Why User Experience Designers make your app beautiful
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if you take the time to employ user experience design then everyone will behold your apps beauty. Do you think that making such a bold statement that encompasses every person can’t possibly be true? Well…let’s see if we can make you a believer too.
Beauty in itself is a wonderful thing. Most often people assign the term beauty in regards to looks or appearance, such as saying, “She looks beautiful,” or, “It was a beautiful wedding.” But, the definition of beauty is, “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, which pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight,” which is what we try and create via user experience design.
What is UX Design?
In a nutshell, user experience design (also known as UXD, UED, or UX Design) is the process of enhancing the user satisfaction level through improving the overall usability, ease of use, and most importantly pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the device being used.
Within this definition we consider the user experience to be any and all aspects of a person’s interaction with the device including the interface, graphics, physical design, physical interaction and even the 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. Of course one of the difficulties in doing this is in understanding the idea that any group of users will have needs that evolve as their expectations evolve regarding technology.
A good example is to think about using a mobile phone even five years ago compared to today and what your expectations are for a smart phone. No voice enabled commands? This camera is horrible! What do you mean they haven’t invented Candy Crush yet?
Designing for the User
Rather than get caught up in the idea of a “beautiful” design, we feel that the user should consider the end result the beautiful thing. That is not to say that an app won’ be visually pleasing and stimulating, as those are both hallmarks of a Lounge Lizard design, but that focus becomes secondary to what the user experiences.
Of late design trends have focused on flat design and clean lines which creates a beautiful, visual look however we as designers must always remember that the display is not the end result we are looking for. User experience design is not the same as being a painter where your finished product hangs in a gallery for people to see. This is an idea that seems to have been lost recently.
For the UX design the display is simply one of our tools, like a brush for a painter. The display, along with the keyboard, touch screen, motion sensors, speakers and the like are our tools to deliver an overall “experience” to the user. A truly great design combines art and science, it meshes aesthetics with usability and to do this it requires a good understanding of the target user and a great understanding of needs and behaviors of users.
Think of it like online dating, which is an odd comparison for app design, but one that holds true. People often select someone for a first date based off a superficial glance. You see a basic display of someone and then read a few highlights they have provided, which is oddly like shopping for an app in the App Store. But the true test is when you actually meet and have a conversation as to whether or not things click. If the conversation fails to meet your (the users) needs then suddenly all that excitement you had built up about meeting this person is quickly deflated. Simply put, the experience was lacking.
That is where the UX designer has the advantage because the person you meet was created as a great match for you. That is why user experience design makes your app beautiful, rather than aesthetic beauty being the reason for a good experience which is something to consider for your next app project.