Role of an UX designer

The UX designer role occupies an exciting place in businesses today. It is one of the most sought-after skill sets, especially at product-driven companies. However, many organizations seeking to hire UX designers have various ideas about what the role entails and the key responsibilities. Though the definition can differ, the primary aim of a UX designer (short for User Experience Designer) is to satisfy the user with a product.

UX designers continuously look for methods to enhance how the product experience feels to the user. It includes improvements such as making using the product faster, easier, or more fun. UX designers measure and optimize applications to improve ease of use and create the best user experience by exploring various approaches to solve end-users’ problems.

Yet another way to think of a UX designer is as the users use a product, each component of the product should come out as most logical and easily accessible. Any multi-step process within the product is streamlined and intuitive for the user. The user experience involves everything that touches upon the experience with a product, even those parts of the experience that do not include using the product. One way that a UX designer enhances the user experience is by conducting in-person user tests to observe behavior. They then refine and tweak apps, software, and you can also contact a web design company to create products that people like and find easy to use.

Since User Experience design covers the entire user journey, it’s a multidisciplinary field. User Experience designers come from a variety of backgrounds such as visual design, programming, psychology, and interaction design. To design for human users also means you have to work with a heightened scope regarding accessibility and to accommodate many possible users’ physical limits, such as reading small text.

A UX designer’s distinctive tasks vary, but include user research, creating personas, designing wireframes and interactive prototypes as well as testing designs. These tasks can vary significantly from one organization to the other, but they always need UX designers to be the users’ advocate and keep the users’ demands at the core of every development and design efforts. That’s why most UX designers work in some form of the user-centered work procedures and keep conveying their best-informed efforts until they address all of the relevant issues and user needs optimally.

User Experience Designer Role:

Generally, the duties of a User Experience Designer includes the following:

1. Product Research

Product research, which comprises user and market research, is every UX designer’s initial point for a UX design project. It provides the base for good design as it enables designers to avoid assumptions and make information-driven decisions.

Product research is essential because: 

  • It demonstrates UX designers the users’ behavior, goals, motivations, and needs.
  • It aids UX designers to comprehend industry standards and recognize opportunities for the product in a given area. It also supports prioritizing various aspects of a product.

Technically, product research is a data collecting process through channels like: 

  • Competitive analysis
  • Focus groups            
  • Online surveys
  • Upfront interviews with users and stakeholders

Collected data is analyzed and then converted into qualitative and quantitative information, which is used for decision making.

2. Creating Scenarios and Personas 

Given product research results, the further step is to recognize key user groups and generate representative personas. A persona is a fictional identity that represents one of the user groups for whom they are designing.

Personas aren’t the users they need or want, but the users they have. And while personas are fictitious, they represent a selection of an actual audience with their behaviors. The aim of creating personas is to describe patterns that they have identified in their users (or prospective users).

When a UX designer has recognized personas, they can create scenarios. A scenario is an account describing “a day in the life of” one of their personas, with how their app or website fits into their user’s lives. Whether they’re designing a website or an app, and whether it is a new product or a redesign of an existing product, it’s essential to think through all of the phases that a user might go through while using their product.

3. IA (Information Architecture)

Once a UX designer has completed the research and shaped personas, it’s time to describe the IA. IA is the formation of a structure for an app, website, or any other product that enables users to comprehend where they are on a website or an application, and information about the current position on screen the user is at.  IA results in the creation of hierarchies, navigation, and categorizations. 

4. Creating Wireframes

Once the IA is determined, the next step is to create wireframes. A wireframe is a design deliverable most prevalently associated with being a UX Designer. A wireframe is a low fidelity depiction of a design. Wireframes represent each step or screen that a user might take while interacting with a product. 

Wireframes have the following properties: 

  • Wireframes are the backbone of product design— they are typically used as a guide when development starts and must contain a representation of every significant part of the final product.
  • Wireframes need to be created quickly. UX designers have to depict UI objects in a simple way. Wireframes should be created quickly — UX designers have to represent UI objects in a simplified way for instance by using simple placeholders that represent objects such as crossed rectangles for images.
  • Wireframes are rarely used for product testing as the test will lose a lot of its value when you change how everything looks. You will also have to make more layout changes at that point to better accommodate your visuals.

5. Prototyping

Many people use the terms “wireframe” and “prototype” interchangeably, but there is a noteworthy difference between the two design deliverables — they appear different, they serve different purposes, and they communicate differently. While wireframes are like architectural blueprints (e.g., a building plan), a prototype is a mid to high fidelity depiction of the final product. 

Prototypes have the below-mentioned properties:

  • Prototypes tell you how to communicate with a product. That is why it is better to show an interactive (clickable) prototype rather than showing static images of interactive designs and use. With contemporary tools for prototyping like Adobe XD, it is possible to even record prototypes as videos to tell viewers about how your design works.
  • Prototypes can be utilized to their full potential in user testing. Prototypes enable the user to experience content and test the primary interactions with the interface in a way similar to the final product.  

6. Product Testing

Testing aid UX designers to find out what issues users go through during the interaction with a product. A common way that a UX designer would do product testing is by conducting an in-person user test to observe one’s behavior. Collecting and analyzing verbal as well as non-verbal feedback from the user helps UX designers create a better user experience. Additionally, being in the same room while someone who struggles to use your product is a powerful trigger for building empathy with users.

Conclusion

A user experience (UX) designer must have a strong understanding of user behavior and business goals and be capable of a wide variety of skills, ranging from psychology to design and technology. Though UX design is a field that feels very important to product development, its primary function remains unidentified to many because of its relative newness.  

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