UX stands for “User Experience”. More precisely, it refers to responses and perceptions that result from the use and anticipation of using a product, service or system.
The purpose of UX design is to make a site accessible and user-friendly. It consists in designing a site and planning it in such a way that it is as user-friendly as possible. It encompasses website design, as well as the way visitors interact with websites.
So, what difference does UX design really make?
What really changes is the way web developers create websites. However, the way companies view their websites has also changed. They have become more interested in providing quality user experience than simply selling products.
Today, UX design is part of the marketing strategy of many companies, enabling them to transform the latest user needs into useful features. So what are the latest user needs? Users today prefer faster, easier ways of interacting with websites. They are increasingly impatient, preferring not to wait for information to show up on a screen. Basically, they want the best possible user experience.
Companies that do not embrace UX design risk losing traffic on their websites, resulting in fewer visitors and less conversions.
How is it implemented?
UX design is a highly specialized category of graphic design that is often applied to desktop, smartphone, tablet and connected device interfaces. Mobile interfaces in particular rely heavily on it to make the most of tactile navigation and portrait/landscape rotation features.
So, in concrete terms, UX design places high value on ergonomics. Web ergonomics ensures visually structured and organized interfaces with logical and coherent architectures. There are four essentials that must be respected when setting up a good user experience:
- Clear : users need to know where they are and how to quickly find what they are looking for.
- Concise: information must be unambiguous, concise, and go straight to the point.
- Smart: avoid adding too many steps. Users should be able to navigate your site with minimal effort.
- Cooperative: help users along the way by providing help at every step.
Then, the design must be thought through so that the content is accessible. Website interfaces must be able to adapt to the needs of disabled persons. UX design makes websites more accessible. For example, Facebook has recently introduced a feature which allows users to adjust the skin tone of certain emojis.
Can anyone do UX design?
Currently, the United States is leading the field, since it was Apple’s Donald Norman who, in 1995, already assumed the job title of “experience architect”. In France, the profession is beginning to take off and there are more and more job offers on the market these days. However, French companies do not yet have the same level of maturity as their US counterparts, even though they have started integrating UX design into their product development strategies. On the training side, web design schools are increasingly integrating UX design courses into their curricula.
So, what does this mean?
Companies that start recruiting UX designers today are one step ahead of the competition. Here is a list of sites specializing in the latest news and trends in this field:
Find out more about working as a UX designer.
Translated by Willem Beckmann, CAWEB Master’s.