A brief history
UXD or more specifically User Experience Design is a subject that is much talked about today. What was once an approach championed by a small minority, has now come to dominate the mainstream in product development and application design.
A few tech giants were quick to adopt and implement these methodologies. Apple and Google offer user experiences with their technology, that so many today try to emulate or surpass.
A shift in what to offer users or consumers has taken place. A features and tech lead only approach to designing applications has been replaced now by putting the user experience first.
Over the past decades Steve Jobs and Apple have demonstrated what is possible when you apply exceptional UXD. Do you remember when you owned your first mp3 player? In all shapes and sizes, colours with a variety of user interfaces. Along came the iPod.
In hindsight this small little gizmo offered us a clue into what Apple would do with existing technologies in the market place, they were about to put the user experience at the centre of all their product design.
What is UXD?
Here are some definitions:
- An approach to product design focusing on the user experience (journey) of the application from start to finish
- Decisions are defined by solutions or insights which solve a user groups problems or frustrations when interacting with a product or when a user aims to achieve a goal by trying to complete a set of tasks
- Not just a set of rigid rules, methods or processes. More like a combination of methodologies that can be applied to and shape your business needs or that of your users/clients.
Who uses UXD?
Today smaller size organisations and start-ups employ UXD methods and these can swiftly define their success or failure. Using this approach empowers them to identify, define, design and develop products, websites or apps and take them to market quickly, which gives them an advantage over their larger competitors.
Benefits of using a UXD approach
The chances are, if you are in the business of designing or developing applications or websites you probably already use a few or some UXD methods and approaches already.
Here are five benefits to adopting an UXD approach
- It puts your users (human beings) at the centre of your design decisions
- It is a rapid more agile approach to Product development
- It promotes collaboration and an open dialogue amongst your team members who may have multidisciplinary skills and perspectives to offer. No one individual works in isolation and everyone from the Product managers to User Testing or Developers have a voice or opportunity to contribute at various stages of the Product Development Cycle.
- Open collaborative teams tend to understand and support each other better in reaching goals or problem solving . Challenges, hurdles or frustrations are identified earlier and solutions can be found.
- Did I mention it puts the user at the centre of all Product related design decisions
There is a whole lot more to be said about User Experience Design, I have only been able to skim the surface. There is no shortage of articles, books, websites, or videos about this subject. What you will discover is that there are some common, agreed methods, some complicated approaches, some simple and much debate and difference of opinion.
Many of these methods or ideas have roots in social psychology, behavioral science, cognitive science, psychology, graphic design and product design. Whilst these may all be fascinating or insightful this plethora of information or these prescribed methodologies can be overwhelming.
So we keep it simple. We start with the user, a human being with a range of emotions and behaviours. We try to understand what motivates them, what frustrates, what entertains or engages them. What are their needs or wants when using Invotra, how do they achieve a goal or task. We identify methods or approaches offered by UXD to best suit your business needs and your team. With this we find that we create better user experiences for happier and more loyal users.
User Experience Design – Creating Designs User Really Love
Don’t make me think – Steve Krug
The Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation
The User Experience Guidebook for Product Managers