What is UX Design at all? By the book, user experience design is a holistic approach to user-focused design of interactive systems. The goal is generally to be able to provide the user with the best possible user experience.
Since UX design encompasses the entire customer journey, it is a multidisciplinary field. So UX designers come from different industries like design, programming, psychology, e-commerce etc. For example, to create a really good design for people, possible physical limitations of potential users must also be taken into account, such as the difficulty to read small print. The typical tasks of a UX designer vary enormously from task to task, but they often include user research, creating personas, designing wireframes and interactive prototypes, as well as testing designs.
These tasks can also vary from company to company, but always require the UX design agency to put the user's needs first - which is usually much easier said than done.
When people talk about UX design, the term "UI design" often comes up as well.
However, it's important to know that UX and UI, although often used interchangeably, are two completely different things.
"UX focuses on the user's journey to solve a problem. UI focuses on how a product looks and works."
- Ken Norton, partner at Google Ventures, former product manager at Google
UI design refers to the actual interface of a product, such as the visual design of the screens a user navigates when using a mobile app or, more specifically, the buttons they click when browsing a website.
UI design deals with all the visual and interactive elements of a product interface, covering everything from typography and color palettes to animations and navigational touchpoints (like buttons and scrollbars).
However, UX and UI go hand in hand, and the design of a product has a very large impact on the user experience.
UX design is everywhere: the layout of a supermarket, the ergonomics of a car, the usability of a mobile app. While the term "user experience" was first coined by Don Norman in the 1990s, the concept of UX has existed for much longer.
Some of the most basic principles of UX could be observed as early as 4000 BC in China. The ancient Chinese philosophy of "Feng-Shui", which focuses on making an environment optimal, harmonious and user-friendly, already includes elements of user experience design. There is also evidence that ancient Greek civilizations designed their tools and workplaces according to ergonomic principles as early as the 5th century BC.
In the late 19th century, major figures such as Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford began to incorporate basic principles of UX design into their production processes. To make human labor more efficient, Taylor conducted extensive research into the interactions between workers and their tools - just as UX design agencies today study how users interact with products and services.
As a UX design agency, we strive to make everyday products, services, and technologies as user-friendly and accessible as possible. To do this, we use methods such as design thinking to balance the user's desires with technical feasibility and business opportunity. A UX designer is the interface between the user and the development team.
Getting started - competitor analysis
Competitor or competitive analysis involves analyzing and comparing products. Generally, it is a kind of intensive analysis or research that is conducted to find out how to compare yourself with competitors in the market.
Competitor analysis can answer the following questions:
From the user's perspective:
“What are the key competitive advantages compared to my strongest competitors?
What values and attributes do users associate with my brand?
How do users perceive the UX of my product compared to my competitors’?”
With the help of a competitor analysis, we can find out what you are doing right in your project and where you have room for improvement compared to other market players.
In this process, the requirements for a product are determined on the basis of the competitor analysis through user observation, user surveys or digitally evaluated data on user behavior, e.g. with the help of web analysis tools.
Personas are defined and developed that represent the target group. This is not only about profession, age or gender. The person's behavior, personality, hobbies and challenges also play a role.
In this step, the UX design agency works together with the product manager, the developers and - in the best case - the future users. In the process, each step of the user journey is designed. The developers take care of the technical aspect and inform about what is technically possible and what is not. The user journey is usually recorded in the form of storyboards.
During prototyping, the UX design agency works with so-called mock-ups, which are intended to provide a first impression of the product. This is followed by the first prototypes in order to test the implementation of the idea in advance and thus approach an optimal solution step by step.
After the initial results, we create a product that is directly tested for usability. In doing so, we determine how the product can best be used and where there is still room for improvement. It is important to get feedback after each development step to be able to make improvements.
Because a product is never finished!
Let's take a very simple example: a user-friendly design of a website or an app has a great benefit in terms of search engine optimization, for example. For one thing, it can increase the time spent on websites, e.g. because users can easily find their way around the page and click through the website with smart navigation.
A UX design agency can also be helpful in marketing - whether it’s for designing banner ads, interactive advertising or storytelling.
Putting user needs first also has an economic advantage because sooner or later, satisfied users are more likely to become paying customers.
Professional UX design increases user satisfaction and thus also conversions.
Later, UX design can also be used for customer retention to increase customer lifetime value.
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