What is User experience: design for people
Originally, the concept of user experience was very broad. According to the Nielsen-Norman Group definition, UX encompassed all aspects of end-user interaction with the company, its services and its products. ISO defines the user experience as the perceptions and reactions that arise from the use or expectation of use of a product, system or service.
Basically, the user experience would be anything that affects the experience with a product or brand.
UX: the current use of the term
Although the definition is so broad, today it is mostly used in relation to digital products, such as applications, websites and computers. Working for the user experience means considering the person in the act of living a certain experience: that of interacting with a specific product or service.
Differences between UI and UX design
The UI, or user interface, specifically takes care of the visual and presentation aspects of the user interface. In the digital world, it includes screens, touchscreens, colors, buttons and lights. The UI is therefore a subset of the UX, which comes closest to graphic design. The interconnections between UI and UX are many and complex, so the distinction should not be interpreted too sharply.
Key factors of UX design
UX design actually aims to improve user satisfaction with a product or service, by implementing accessibility, usability and ease of use. Other key factors in this regard are design, aesthetics, presentation, functionality and efficiency. The products must then be self-explanatory, meaning that they must be equipped with design features that guide their use, without the need to follow an instruction manual.
Another aspect of fundamental importance, which deserves a separate discussion, is the accessibility of the product for people with disabilities.
In addition to the tangible characteristics of the product, a fundamental role is also played by the brand image and the communication of the brand.
The basic idea of UX design is to focus on the users’ goals and the results they want to achieve, simplifying the way to get there as much as possible. This means foreseeing any difficulties of use and / or unexpressed needs, according to an intentional planning that takes into account a variety of factors.
In short, users are studied, that is people, and it is designed according to their needs, their characteristics and the environment in which they will use the product.
The neuroscientific approach
The approach to UX design often involves the use of biometric tools able to detect attentional, emotional, cognitive, behavioral physiological data in relation to digital or analog interfaces. The methodology is not strictly prescriptive, but rather refers to a series of guidelines at the basis of a flexible and context-sensitive design.
UX design is everywhere
From an app for ordering take-away food, to the controls of a washing machine; from the seat of a chair to the opening mechanisms of an umbrella, the user experience is everywhere and, precisely for this reason, it is often invisible. And it is precisely when the design is not seen, that is, when the answers to the questions are provided before they even arise, that a good job has been done. Those involved in design know how much profession lies behind simple things.
Designing for experience
The focus of UX design is not to design the experience, but rather to design for the user experience. And an excellent user experience can only be guaranteed after a deep understanding of people’s values, needs, abilities and desires. It is an iterative process that involves various technical, humanistic, IT and communication professionals.
Putting the user at the center will make it possible to create a product or service that is useful, usable, desirable and capable of adding value. It is therefore an approach that will pay off over time.