If you imagine a digital technology like a website or an app as a highly cultivated garden, then you could think of the role of a UX designer as that of the landscape architect; they’re the person who makes the garden both beautiful to look at as well as a functional and relaxing environment to be in.
User Experience Design, or UX for short, refers to the process of creating and optimising a user’s experience when they interact with a website or a digital product like an app. UX design covers a wide range of different areas within digital product development, including the appearance of the user interface, its performance, its usefulness and functionality as a digital product, and its desirability as a brand.
UX design is a modern version of a broad and diverse area of conceptual design that examines the way humans interact with machines. UX design has its roots in disciplines such as human factors and ergonomics, and is influenced by various other fields including psychology, biomechanics, industrial design, and user interface design. The overall purpose of UX design is to develop and enhance the way a user can interact with digital technologies, and to improve those technologies specifically for the user’s benefit.
The architect of the phrase ‘user experience’ was professor Don Norman, who started using it in the early 1990s with the widespread rise of computing in office environments. Interestingly, Don Norman has argued that describing digital technologies with commercial terms like ‘products’ and users with terms like ‘customers’ makes it more difficult to achieve optimal design.
Personally, I am not so sure. When we design at Modular, we don’t design for a specific term. We think of design as a holistic and emotional experience. Naturally the people using the website are part of that. Technically, they are users but the term is cold and distant. For us it is more a case of human design. We like to consider not just what they do when using a product, but how they feel and how it affects them whilst doing so.
At Modular we believe anyone can understand how websites, apps, and other digital technologies work if we talk about tech in plain English. The core technologies that underpin the World Wide Web can actually be quite fascinating if we switch off the jargon, grab a cup of coffee, and take a closer look.
You can reach out to me for jargon busting advice or to pick my brains on whatever is causing you Tech Angst and confusion, or to learn which CMS is best for you on 07584 652854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Emma Millington, Head of Customer Relations