I've gotten a lot of calls in the last six months about user experience (UX). They often go like this:
There is a lot of confusion around about UX among people in other industries.
In my classes and talks, I use this definition from Jacob Nielsen and Don Norman:
UX “encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
People working in the UX profession aim to design that end-user experience deliberately. There's no doubt that you users will have some type of experience. Make it great or bear the consequences.
The process of UX design starts with user research. It continues with interactive user testing and feedback. UX is not an extra ingredient you chuck into your website or app at the end of the design process to make a superior product. UX involves users throughout the design process. This ideally results in a user-friendly design that adds value to people's lives.
UX design is NOT:
- adding visual polish at the end of the design - asking users what they want - working off of "hunches" or intuitions of stakeholders
There are many places to learn more about UX.
If you are a professional moving into the field, you can check out events at User Experience Professional Association chapters all over the world.
If you are a business owner trying to learn about UX, start by reading Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug. It's a five-hour read that will help you make smarter design decisions.
Currently great UX on websites and apps is a competitive advantage. That will change at some point, and it will become standard. Don't be left behind!
If you have questions about UX, get in touch with me here or on twitter @melissa_egg.