Exploring the experience design process
When designing and creating a website, you have a number of different objectives in mind. Of course, you are creating an information hub and a resource for those interested in your business, you are strengthening your brand, and you are selling a product or service. But there is something else you need to be focusing on — something more fundamental: the experience you offer to your customers.
This experience is everything. If you do not provide a great experience to your customers, they will simply head elsewhere and your business will lose out on much-needed revenue.
It’s here that UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) designers can provide a real advantage.
What is UX design?
But what is UX design, and what does a UX designer do exactly? UX design is the process of creating a positive experience for your visitors when they are on your site. UX designers are the professionals who craft an experience that both supports the customer’s aims and encourages the actions you want to see from your visitors.
The process must be a collaborative one. Your company is unique, and so are your users and their objectives. As such, the experience you provide to your users has to be based upon a highly specific set of buyer personas and intended customer journeys.
With this in mind, your UX designer needs to be ready and able to learn more about your operation, objectives, and customer base. They must also be ready to turn all of this insight and understanding into a practical design — crafting the sort of experience that your customers crave.
What is the difference between a UX & a UI designer?
The terms UX designer and UI designer are intrinsically linked, but they are not interchangeable. To understand what these different design professionals do, we first need to separate UX from UI. UI stands for user interface, which means UI design is the process of crafting an intuitive, effective and system of interaction for each visitor.
We’ve already examined how UX refers to the user experience and the overall relationship that the customer or lead has with a website.
UI builds on this, adding another layer of sophistication and specialisation to the process.
While UX is a more general concept, UI is geared towards specific outcomes. For example, a designer might craft a landing page with a specific user journey in mind, or they might create a system of clear and concise menus that help users choose a specific path. In this sense, UI becomes a crucial part of the overall UX design.
Don’t forget the process of UX design when crafting your website. The experience you offer to your user may not always be a tangible or measurable value, but it is critical to your website’s success.