User Experience Design explained

January 29, 2013 - 5 minutes read

User Experience Design (UXD) is a term used to describe how designers shape how users feel about a system, be it  a website, an app or desktop software. They look at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.

As Websites and Web applications become increasingly more complex, what used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into rich, interactive user experience.

So, user experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system and it has become increasingly important to understand the value of this. With web design it has only been quite recently (within the last 5 years) that this has become something that businesses are taking seriously. Previously the idea was to make something unique and what the client wanted to see. With the huge growth of internet users, game players, and smart phone owners it is becoming increasingly apparent that User-Centered Design is actually the most beneficial way to develop a system and this takes research and experience to determine what works and what doesn’t.

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We’ve also realised the importance of accessibility meaning universal access to our Web-based products. This is not only for those who with special requirements, such as for screen readers and non-traditional input devices, but for those who don’t have broadband connections or who have older mobile devices etc.

Of course there is not one simple quick fix and a solution for one particular problem will not necessarily transpose to fit another.  User experiences will be different between projects. A design must be tailored to the goals, values, production process and products to accommodate its particular needs.

Find out more about UXD

UX Booth
A multi-author blog for the user experience community.

UX Magazine
Discussions on ways to improve user experience.

UX Exchange
A community-driven website where members ask about user experience and UX-related fields.

User Interface Engineering
UIE – the largest usability research organization in the world.

UXmatters
Investigates user experience strategies, information on the UX discipline and more.

Boxes and Arrows
Though Boxes and Arrows describes itself as being “devoted to the practice, innovation and discussion of design,” the website regularly publishes top-notch articles about UX.

Semantics
Peter Morville, founder of Semantic Studios, is a leading information architecture, user experience and findability consultant who writes about user experience.

UsabilityPost
Dmitry Fadeyev blogs about functional design.

101 Things I Learned in Interaction Design School
Short posts on the topic.

UX Quotes
This website provides quote snippets on the topic of UX.

Quotes From the User
User experience is all about the user (which is why personas are important). This Tumblr blog tells the story of UX from the perspective of the user by featuring quotes by users of various systems.

Konigi
Index for news, resources and tools for UX designers.

90 percent of everything
A blog by user experience lead Harry Brignull covering information architecture, user experience and the nature of “good design.”

DarkPatterns.org
This design pattern library discusses common tactics for decieving users, which can help UX designers locate patterns to avoid in order to create a positive user experience.

Johnny Holland Magazine
Check out the UX Tips section, which indexes tweets hashed with #uxtips.

Adaptive Path Blog
Adaptive Path, a leading user interface and user experience design firm with a blog with useful content on UX and UI design.

Putting People First
Links, articles, resources and news about UX and “people-centered innovation,” curated by the Italy-based experience design company Experientia.

Viget Advance
The UX-related blog of Viget Advance, a website production company.

UI and Us
User interface design, user experience design and the cognitive psychology behind design.

UX Storytellers
Stories of UX, UI and IA professionals.