Have you noticed the new trend of software and marketing companies offering UX design services? You’ve likely seen your competitors hire UX designers, but maybe you aren’t sure what job they’re meant to do, or how your business could benefit from their involvement. In this article, we take a look at what UX designers do and what value they can bring into your project.
What is UX
UX, short for user experience, is a branch of design that delves into the various aspects of how a user interacts with a device or software, with a focus on the user’s impressions and experience. Although many people equate UX mainly with the creation of effective user interfaces (UIs), that isn’t really the case. UI design is a part of UX design (just as UIs are a part of UX), but UX is a much broader field that contains many other elements.
It’s true that graphic designs, mockups, and final UI designs are all products of UX design. However, the UX design process goes beyond the visuals and can direct the way a product answers user needs.
The elements of user experience include:
- Information architecture - structuring, dividing and conveying information in the most readable and effective way;
- Interaction design - designing how users’ needs will be met through their interactions with particular components or features. Interactions should be intuitive, familiar, and allow users to complete the tasks they want to complete through your app.
- Usability - making sure that solutions are functional and intuitive. The goal is to make sure that users can achieve their goals, in an efficient and convenient manner, by using the software and its interface.
- Accessibility - designing with disabilities and impairments in mind, both physical and cognitive ones. This approach also involves considering the needs of typical users in atypical, uncomfortable situations: such as when they break an arm, or need to use an app while their phone is being blasted by direct sunlight.
What is CX?
When we talk about UX, the term CX (or customer experience) comes up often. CX is a broad field that includes UX as well as customers’ interactions with a company’s brand, customer service, customer support, and marketing. In other words, CX is all of the processes related to promoting and selling a company’s product or service, in addition to the UX aspects of product and quality of service design.
What is the UX designer’s role in a project?
The UX designer’s job is to balance business requirements with user needs. The UX designer should be a sort of representative for users in the design process, suggesting the most user-friendly solutions while keeping in ming business goals and practical limitations. They are responsible for a number of tasks meant to result in a finished product that addresses users’ real needs in an effective way. This should mean giving the users the ability to achieve their goals quickly and easily - for example, making a purchase in an online store, or downloading a PDF report from a SaaS platform.
UX designers are also responsible for:
- research (which can mean desk research using already available information, or user research through more proactive methods, such as user interviews),
- creating generalised user personas, user needs analysis,
- design assumption analysis,
- designing features, functionalities, interactions, interfaces and graphics,
- testing solutions.
UX designers need to base their work on knowledge and experience from various fields, including new technologies, psychology, design and marketing. They create solutions that make the most sense in the specific context of each project and user group.
What are the benefits of adding an UX designer to a project team?
The major benefits of having a complete team that includes an UX designer working on your project are:
- Higher user satisfaction, which is especially important for Software as a Service solutions,
- A more positive relationship between the customer and your company, thanks to well-designed solutions,
- Improved customer loyalty,
- Better ROI - UX can be the differentiating factor in a product category, attracting particular user groups,
- Increased lifetime customer value - stronger relationships with users last longer (a user who is content is less likely to consider switching to a different product or service) and open up upselling opportunities (which means selling additional, complimentary services along with the main purchase).
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Software products expert focused on maximizing business value of products and offering great UX. Crafting meaningful solutions with strategic and analytical approach. In love with design systems, inclusive design and user security.