23 November 2018 · 7 min read
What is UX design?
UX is the abbreviation of User Experience. UX design is a part of the design process, where the designer focuses on the experience that the user undergoes, it is not about aesthetics. As a UX designer you do not just make a website, but first think about the tone and the flow of the content that is presented to the user. In addition, the UX designer looks at things such as user-friendliness, comprehensibility and whether the navigation is clear. The user is central to UX design. UX can be seen as the skeleton of the design of a product, web application or website. Is the backbone put together well, then it will not fall apart. In order to figure out exactly how this backbone works, you have to do a lot of research as a UX designer. Questions such as ‘what is the goal of the stakeholders with this product?’ and ‘how do I take that goal to reach the users?’ are important for a UX designer. These ensure that the UX designer gets a grip on the idea behind the product or design. In order to get answers to these questions, there are various methods, including for example interviewing, creating personas (making concrete personifications of (typical users, with a name, face and properties), wireframes (construction drawings of a website) and Do A / B testing (try two versions and see which works better).
The concept of affordance is not to be missed in the design process of a UX designer. What is affordance actually? There is no clear translation of this word in Dutch unfortunately. Put simply, affordance means: I know what this product / thing is doing and I know how to operate it. Suppose we take a wheel from a car as an example, almost everyone knows how it works. Turning it to the right, the car will go to the right. How do we recognize a car steering wheel? It is round and you can grab it. Affordance is not something you can do yourself, it is taught to you. Under affordance these three concepts are: visibility, repetition and uniformity. Visibility means whether the function is clear to the user. Does the button look like a button? And does it trigger the user to click on it? How often is this function, the button used? If it is used for a longer period and repeated more often, it is easy to recognize for the user. It also helps if multiple websites, applications use the function, so you create uniformity. There is also a negative side to affordance. If you always go back to the existing rules, how will a new technology ever be recognizable to users? There is only one answer to that, the new function / icon / possibility testing and testing again. The public will eventually choose whether it will work or not.
Why UX design?
If UX is taken into account from the outset, this leads to a better elaboration of concepts and saves money. In addition, a good UX design will ensure that the product attracts more people, because it is a nice product to use. Users visit your website for the content that it contains. Suppose there is the good content, but it is very difficult to find. Then the average visitor drops off quickly and the conversion decreases (the action you want a visitor to do on your website). But also a wrong tone, a lot of illogical buttons and no clear navigation can ensure that someone leaves your website quickly.
If you offer a well-organized, fast website with the right content and good service, visitors will come back to your website much more often. This is only achieved through good (preliminary) research into the target group, on which you can base your design choices.