User Experience Design : Jargon Buster
User Experienced Design, often abbreviated to UX Design or just UXD, encompasses quite a broad range of digital disciplines. From accessibility to information architecture they are united under a shared consideration of how our design decisions will affect a real user’s experience of using a product.
The rationale is that by understanding their needs and expectations when they come to interact with our website, app, email, we stand a better chance of creating something that will feel intuitive and useful. While best practice and our experience as digital practitioners are a solid foundation upon which to make informed design decisions we should be embracing the opportunity to validate our choices and test our assumptions.
UXD is as much a mindset as it is a set of tools and practices.
It is a recognition that not everyone experiences digital products the same way and an acknowledgement that often we aren’t the intended audience of the products we are building.
Common tools of the UX designer are user personas, focus groups, co-design workshops and usability testing. Ideally a consideration of user experience is a constant throughout the design process – from finding out as much as possible about our audience before we start, to getting their input during design and continuing to test and capture feedback after launch. UXD concerns itself with big-picture stuff like entire user journeys through a site down to the smallest details like the labelling of buttons – because all these elements impact the user experience.
The business rationale for investing time in UX is clear. By making accessible, intuitive digital experiences we are building products that can really perform from day one. We get there via a process that captures feedback and considers real users early-on rather than waiting till after launch to discover if our product works for them or not.
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