User Experience Design: it’s the process of creating a product that is easy to use, easy to interact with, and accessible for the users while putting their feelings first, based on a long-term and short-term scale.
User Interface Design: is the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing usability and the user experience.
The UX Design Process
The UX Design process can be divided into five stages EMPATHY, DEFINE, IDEATE, TEST, and PROTOTYPE. The stages often go on in the said order, also it is important to know that UX is an iterative process. With this process in mind, you tend to build a better product for the user than build based on your assumptions of what the user may or may not do.
Empathy: This is the first stage of the UX design process where you have to find out what are the challenges the users of a product face while carrying out various tasks. This way you put yourself in the user shoes by understanding how they feel and what brought about the emotion towards the product.
Define: While in the stage of empathy we get a lot of feedback from our users, but not all problems can be solved at once with the same solution that is where “DEFINITION” comes into play in the UX design process whereby you have to filter the challenges by their level of importance, carry out research, observe and understand why these challenges are important.
Ideate: This is the stage where by you have to start bringing up ideas that correlate to solving the defined problems based on the research done earlier. The concept here hinges on the generation of as many ideas as possible (even if they are completely wild) so that the designers can later sift through these and reduce them to the ideas that seem most promising.
Protoytpe: The prototype process is used to understand and see how a product or application works, what it does and how a user should interact with it. They’re simulations of how a finished product will work. Sketches, wireframes and mockups serve other purposes in the design and prototyping process.
Test: Like User Research, Testing is a fundamental part of the UX designer’s job and a core part of the overall UX design process. UX designers test because it allows them to improve upon the original product or site design and to see if the changes they made during the ‘design’ phase stand up to scrutiny.
Career Opportunities as a UX Designer
The primary role of a User researcher is to understand user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.
As a User Researcher, you would conduct user and task analysis to identify areas for improvement in the overall user experience and compile your findings to make meaningful and actionable recommendations to the design/development team.
The primary focus of a Usability Analysts is to understand what the customer experiences as they interact with a software, app, website or other product/service. Until recently, Usability Analysts positions were typically found only in the web design world, however, the need for such a role has been popping up in other industries as a method for ensuring customer satisfaction and increasing sales.
As a Usability Analyst, you would interact with and evaluate what makes a website or other product function well and what could be done to improve the experience of the end user. Your finding are typically shared with the entire UX team and used to back up design decisions.
The job of an Information Architect is to organize and create structure within the content of a website (or application) so the user instantly feels comfortable navigating and finding what they need.
The role of an Interaction Designer is to focus on designing engaging interfaces with well-thought-out behaviors. Understanding how users and technology interact together fundamental to this role.
As in Interaction Design, you would use this understanding to anticipate how someone might interact with the system, fix problems early, as well as invent new ways of doing things. You are the primary designer of the operational components of the website or application.
The role of a Visual Designer is to focus on the aesthetics of a site or application and strategically (based on all the data provided by the User Researcher and Usability Analyst) implement images, colors, fonts, and other visual elements.
As a Visual Designer, you would be responsible for the graphical user interface of a given website or application, keeping in mind that successful visual design does not take away from the content on the page or the page’s function. Instead, it enhances it by engaging users and helping to build trust and interest in the brand.
User Experience Designers are often jacks-of-all-trades within the user-centered design process. As a UX designer, you will be the one who drives the development and communication of the user design process for a given project. You will participate in the research, analysis, development and testing phases of the design process.
Being a UX designer is such a unique role that a person would need to not only think tech related but also outside computer, going from computer science to psychology and vice versa.
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