User Experience Design In A Nutshell

The term “user experience” was coined by researcher Dr. Donald Norman who said that “no product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Think through all of the stages of a product or service – from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly.” User experience design is a process that design teams use to create products that are useful and relevant to consumers.

Understanding user experience design

The iPhone is one example of a great user experience because the pleasure associated with using an iPhone extends beyond merely tapping the screen. Apple made sure that the process of acquiring, owning, and even troubleshooting issues on their products is also an experience.

This cohesive set of factors contributes to the feeling that a person has when interacting with a product or service. User experience design is thus the study of how each factor shapes consumer perceptions. 

User experience is important for accessibility. This is particularly salient given the myriad ways that consumers access content and the increasing complexity of websites. While websites have never been more feature-rich, their success is ultimately determined by how fast the pages load or whether the content adds value.

There is no single definition that constitutes a good user experience. Instead, think of it as any experience that meets consumer needs in the context of their interaction with a product or service.

Factors that influence user experience design

To increase the odds of meaningful or valuable user experience, businesses should design experiences that are:

  1. Useful – is the content original? Does it fulfill a need?
  2. Usable –is the product easy to use? How painless is the return or delivery process?
  3. Desirable – does the image, identity, or brand of a business interact with consumers in such a way that emotions are evoked? That is, does the user experience make the product or service more desirable?
  4. Findable – can the consumer find what they need promptly? Is the company website navigable and up-to-date? Does it remove certain steps that would cause the consumer to click away?
  5. Accessible – is the product or service readily available to those with disabilities? Is the instruction manual written in several languages?
  6. Credible – does the product or service live up to expectations? For example, does it deliver on promises such as a money-back guarantee or extended warranty?

User experience design should also incorporate the Why, What, and How of product use:

  • Why – or the users’ motivations for using the product. Motivation may relate to the task being performed or the outcome of the task itself. In some cases, interaction occurs because certain values or status levels are associated with using it.
  • What – encompassing product or service functionality.
  • How – how will the consumer use the product? This relates to the design of product functions or features that are both aesthetically pleasing and accessible.

Key takeaways

  • User experience design involves the designing of products or services that give consumers meaningful and relevant experiences.
  • User experience design is based on consumer perceptions which are in turn based on product usefulness, accessibility, reliability, and credibility to name a few.
  • In a world with technologically advanced products and highly interactive websites, user experience design has never been more important. Design teams should not lose sight of certain evergreen concepts such as ergonomics, site speed, and valuable content.

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Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"