User Experience and beyond
Designing, planning. These are parts of our everyday life. We plan every day: what to eat, when to get to work, how to reach our goals… etc.; you name it. The design has an impact not only on us but on our environment and even on society. The design keeps the world in constant change.
As is commonplace, there are designers in the business. Not only designers do design but also various managers like product, marketing and sales managers or even engineers. Needless to say that a good plan and a great design are advantageous for the business too. On the other hand, everyone plans different things in diverse ways, looking for a different solution. A company must invest not only in business planning but also in its appearance, the look and feel, the branding – so all in all in the experience, too. It is just as important as a good business plan.
At the core, the experience design industry can be divided into two main parts: CX and UX.
Customer Experience Design (CX) typically focuses on the planning part of marketing, sales, brand, and customer service design. It is much more about the business spirit and the challenges of customer relationships solved in the digital or offline world. An integral part of the CX is the User Experience Design (UX), which typically does research and brings solutions focused on digital interfaces.
“Designing the user experience is an art which solves real-world problems and is aligned with business goals and strategy.”
One of the essential tasks of UX design is adaptability and iteration. When a product is born or a service is redesigned, the stakeholders must be helped to lead the process effectively. This requires various UX designer competencies that can be embodied in one single person or more individuals – depending on the requirements of the organizational structure.
We are going to talk about the three primary types of UX roles:
- RESEARCH related,
- involving STRATEGY,
- implicating DESIGN.
Let us look at the famous UX roles in the UX design flow:
Research and strategy fields
The unconditional problem explorer. They help the business to identify problems, get to know the target group and also investigate how users perceive the “experience”. Their information sources are the web analytics, the business goals, the customers and their feedback.
The most important thing for them is to ask the right questions and find the undeniable origin of the problem. The researcher prepares research plans, usability studies and personalities. Last but not least, they are also involved in reviewing the designs because their role also consists of making sure the team is focused on solving the right problem.
Responsible for the content of the solution. They design the content of the website based on research and industry expertise. Aware of what content the user “craves for” in the industry, its technical characteristics and turn it into content. By content, we mean textual and pictorial content, like a meme GIF, a chart, a table – so any information type.
Responsible for organizing the information – a bridge between the content, the visual design and the developers. They are aware of the information structure of the system and can find the expected relations between information and connect them, so the content remains completely consistent for the user.
Interaction Designer (IxD)
Designers of the solution. They understand all of the aspects of the problem and plan a solution for it. The primary sources of information used are the research department, the business, the Information Designer, the Information Architect and potential users.
They design user processes, information architectures and present them using wireframes or a more complicated visual plan: an interactive prototype as proof of concept. At the end of the process they test the plan with the UX researcher.
The goal is for the consumer to have the perfect customer experience on the digital interfaces from the critical entry points, until the end of the process.
The tone of the solution. They help to write a narrative of the “experience” and communicate a message to users in the most appropriate tone of the business. The messages are concise, thoughtful and in many cases, entertaining. Ideally, they refine the work of the Information Designer, but in most cases the same person performs the two roles.
Sometimes, the corporate structure or clientele does not require separate professionals understanding the ins and out of the industry for each process. In such cases, the UX Designer has the appropriate level of knowledge of the necessary research and design roles to deliver the prime solution.
A Product Designer is the UX Designer of a particular product or service in a start-up or corporate environment. While a UX Designer works on several different products in the short term, a Product Designer works on one or two products in the long term making sure everything goes well. He/she hits the sack and wakes up thinking of the product or service every day for months or even years keeping in mind all the related information.
Visual or UI Designer
The stylists of the solution. They work closely with the UX or interaction designers, but many times they are responsible for doing the UX tasks as well. They strive to have the layouts presented to the user in the “most beautiful” way paying attention to the correct use of color, alignments, paddings, typography and the use of appropriate graphic elements. They take into account the characteristics or visual rules of the company and the current trends. They are also responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the style guide.
They bring even more life into the layouts maintaining a close relationship with the Visual Designer. They design movements and animations within the pages. So, with these seemingly small things they add a smoother use of the features and put an end to the whole design experience process.
More to read:
Error messages that don’t frighten users
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User Research – The method which never hurt anybody
Imagine your product is ready. You put hundreds of hours of design and code into your app. It’s release day and now is the time to shine. Except you won’t because people won’t find your product useful or valuable. And you wonder what could be the problem? Most apps and services fail because the product doesn’t address real user problems. Sounds familiar? If only you would have asked your users before you started. That’s why we start every project with user research.