Posters, books, folders can be looked at, read, and written on. However, there is never any feedback from them.
The web, on the other hand, is not static, but enables us to interact with it - like with a computer program. So instead of “reading” the web, we can take action, enter things, upload, share, create, fill in, move things around.

Even at the beginning of the web, websites were treated like static print products. They were just another way to read through and look at text with pictures. Today the web is an interactive system. A UX designer ensures that all interactions, the information architecture, the entire user journey are pleasant, make sense and are user-friendly.

“UX designers are the architects of the internet.”

UX = just design?

Nope. As already described above, today really useful, meaningful and relevant services are to be created that not only look good. Everyday transactions should be managed without a lot of effort, time or expert knowledge. Book airline tickets, make an online transfer, use a calendar, write to friends or shop online - we expect all of that user friendly expires.

On the one hand, because it's just great and makes our life more beautiful. On the other hand, because it is risky from a business perspective NOT to be user-friendly. As soon as a user senses that a service is not intuitive, he / she simply searches for a better provider online.

Explain UX to grandma

How do I explain this to my grandma? I ask myself this question quite often in order to bring complex modern concepts to an understandable level. My favorite metaphor for this is building a house.

Before a house is actually built, it has to be planned beforehand - e.g. by an architect.

The following questions need to be clarified:

  • For what purpose is this house being built?
  • Is it a house, a factory, a kindergarten or a shopping mall?
  • What kind of people are going to use this house?
  • What budget is available for this?
  • What activities should people be able to do in this house?

Only when these questions have been clarified can a decision be made as to how many floors, windows, doors and toilets (and many more details) the house should have. This happens in consultation with building architects (on the web: programmers) and many other specialists (e.g. project managers).

Only after all of these decisions have been made and the basic framework is in place, the details such as flooring, wall paint and windows. And only then (!) Do you furnish the house with furniture and decorations.

Architects therefore design the building, create plans and drafts that they then pass on to the construction specialists. You communicate with the client and know what the shoppers / kindergarten children / residents need. By the way, they draw this knowledge from their experience, but also from studies and discussions with the target group.

UX designers are the architects of the internet. You decide not only about the colors, typography and icons of digital interfaces, but also about which type of application would fit best, which page follows which (information architecture), which activities can be set (interaction design), how the customer for the Achievement of your goal can be supported, what current pain points are, how you can avoid them and so much more.

UX = only button animation?

If UX were a discipline that only deals with button animation, we would skip about ten other important steps. It's like starting to build a house around a sofa.

Before I decide how a button will be animated (and if at all), I think about it

  • what the button looks like
  • what's on it
  • with what the button should help the person on the page
  • whether you need a button at all, or maybe something else
  • what the purpose and purpose of the app / site is
  • whereby people should be supported here
  • and much more.

So what can a UX / UI designer do?

Many hours of our work as UX designers pass by Conceive of websites, services and apps. There will be more at the beginning Questions raisedwhen answered. UX design is a very scientific discipline that works with data. The design process of a complex app, page or service could look like this:

  1. Briefing at the customer: The corporate goal is clarified
  2. Interviews, focus groups, surveys with the target audience
  3. Requirement gathering: What are the goals of the users? How do you achieve this goal now? What are the obstacles to overcome? What are pain points?
  4. Design Thinking Workshop: Together with the client and customer, we find out what is to be created
  5. User journey: This includes all considerations about how a customer interacts with a product, from the first to the last contact
  6. Design concept. Different alternatives are sketched, collected, conceived and designed as wireframe (black and white design)
  7. Prototyping. A click prototype of the design is created showing the finished product.
  8. User testing. The prototype is tested with users to make sure that it really helps them achieve their goals. In addition, the aim is to ensure that the goal is achieved effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily.
  9. Evaluation: Any adjustments to the design will be made.
  10. Design & Testing: The steps are repeated until the design is really user-friendly and makes sense according to user tests
  11. UI kit: UI elements such as buttons, forms, etc. are designed and recorded in a UI kit
  12. Handover to programmer: Ideally, you should stay in agreement with the development team throughout the entire process. At the latest after the last testing, the design will be handed over for implementation.

You can read more about this under the term "Service Design" in Blumi's article.

So this UX is ...

the design of interactive services & products so that they are “human-centered”, i.e. reliable, useful, intuitive and inspiring. UX / UI designers think through the entire process - before, during and after use and in close cooperation with developers and project managers. Starting with the brainstorming and concept to the user-friendly and aesthetic design.

I could write about it forever, but I think that's enough for now! I hope you now understand a little better what UX is. If you have any questions, comments or additions, I look forward to your comment!

And now out with you, collect a few new experiences 😉