User Experience Design

What is UX Design?

User Experience Design is how a person feels when using an interface.  

UX design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction of the interface.  Users want the interface to be something that is easy to use, something they value, and provide efficiency when performing a task. 

User experience design is about YES to all those questions

Why is UX Design important:

User experience is important because it tries to fulfill the user’s needs.  It aims to provide positive experiences to keep users loyal to the product or brand.  A meaningful user experience allows you to define customer journeys on your website that are important to business success.  

What makes great user experience?

User experience design doesn’t work for everyone, because every person is different, and has different needs/goals when using an interface.  Something may work for one person, but another may have opposite feelings about that same thing.  User experiences differ between websites, and the design must be tailored to the goals, values, and products of the user’s using the interface.  

To make great user experience,  the best for the user they should have these qualities:

  • Useful-  The interface should fulfill the users need
  • Usable- The Interface must be easy to use
  • Desirable- Create design elements to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable- Interface should be navigable and easy to find things
  • Accessible- Interface should be accessible for people with disabilities
  • Credible- The users must trust and believe what you tell the

A common myth in UX is that good usability is more pleasing to the eye.

This is a myth because it is impossible for something to look more usable.  Usability is about how something works, and not about design, so you should ignore this comment. 

UX vs. Usability

Usability is not how something looks, it is about how something works

Steve Jobs

UX design addresses how a user feels when using an interface. 

Usability is about the user-friendliness and efficiency of the interface, and focuses on goal achievement when using an interface.

5 Psychological Rules of UX Design by Robert Mening

Robert Mening wrote that there is a psychological approach to web design, bases on decades of studies and psychology experiments. 

“You can’t be a great usability expert without understanding the psychology of the user.”

Sierra Hancock

These are his 5 rules:

  1. Weber’s law of just noticeable difference: The slightest change in things won’t result in a noticeable difference.  Research shows that users dislike a massive redesign in the interface, even it it will benefit us
  2. Understand we all respond to color differently:  When redesigning a website, you need to consider the audience.  Research shows that people form an opinion on things in 90 seconds, and that color influences 90% of the opinions.
  3. The sensory adaptation phenomenon: When you ignore things annoying, and then you end up forgetting about it?  (Dog’s barking, neighbor car alarm going off).  Well we tend to tune out stimulus if we get repeatedly exposed to it, things we find annoying, we tune out and don’t notice.  This relates to web design, as when you design a website you want to use the same color scheme for the important parts, where you want the users to take action on. 
  4. Typeface:  Bigger is better: Designers obsess over the look and appeal of different texts.  When it comes to design, user’s care more about usability.  Overall the user cares more about the font-size, than the font-type, and researchers say don’t use anything less than 16px.
  5. Perceptual Set:  This theory explains our tendency to perceive information based on our expectations, previous information and experiences.  People from different cultures are more likely to perceive the same thing differently. 

What do UX designers do

UX designers get a brief from their client, and their job is to get a full picture of who they are designing for.  UX design is not graphic design, visual design, or UI design.  

UX designers have a process where you go through stages while evaluating your designs on each stage.

Stages of UX Design

  • Research- Research is the key step to designing user experience.  You need to research to find, and understand the problem.  Research helps you understand the customers mindsets.
  • Design-  Once research is finalized, you can start to think about how to design the interface.  Designers begin to structure content, and thing about the steps the user will take when using the interface
  • Prototyping/Wireframe-   Create a wireframe version of the interface.  This should be experimenting with designs, repairing errors, demonstrating products, and making sure the interface is functional and usable.
  • Testing- After a good prototype is built, you should next test the interface.  Tests can be as simple as observing users interact with the interface.
  • Measurement- UX designers must always continue to test interfaces to see if it meets customer satisfaction.  

User-Centered Design

User-Centered design is a method (or process) to achieving good user experience.  Donald Norman created the term user-centered design, and wrote the book “The Design of Everyday Things,” that motivates the importance of human factors in the design of everything we use.  Norman has a philosophy that things should be designed with the needs and interests of the users in mind, making products that are easy to use and understand

Norman states that a a Design Should: 

  • Make it easy to determine what actions are possible at any moment
  • Make things visible, including the conceptual model of the system, the alternative actions, and the results of actions.
  • Make it easy to evaluate the current state of the system
  • Follow natural mappings between intentions and the required actions

There are two aspects which influence how functional something is

  1. Discoverability- The ability to discover how to use something, and what the user does to use the product.  
  2. Understanding- Users who interact with the interface, will build a conceptual model of how the thing works.  The goal for any interface is for users to understand your website, and avoid confusion

Examples of good UX design


This is a podcast called “UX Podcast.”  This podcast episode, the two hosts James and Per talk about “The Insane growth of UX.”   They talk about two articles, one written by Jakob Nielsen, titled “A 100 Year View of User Experience,” and “Five user research rules of thumb,” by Leisa Reichelt. 

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