User Experience Design is a combination of related disciplines that help the end-user meet their needs and requirements of a product or service. The aim is to create satisfaction, loyalty, and a relationship to the product, and provide an enjoyable experience during usage. UX Designers focus on creating a linkage between interaction and end results.
The disciplines that make up UX often include interaction design, information architecture, market research, product development, usability, and human-computer interaction. The melding of disciplines into the broader category of UX Design places more responsibility and emphasis on the role itself. There are firms that include UI as apart of the UX process, but UI is a subset that is based off the research and assumptions garnered from the broader field of UX.
UX has its roots in devices and interactions—essentially anything we physically interact with on a daily basis—and has branched into digital interfaces in recent times. As time passes, mediums are updated to reflect Moore’s Law and the technological revolution of products and processes. We will see UX Designers moving into emerging markets as the market continues to latch onto the evolution of technology.
It is important to keep current and design for new experiences as they appear, as technology brings about different levels of interaction. Some online resources that explore what UX design is and how it is evolving include Smashing Magazine, UX Booth, and A List Apart.
While the medium changes, so does the audience. UX considers the empathetic approach by fully understanding the end-user and their goals through user journeys, surveys, market research, sentiment analysis, and usability testing. Through research, UX Designers are able to surmise the flow and activity within a product, and provide structured approaches to the subset of disciplines that are to follow, such as UI Design and product development.
“UX Design is an empathically-driven practice crafted to solve human and business problems, and remove obstacles and friction from a user’s desired goals—hopefully delivering delight in the process.” — Jason Ogle
UX Designers will go through an iterative or agile process to collect feedback and ensure that the interactions made within the product are best suited for their audience. They may ask questions such as: Is the product easy to use? Is it accessible? Does it create a seamless experience? Would I use this? How can I make this better?
In the end, UX is all about creating a great experience for the user at hand.