Some weeks ago I asked a few of the Codelitt team members a simple question:
“What is UX?”
I was happy that no one shied away from answering, and the difference in their responses was incredible:
Engineers focused their answers in very pragmatic areas that all revolved around friction and how to reduce it. The experience “behind the curtain” that helps make interactions smooth was what they thought of. Things like loading times or making sure that buttons were clickable came to their minds.
Designers saw the importance of researching both the users and business who would be investing in the product. They cared about making sure that the brand’s values were enhancing the experience. They wanted the users & customers to know exactly what to expect when interacting with their products.
Project Managers focused on understanding and empathizing with the users so that the end product is intuitive and useful to the user.
Simply put, UX means “User Experience”: it’s the experience that a user has while interacting with a product. UX Design is, by definition, the process by which we determine what that experience will be.
UX Design always happens. Whether it’s intentional or not, somebody makes the decisions about how the human and the product will interact. Good UX Design happens when we make these decisions in a way that understands and fulfills the needs of both our users and our business.
UX encompasses so many disciplines that it’s unfair to think of it as a sphere within visual design. Quite the contrary! The building of an interface is a subset of that product’s experience design.
UX happens whenever a human interacts with a product. Any product. Take a pencil, for example. There’s the way that the wood, plastic or metal feels on your hand, the way it falls on your fingers, the feel of the graphite against the paper. Does it have a rubber end or a button you have to press to get the graphite out? In every case, it’s all been thoroughly thought out and designed, each component a part of the experience of writing with a pencil.
From the business objective, to the product’s stakeholders, designers, engineers and project managers, the experience encompasses every person working on it. It is the culmination of a multitude of disciplines working together. Every decision we make when building a product shapes that experience. UX is at the heart of everything we do.