5 Most Common Misunderstandings About UX Design
The concept of UX, or user experience design, is still a relatively new one within the web and app design industries but even in that short time there have been some common misunderstandings about UX that have risen.
As we feel that UX design is a few important aspect of both app and web design along with good business in general, it is a useful exercise to discuss these misunderstandings to gain a better perspective on the concept.
What is UX Design?
Utilizing a user-experience based design is where your focus in on enhancing the user satisfaction level by making the ease-of-use and overall usability the best it can possibly be. This increases the pleasure provided to the user in regards to the interaction they are having with the website, app, or whatever they are using to connect with a business.
The interactions occur on all levels with an app or website, from how you interface physically, the appearance which includes graphics and colors, the responses or feedback the app or site provides and even sounds and instructions.
UX design is all about addressing the specific needs AND circumstances that the target users will face to create an interface that is exciting yet comfortable, and functional yet fun to use. In a highly competitive world for both apps and websites, UX design caters to the users’ needs to make interactions as positive of an experience as possible.
5 Misunderstandings about UX Design
- UX Design is a type of design – Some people seem to think that UX Design is like Responsive Web Design or a style of design for apps. It isn’t. UX Design should be considered a philosophy or principle of design that can be applied to the entire web or app design process. Ultimately UX can touch on every aspect of a business from how interactions are done over the phone or any other area in which a business connects with a customer or user. This includes everything from customer service to newsletters to your website.
- UX Design is optional – This is a myth. While you do not need to actively focus on creating a positive user experience, anything that is designed from a memo to a webpage inherently has a level of user experience. In some cases people think carefully and plan their design to create a positive experience, in others no thought is given, but that doesn’t mean the user does not gain an experience from the interaction, either positive or negative. From a web or app design perspective, if you simply design something the way you want then it is more likely that you are not going to receive a positive user experience. While that was fine 10 years ago, in today’s ultra-competitive market you need to stand out and provide positive experiences to capture and retain customers.
- You understand your users – There is a thing called ego which dominates many aspects of life and one of them has to do with products and services that are provided. It is perfectly natural; people are in love with what they can provide for someone and therefore assume others will love it as well. The cold, hard truth, which you see in shows like Shark Tank, is that not every idea or product is going to be loved or desired. In some cases the packaging is all wrong, in others it misses the target demographic altogether. UX design is like that as well and the way you end up truly understanding your users is by testing everything and then collecting and comparing clear, objective data. You can only understand customers after doing in-depth research. So don’t make assumptions that you know what people want.
- It is a onetime thing – Hey we finished out UX design! Actually, no you didn’t. There are always opportunities for improvement especially when looking at things on the online landscape. There will always be change and changing expectations as to what can be done to improve interactions. When you choose to implement UX design you are choosing a fundamental philosophy in how you approach connecting with customers.
- UX is related to technology – While changes and advancements in technology have definitely allowed more opportunity and options in the realm of UX Design, technology is ultimately just a tool that is used to achieve results. A true UX Design will seamlessly integrate new technology into a business in a way that makes all customers, both old and new happy. Old, because they are not alienated and can easily understand the changes, and new, because they are either familiar with the technology or the design is good enough that it simply does not matter. This scenario happens regularly with generations of customers where younger generations are more tech-savvy.
The bottom line is that while UX Design is being recognized now as an important, if not essential, tool in the business world, there are still many common misunderstandings about UX out there that are limiting how people think the tool should be used.