Trending Now: The User Experience
Here’s why is UX so important …
User Experience (UX) is all the rage these days in the web world. Companies are hiring UX Designers to help them improve the way users interact with their sites, while maintaining User Interface (UI) Designers on staff, too. It all gets very confusing. Who does what? Why are they different?
Donald Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, brought the term “user experience” into popularity in the 1990s. Per their definition, “’User Experience’ encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” This is a broad definition indeed, and isn’t just referring to UX on the web. UX, in the context of web design, isn’t detached from the User Experience that a company wants to portray as a whole.
CareerFoundry, an online training resource for Web Developers, UX, and UI Designers, has an amazing graphic that explains the difference between UX and UI. This cool graphic shows UI as a person’s skin, programming code as the skeleton, and UX as the heart.
UI is there to brand the company. It is the visual component of your web design, finding itself somewhere along the lines of graphic design. UI is your outward appearance.
UX is the heart of your website. It makes your website come alive to your end users. UX Designers are more analytic and scientific. They use site interaction to engage users. With no engagement, a website really has no purpose.
The reason UX is such a hot topic this year is due to the fact that desktop use is about to be overtaken by mobile devices. Tablets, phones, and phablets are making normal computer use a thing of the past. Your website needs to perform on any device. It needs to re-shape to fit whatever dimensions the user gives it. It needs to respond to touchscreens. It needs to utilize voice recognition.
It needs to give a user the content they want, when they want it, and how they want it.
In my opinion, UX is the brain of site design just as much as the heart. UX Magazine says, “Today, users expect some type of personalization; they’re looking for an experience that is predictive and anticipatory without being creepy.”
A quality UX Designer knows the sociology of your audience, the technology behind your processes, and the goals of your bottom line. It’s all about getting the end user to interact in a way that meets the needs of your business while maintaining the identity of your brand.
UX is more of a concept than a recipe. It’s going to keep evolving because companies need a virtual UX that mimics what users experience in the real world. The heart (and brain) of web design is finally getting the attention it deserves.
All you have to do is make sure your website can feel (and think), too.
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