To start with, let’s have a brief introduction to what we mean by “User Experience”. Products have users, and the user experience (UX) is simply the experience a user has from using that particular product. So far, so good?
UX design is the art of designing products so that they provide the optimum possible user experience. If this description sounds broad, it’s because the nature of UX design is pretty broad. Building the optimum UX encompasses an understanding of psychology, interaction design, user research, and many other disciplines, but on top of it all is an iterative problem solving process (but more on that later).
Broadly speaking, user experience can be broken down into 3 components: the look, feel, and usability.
The look of a product is about using visuals to create a sense of harmony with the user’s values, and that creates credibility and trust with the user. It’s about creating a product that not only looks nice, but looks right too.
The feel, then, involves making the experience of using a product as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. It’s built by crafting the interactions between the user and the product, as well as the reactions they have when (and after) using the product.
Lastly, usability underpins the user experience. Quite simply, if a product isn’t usable, no amount of good looks can salvage it, and the only feeling users are going to have is anger and frustration. Ideally, products should be personalized to user’s needs, and deliver functionality in a predictable way.