UX Specialist: Why Your Business Needs a UX Designer
Remember the joke about the designer coffee pot? It looks great, but try pouring the coffee into your mug. Mess everywhere, and very little coffee in the mug.
This is what a digital business is like without a UX specialist. The website’s impressive, but the UX—user experience—is far from ideal.
Steve Jobs was right about design. He said that design is how it works, not what it looks like. Of course, the look and feel of the UI—user interface—are important. But does it work for the user?
Your website needs to be like a well-designed coffeepot: no mess, no fuss, and looking good. Let’s take that perfectly poured mug of coffee and check out why UX design is so critical to your business succeeding.
What Is UX Design?
UX design is a process. It’s used to create experiences that are relevant and meaningful to users. The process itself involves integrating
- branding elements,
- usability, and
in to the user interface.
Branding elements include web content and graphic design. Usability, or ease of use (such as good site navigation), is linked to function. Yet function goes beyond whether something works.
For example, clicking on the Go To Checkout button in an online store must take you to the checkout, but it needs to take you there quickly. Once you get there, you also need a Back button, in case you change your mind about your order.
UX design is a process that focuses on the seamless integration of a product or service in a way that makes it an effective and pleasant experience for the user.
What is a good user experience? A broad definition among the hundreds of right answers would be that it’s a user-centered experience that meets users’ needs in the precise context that they use a product or service.
What Does a UX Designer Do?
In many ways, the UX Designer has taken over the business role once played by PR and Marketing agencies (yes, before the internet). What’s more, they have transformed it into some much more cohesive, and on a very different playing field where the customer—or user—calls the shots.
To see what I mean, check out a few of the things they do:
UX designers collaborate closely with you, the business owner, who needs a better digital experience for the company’s customers. During the project discovery phase your goals, specific brand strategies, and target markets are discussed and refined.
Big data makes it possible to gather and analyze data on your market, your competitors and your users, or potential users. Competitor research identifies your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
UX designers go further by evaluating the solutions your competitors came up with and adapting to your specific situation.
Customer surveys are now so well integrated into the e-commerce experience that most companies have forgotten how cumbersome the process used to be.
That is pretty much where the comparison between a PR and marketing agency and a UX designer ends.
A UX Designer Does So Much More
Information architecture mind mapping anyone?
Clay UX is one of the top ten UX design companies in the world that uses the data collected in the research phase to create an information architecture, normally in the form of a mind map.
The purpose is to visualize the overall project structure, understand its scope and define priorities. It is a useful tool that makes it easy to identify users’ needs and improve workflows since it also illustrates the relationship between the various parts of the system.
Again, information architecture is one of many aspects that need attention when designing and structuring the user interface in a way that maximizes the positive response from users.
UX Specialists Help Your Business Focus
When you hire a UX specialist, be prepared for a whole lot of questions about your business, it’s brand identity, its products, target markets, and financial and other goals.
The competitive digital landscape engulfs the less agile. Based on what info you give to your UX specialist, you will receive some surprising information and data to analyze in return.
For many business owners, employing a UX specialist has been a learning curve. It has also led to better business practices. Remember UX designers are at the forefront of web and analytic technology. It’s what they do. And they’re inviting you along for the ride. Hop on!
A User-Centred Approach
Even if all you do is sell products you manufacture, you need to be absolutely clear about one thing:
Online business is user-centered – and so is UX Design
Don Norman, who first coined the term, will tell you this. He will also tell you that users’ wishes and desires change. And that you have to adapt accordingly. But that is another whole story.
That’s why you need a UX specialist who will design and test the best interactive solution for you. So that you can be more responsive to your customers, produce and deliver a better product or serve. And attract more customers.
You need a user-centered work process to achieve all that. Start at the beginning with carefully thought-out UX design. That way you will be well prepared for the success that comes your way.
In summary, UX design, and using a UX specialist, is the most efficient and productive way of doing business in a digital world. That’s what you want, isn’t it?