The term UX Design refers to the study of the user experience, and the subsequent creation of better conditions to live a positive experience on a website/app that is being used.
Understanding how the user experience is before, during and after their interaction with a website, an interface or a service, is the main goal for the UX Designer.
The task of the designer is to observe, understand and translate the needs of the people that will establish a relationship with the site. This is done by following certain steps that ensure successful UX design.
…but not just that…
the initial step, which is also the longest, is the observation of the interface or existing service to pinpoint its problems. The UX Designer starts this stage of the process with an Analytics Audit (they analyze parts of a website or app, that are causing uncertainties in the users and reduce conversions.); then they proceed with a content check (the UXD inspects the contents, almost as if they were doing an inventory of them, with the goal of analyzing the graphic and photographic contents.); a competitor evaluation (the designer will study the competitors, their analysis will have to evaluate the competitors strong and weak points, and implement efficient strategies to better their website/app.); and a usability test (the last step in the process of observation is to effectively test the product with real users, to then understand how easy or not it is to use it).
These steps will help the team to identify the projects problems and work toward a better solution.
During the planning phase, the job of the UX Designer is to identify who the users of the service are, by using the following methods:
- Creating Personas
Personas are actual identikits of ideal clients, these represent the needs, behaviors, interests and aspirations of the actual users. These are defined through informations gathered from various sources.
- Use Cases
Use cases describe how the users move inside and app or website and how they react to their features. They are represented as a sequence of simple steps that start with the user goal and end when the goal is accomplished.
The information gathered help the designer to create a unique site, tailored on the target user.
The final step in the UX Designer process is that of Design, in which the elements are adjusted according to the needs and problems of the project, that have been detected during the previous phases. To do so, the designer uses:
The Sitemap is a diagram of the pages of a website, organized hierarchically. It simply is the rendering of the structure and navigation path of the website. It is a fundamental phase before the “creative” process of the designer.
Wireframes are a tool that is used to comunicate design ideas regarding the architecture of the website. To create wireframes particular programs are used (MockFlow, Sketch, Adobe XD…) or pen and paper.
The UX Designer must always remember to adapt their project to the device with which it is viewed; always keeping in mind that nowadays, the trend is to navigate more and more with a smartphone so the mobile view will be the main phase of the designing process.