What I wish I would have known about UX Design...

To be honest, I did not hear the word UX design before joining interfacewerk (shame on me!). So neither was I familiar with user-centred product development nor the processes behind UX design. I thought of the interfacewerk team more as a software development team (little did I know back then 😅).

But it was this word that kept appearing everywhere: „UX design”. We have several UX designers, we offer UX design, we do UX design workshops. We internally work by UX design standards.

But actually, it took me months to understand what UX design is really about. So I want to share some UX design basics/learnings I wish I knew before starting working in this area.

1. Users first

UX design is derived from UX (=user experience) and essentially from the U (=user). It puts the user in the center of everything. And honestly, before joining interfacewerk, I never thought about this: products are actually there to serve me (as a user). And they should be designed in a way, so they correspond with my natural intuition, be self-explaining and easy to use. It was a total mind shift when I understood that poor user interfaces are the source of errors and not me „just being too stupid“. And little did I know, UX design is made to avoid that feeling.

2. UX design helps to make decisions

UX design is a way to develop all kind of concepts, products, services whenever users experiences are involved. It includes HOW products are made but also IF certain products are worth being created. So with UX design, you cannot only develop something efficiently but also decide whether you should develop the product upfront.

3. Experiments and Lean UX

What I really missed, in the beginning, is that a UX design process is also a knowledge-generating process (Lean UX). In order to know if you should develop something (whatever it is: a product, a new marketing campaign, an ad…), you have this experiment circle. By committing to small experiments, you iteratively get to the core and you really can derive what you should do. With a scientific approach. Without guessing in the dark. Isn’t that awesome?

Usabiliity Testing

4. But what is the actual benefit of UX design?

Now that I understood what UX design means and what it aims for, I still did not know one thing. What is the actual benefit of using UX design for product development? It was not until I researched real data and statistics of the benefits of a good user experience. And it was not until I wrote this article (with the support of my colleague Anna!) that revealed the whole impact of user experience. Much faster and efficient software development, lower error rates that results in much faster operation, happy customers and recommendations were just a few benefits to mention here.

5. Some basics are already useful!

Knowing some UX design basics is already useful. I don’t want to say that the basics are sufficient to be a good UX designer. I would be desperate if I needed to design a working user interface. But I can tell that the basics are sufficient to improve processes, generate knowledge, prototype ideas, test and have the user in mind at whatever you do.

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Published by Lisa on 2021-04-22

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