The term UX design is popping up a lot. Every startup or digital business is looking to hire UX designers. Despite all the popularity, there is still confusion on what UX design means and why it is so important to follow a user centered design method.
UX (user experience) describes how users feel about a product, while UX design is the process of improving that experience. The user experience design process is all about making sure that everything in the digital product or service has intent. This means taking into consideration and foresee every action users may take. Also, understand the users’ expectations and pain points at every step.
In “The elements of user experience” book, J.J. Garret describes a five layer framework of UX:
When a user interacts with the app, the usage starts from top to bottom (1 to 5). The first layer is the surface. The surface allows a user to perceive the app at a glance. It’s what attracts them to download the app and what makes them decide to delete without even trying. The same goes for all layers, the user can continue to the next layer or stop.
Contrary, when building a digital product, the action starts from bottom to top (5 to 1). The strategy is the first step that decides the other layers. Each layer depends on and is influenced by the previous one. Every choice made at each step opens and closes options for the next one. Sometimes, the upper layers influence the bottom ones too. A good approach is to not complete a layer if the previous one is not completed. Meantime, start the next layer before finishing the previous one.
UX design is not an isolated step in the product development process. It is a skill applied throughout the entire journey. Good UX design is natural, effortless, and inspiring.