Think of a great experience you have had recently with a service or product. This could be in the form of outstanding customer service, an app that was incredibly easy to use, or a website where you were given the exact information you were looking for at precisely the right time. It is highly likely that a team of User Experience (UX) Designers developed, tested and re-designed every step of that interaction.
The UX Designer’s main objective is to create an interaction that is so seamless that the user is completely unaware of the complexities behind the process of that design. On the flip side, a bad design can lead to the user feel impatient, agitated, or even frustrated enough to leave altogether (I’m sure you can all think of an example of a poorly designed website that you found super frustrating to use!).
In today’s digital age there is a misconception that designing for a users’ experience exclusively involves the development of applications, websites, and other digital products and services. UX Design encompasses far more than just digital design – it intersects with everything in the physical world. Some examples of this could be designing a bathroom for a differently-abled person, the experience of voting in an election, or an everyday task such as paying for your groceries. Basically, UX Design is all around us and always has been – we’ve only just recently created a name for it.
The most relevant and informative skill a UX Designer can have is empathy. In particular, empathy for the user of the product or service that is being designed:
- What are the user’s needs or requirements?
- What environment is the user in when using the product or service?
- What type of device are they using (phone, tablet, PC)?
- What pain points does the user come across when using other products or services?
These are just some of the many questions a UX Designer needs to explore before they even begin to think about creating something. Often a user isn’t even sure what they are looking for and may need help understanding that. A great design will anticipate all of these requirements by making sure there are no extra hoops for the user to jump through, whilst keeping the experience as simple and user-friendly as possible.
So now that you have a better insight in to the role of a UX Designer, I’m sure you will be able to understand and appreciate just how important this area of design is for many aspects of the modern world. For our charities and non-profits in particular, take time to consider how your user experience could be improved.
Goodwill Collective would be happy to help.