UX is an acronym for user experience. In UX Design, we refer to the term ‘user experience’ as any feelings or experiences a person goes through which end up determining their perception or end impression of the brand. Think about UX as the design of attracting, impressing, and retaining customers by walking them through unique sensory and psychological experiences.
Aspirants who are new to the world of UX often confuse UX Design with UI and other design disciplines. Although UX design does have a tendency to overlap with different departments, it has certain characteristics which set it apart from the other types of design like graphic design or User-Interface (UI) design.
To understand UX Design and learn how it is related to other types, let’s ask ourselves what design truly is.
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The Truth about Design
Design traces back its origins to the history of the ancient Romans when they designed a series of aesthetics for architecture and construction which still exist today. Design is about solving problems, but it is a way of living as well. From the way you eat to how you sleep, these experiences or learned habits are linked to the world of design.
When we talk about User Interface Design, we don’t refer to experiences. To understand it better, let’s take the example of going Shopping at Spencer’s Retail offline. When you walk into the store, you are greeted by a customer service professional. You ask about the latest products, he explains and lets you try out samples. Furthermore, by the end of your shopping spree, he gives you a loyalty card offer and an exclusive discount for trying out their store for the first time. You leave with your purchased products happy. This is UX in a nutshell.
UI design here relates to how the overall store is designed and its aesthetic details. The “flow” or series of tasks laid out in a sequence which leads to the checkout is the customer user interface here. By that, we mean elements such as the security guard, baggage counter for storing belongings, getting a shopping cart and exploring the store aisle and finally proceeding to the payment counter in the queue which leads to the exit. In internet vocabulary, UI refers to the icons, buttons, screens, and any other elements which let the user walk through or guide them through experiences. UI stitches user experiences together and directs the flow of actions step-by-step.
UI vs UX vs Graphic Design
Graphic Design is Visual Design which is the art of designing the look of the elements on an app or website. This includes designing the fonts, colour palettes, shapes and textures, and the way various elements are arranged on the website. Non-interactive elements are included in this section too.
UI Design is about the interactive elements on a website like clickable buttons, timeline animations, drop-down menus, feedback forms, and styling options which users make use of to navigate or execute events on the site.
UX Design is about designing experiences which centre around the use of interactive elements or the UI. UI is like a vehicle which carries UX design. The UI is the vehicle while the UX is your customer. UX Design involves the design of creating user personas, task analysis, and journey flows, wireframing, prototyping, and research and validation. The goal of UX design is to successfully walk users through user experiences without them finding any dead ends.
The Future of UX Design
User experiences can never end and as technology grows, UX follows.
It is a promising field that offers rewarding career experiences and is expected to continue evolving as the years go by. This translates to higher salaries, lucrative industry opportunities, and huge surges in demand in the market.