What is UX, really?

Have you ever used a website or app that frustrated you so much that you wanted to throw your device out the window? Then you know what it means to encounter a bad user experience.

Everything in life is a User Experience. The mobile payment for your coffee, your friend’s photo you like on Instagram, the car you drive, or the takeaway you order. They are all a user experience. In short, UX.

It refers to any interaction someone has with a product or service and is vital in making their life smooth and enjoyable. It considers every element that is part of this experience, how it makes them feel, and how easy it is to accomplish their desired tasks.

UX can be about all kinds of products and services, from how a physical product lies in your hand to how easy an online checkout process is. Generally, we use the term for digital products such as websites, apps, and other digital interfaces.

You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people - Dieter Rams

The definition of User Experience

Because user experience is such an evolving concept, it is difficult to provide a comprehensive definition. The most used version in the industry is that of the “grand old man of UX design”: Don Norman: “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

As Norman points out, it is an umbrella term that covers many different areas. From interaction design to content design. And it has interfaces with fields from architecture to psychology. Knowing which areas impact the experience is vital for understanding what tools are available to you.

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What is a good User Experience?

The most critical condition for a good user experience is meeting the customer’s needs. And this goes way beyond giving customers what they want. A well-designed product or service should avoid frustrations and delays, and the user understands what to do and how to get where they want to go.

The user is at the center of all considerations

Good UX ensures customers use and enjoy the experiences you designed. Essential for creating customer loyalty and goodwill. A UX designer puts the user center of all considerations so that the final experience delivers intuitive, useful, and enjoyable interactions.

The three promises for a great user experience

And that’s what a good experience is all about. It’s also good to know that everything has a user experience. It’s not your job to create it. It’s your job to make it a good one. There are three key questions every UX professional should answer:

The three promises of a good User Experience
  • Does the site or app provide value to the user? In other words, is it useful?
  • Does the user find it easy to use and navigate? Is it usable?
  • Does the user like using the site or app? Is it desirable?

If the answer to all the above is yes, then you are on the right track!

This article is taken from our newly released course, where you learn the foundations of User Experience in 20 videos. Want to know if it’s for you? Try for free →