The term ‘design’ can be a deceptively simple one. It sounds curiously vague, and when offered in response to most people, it elicits a degree of confusion.
For example, when somebody says ‘Oh, I work as a designer,’ a lot of people do not entirely understand what this means. This is because, for such a simple word, it encompasses a vast scope and degree of diversity.
At present, the sector based boost in tech enterprises tends to be focused on the production of different interfaces for screens, and this has resulted in a great number of new design functions.
A profession like UX designer might sound strange and even a little daunting to the inexperienced – in fact, even some experienced developers are unsure about what it involves and ask themselves: What is a user experience designer and what does he do?
Yet, the UX industry is expanding at a rapid pace right now. Over the last three years, the amount of UX (or ‘user experience’) specialists which have popped up is enough to prove this.
They are not all new experts though, because they range from straight into the jobs market employees to people who have always been UX specialists, but never really known it.
This can lead to problems though, namely that not every individual referring to themselves as a UX designer is a genuine UX specialist. This kind of profession is not as easy to define as a nurse or a dentist, and it can be difficult to distinguish the good from bad at times.
What Is A UX Designer?
The job of a UX designer is usually associated with the way a product or service feels, so design challenges do not tend to have a glaringly obvious right answer.
They are subjective, and can have more than one solution. In essence, it is the responsibility of a UX designer to ensure that each stage of the product design process follows on from the next.
This can be achieved via the use of ‘in person’ user exams, in order to assess actions. If they can pinpoint both verbal and non-verbal challenges, they have the power to offer a truly enhanced and efficient user experience. For instance, it would be a good investment of time to produce an appealing on-boarding flow for a new user.
What A User Experience Designer Does
A good UX specialist is able to draw together all of the aspects of a great user experience into a complete package.
This can only be done by making sure that the aspects of the experience can be valuable when perceived together, instead of whilst they are moving in opposite directions. This type of professional is fully responsible for the outcomes, and the user experience specifically.
Yet, this is only the start for a skilled UX specialist, because there are scores more broader attributes which can be used to get the job done well.
To be a truly great UX designer, you need advanced communication skills, passion, innovation, creativity, and enough initiative to know when to experiment and when to follow protocols. However, all UX specialists have got to start from the bottom up, if they want to master the trade.
In order to be a successful UX designer, you need to be able to characterize and utilize communication frameworks, operator task flows, and UI requirements.
You must be able to explain contexts, end to end encounters, interaction strategies, and screen specifications to investors. With the support of a strong team, it is possible for a UX designer to mold the characteristics of a well known platform like Facebook into valuable, demonstrable features.
Wireframes And Sketches Are Just A Small Part Of The Task
The wireframes and visual plans are a consequence of the careful preparation needed to create a product. In fact, it can be extremely valuable to transform this preparation into a visual form, like a PowerPoint presentation, so that it can be used to support development and design groups.
It is easy to collect data on prototype products during usability exams, or even to produce screen-casts when involved with exams in a remote context. These tools can be just as essential as a wireframe.
A UX designer can be identified by the way in which they focus doggedly on adhering to a predefined enhancement plan designed to boost product performance.
However, there is no ‘set in stone’ way to pick out a UX specialist, because the framework of responsibility can vary. It has a broad scope, because it covers communications between individual, enterprises, and technological developments.
Perform User Testing
In fact, the process of evaluation must involve observing the ability of the client to carry out the actions designed for them. This way, they can offer you their unfiltered and unedited response to their user experience.
For this kind of evaluation, the number of clients assessed, the amount of individual assessments, and the choice of participants, all depend on how much money you are willing to invest in getting it right early on in the process. Fortunately, client based testing really is as simple and straightforward as observing a user interacting with your online product.
Identifying And Creating Personas
The term ‘persona’ is used to refer to a fictional character which is representative of one of the user categories that you are designing around. This kind of evaluative identity must be the product of careful research if it is to be worthwhile.
Whilst it can be very tempting to simply get creative, and entirely invent the details of a new persona, if it is not directly based on user stats for your online product, it will be useful. The character will have no value, because it does not have any relation to your business.
The best way to create a solid character is with the use of in depth research, which can take the form of user exams, questionnaires, interviews, scenario based inquiries, and other techniques.
When You Can’t Call Yourself A UX Designer
You cannot hope to be a skilled UX designer if you never get out there and interact with the people who should be helping you to form your strategies.
The title stands for ‘user experience,’ and if the user is non-existent, it has no real value. If you create designs founded on little more than creative thought, and neglect the benefits of real life data, you are not technically a UX designer at all.
The same can be said for UX specialists who find it impossible to pinpoint their intended audience. If you believe that your online platform should be perfect for anybody and everybody, you are not only making your own job an impossibility, you are neglecting the true principles of web design – there must be a target audience of visitors.
It is another weakness to always jump straight to proactively trying to tackle a challenge, without first being sure what problems it presents and why it has manifested itself.
If your superior requests that you construct an online platform, and you entirely neglect the need to ask why, you are leaning more towards being a standard (and not always very talented) web designer rather than a UX specialist.
For various reasons, making choices based on just personal judgement is a bad idea too. If a superior asks you ‘Why did you decide to utilize tick boxes instead of an alternative feedback option on your last survey?’ you must be able to give a better answer than simple ‘I chose it because I personally prefer them.’ This is clearly not the right way for UX design to work.
If you want to be a successful and skilled UX designer, it is essential that you take advantage of all the design tools out there – from client interviews to usability exams, fictional characters, contextual evaluations, affinity diagrams, concept models, site maps, prototype products, wireframes, A/B assessments, and much more.
It is very important for a skilled UX designer to not only be able to find out valuable details about their target audience, but also to be able to demonstrate this data to team members.
The Product Must Always Evolve
The first thing to get to grips with is the fact that a product is never really finished. Moreover, the product should not be perceived as the only objective of value, because the techniques needed to produce it are just as important.
It can be tricky for a lot of UX specialists to adhere to rigid development iterations and plans, but the majority of ventures are fixed in this way. Yet, in many ways, the only real constant is change and always will be.
If you are attempting to construct a product, you should be aiming to refine the techniques needed to produce it, as well as enhance the end result overall.
In fact, it can be handy for UX designers to periodically take a look back through their past projects (failures and successes), in order to identify what they have learned, and how it can be applied to their future work.