User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.
“User Experience Design” is often used interchangeably with terms such as “User Interface Design” and “Usability”. However, while Usability and User Interface Design are important aspects of UX Design, they are subsets of it – UX design covers a vast array of other areas, too. A UX designer is concerned with the entire process of acquiring and integrating a product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function. It is a story that begins before the device is even in the user’s hands.
Since UX design encompasses the entire user journey, it’s a multidisciplinary field – UX designers come from a variety of backgrounds such as visual design, programming, psychology and interaction design. Designing for human users also demands heightened scope regarding accessibility and accommodating many potential users’ physical limitations, such as reading small text. A UX designer’s typical tasks vary, but often include user research, creating personas, designing wireframes and interactive prototypes as well as testing designs. These tasks can vary greatly from one company to the next, but they always demand designers to be the users’ advocate and keep the users’ needs at the center of all design and development efforts. That’s also why most UX designers work in some form of user-centered work process, and keep channeling their best-informed efforts until they address all of the relevant issues and user needs optimally.
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