I’m finding that as I learn UX, there’s so much more to understand and embrace that it’s almost a shame to limit UX to “products”, “apps”, or “websites”.
I found this quote quite interesting:
UX is the tangible design of a strategy that brings us to a solution
Previously I wrote about why I feel that we shouldn’t call this process UX Design, but rather, it should be called User Engagement Design. I am ever more convinced of this after doing more research.
I got a great comment to that story by Vinish Garg which reminded me that there are times when UX IS about a single goal and that got me really thinking further about this notion of it being more about “engagement”.
Look at this image from an article back in 2012, called UX is not UI:
Nowhere in this image does it imply that UX is about “products” or “websites” or “apps”. It implies to me that UX is about solving problems. Furthermore, it also implies that what we are after is the following:
- Something that users are drawn to
- Something they find easy to use (Usability)
- Something they understand (Discoverability)
I would argue that this could apply to nearly anything and I’d further argue that it’s necessary. People have an increasingly complex relationship with the world and if we begin to think of UX as solving problems then we can apply it to services, processes, company messaging, products, websites, apps, etc.
My central point is that I feel as if we think UX is something that means you make an app better. How about looking at more than that? How about finding out what happens AFTER they use the app? Design for that. Design for the experience before, during and after they engage.
Getting To Effective Experiences
Finally, I was emboldened when I found this set of steps as it relates to UX:
- Problems are identified through user/market/persona research
- User flows & stories are made, trashed, and made again (iteration) until the problem really becomes clear
- Experiments are done to validate the assumptions with the personas (did we get this right)
- Some Information Architecture is done
- Simple wireframes and sketches are started
- Mockups with UI included can be further solidified
- These mockups are user tested and iterated on
- Coding happens
At no point in any of those steps does it indicate that this is only for an app or website or product. And notice how many times we see the word “user” in there. It’s about solving human problems.
I arrive at my conclusion. UX is about solving problems that people have. It’s about reducing friction. It’s a strategic process that aims to make something easier, more understandable and fare more pleasurable. It can apply to so much more than just an app or website.
UX and UI and all of the various job titles that go along with these are part of a larger goal to enhance and make people’s lives better. I am feeling at this moment that this can really apply to apps, screens, processes, messaging, marketing, sales, and who knows what else. This gives me hope that there is so much on the horizon for UX we haven’t even began to scratch the surface.