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INTRODUCTION TO USER EXPERIENCE

What is user experience design?

User Experience design is design that is user centered. The goal is to design artifacts that allow the users to meet their needs in the most effective and satisfying manner.

How UX Design Process looks like?

Step1: Requirements Gathering

Understanding the user and his goals.

Step2: Design Alternatives

Developing various design options that will improve the user experience.

Step3: Prototyping

Techniques for modelling the novel designs before a final version is produced.

Step4: Evaluation

A set techniques for ascertaining that your design meets the needs of the user.

Ad. Step1: Elements of Requirement Gathering

Types of data

There are two main cathegories of data: quantitative and qualitive. Quantitative data can be thought of as information that can be transcribed numerically that we can analyze using descriptive statistics. Qualitive data, on the other hand, is more easily thought of as providing us with thematic information. In other words quantitative data give us the what about the user and qualitative data give us the why.

Types of users

Primary stakeholders are the people who use the design directly. These are the users that designers most commonly interact with, they’re called the end users.

Secondary stakeholders do not use the design directly, but may do so indirectly because they get some kind of output from it.

Teritiary stakeholders may not use the design at all, but are directly affected by the design in either a negative or positive way.

i.e.

Designing a new system to keep track of wear on running shoes. The runner would be primary stakeholder, because he iswearing the newly designed shoe, she is the end user.

The runner is member of a track team. Here, the coach for the track team would be considered a secondary stakeholder. Because he would be the one that monitors the data about the runner’s shoes and makes decision about they have to get a new pair of sneakers.

A teritiary stakeholders inour example maybe the project manager of the company that builds the shoes. He may get a bonus if the new design increases sales or he’ll get a cut in the budget if it doesn’t.

Discovery Technique Overview

• Naturalistic observation

In naturalistic observations, we simply observe the user as he goes about completing his task.

• Surveys

When we use the survey method, we get the user to fill out a questionnaire and report on what they do and why they do it.

• Focus groups

In the focus group we have formal conversation with five to seven users about their practices.

• Interviews

In interview the designers has a one-to-one interaction with the user.

Ad. Step2: Design alternatives

The goal of the alternative design phase is to develop interfaces or systems to do a better job of meeting the needs of the user than their existing practices. In particular, our job is to hone in on what problems we want to solve. This is the design space.

Ad. Step3: Prototyping

Prototyping literally sits literally and figuratively between design and evaluation. We prototype to evaluate aspects of our new design and to check if the design is meeting the desired outcomes.

Prototyping is important for a variety of reasons. First they allow us to manage precious resources such as time and money. This is because they are just models of our designs so they don’t require for us to engage other highly trained professionals, such as software engineers or graphic designers. Second, because we can build these models quickly, it allows us to iterate on the design and move closer to our desired goal of meeting the user’s needs.

Ad. Step4: Evaluation

The goal of the novel design is to provide and improve user experience over the previous design. But how do we know we’ve accomplished this goal? Evaluation is the answer. It allows us to ascertain that we are improving the user experience. Evaluation requires that you collect data. This may be either quantitative data based on objective measures of performance or subjective measures of preference, or it may be qualitative data based on interviews.


THE ROLE OF A BEGINNER UX DESIGNER

As you start out on your path to becoming a UX designer, you’re probably curious about the actual work your new career might involve. In this reading, you can explore the different responsibilities that entry-level UX designers commonly take on during a project. You’ll also review the differences between generalist, specialist, and T-shaped UX designers.

But first, a quick call out: You’ll probably notice a lot of new vocabulary and unfamiliar terms in this reading. Don’t worry! You’ll learn about each of these concepts in more depth throughout the certificate program. We’ll also provide a glossary of important terms and their definitions at the end of each week of content.

Responsibilities of an entry-level UX designer

As an entry-level UX designer, you’ll have a lot of exciting opportunities to gain experience. When you first start out, you’ll probably take on a lot of different roles and responsibilities.

User research

User research is about understanding the people who use your product. Through research, you’ll learn about users’ backgrounds, demographics, motivations, pain points, emotions, and goals. Your research methods might include surveys, observations, and interviews. We’ll explore user research in much more detail in an upcoming course.

Information architecture:

Information architecture, or IA for short, involves deciding how your product is organized and structured. Think of IA as a skeleton that outlines how users interact with your product. Everything in your product should be organized in ways that make sense to the user and meets their expectations.

Wireframing

A wireframe is a basic outline or sketch of a product or a screen, like an app or website. As the name suggests, wireframes look like they were created with wires. They’re mostly lines and shapes, with some text. Wireframes can be drawn by hand or created digitally using software. Wireframing helps you bring your design ideas to life, so other people on your team can provide input and feedback.

Prototyping

A prototype is an early model of a product that demonstrates its functionality. Prototypes can be in physical or digital formats and can vary in complexity. Sometimes a prototype is made to demonstrate one specific feature of a product, like the transition between screens or the way the product physically looks and feels. You’ll make multiple prototypes for any given product throughout the design process.

Visual design

Visual design focuses on how the product or technology looks. As a UX designer, you need to understand the foundations of visual design in order to communicate the connection between a product’s functionality and its appearance to users. You’ll learn some of the most important principles of visual design throughout this certificate program.

Effective communication.

Effective communication as a UX designer means connecting with your colleagues through emails, meetings, presentations, and design software. UX design is a very collaborative field, so being able to communicate both digitally and face-to-face with teammates is important. You need to be a good listener, be receptive to feedback, and share your ideas in a clear way.

Specialist and generalist designers
As you get further along in your career, you can choose to specialize in a certain area of UX design or keep your skill set more broad. What exactly are the differences between specialist and generalist UX designers?

Graphic representation of different types of designers.Vertical line – representing a specialist, expert at one thing.

Horizontal line – representing a Generalist, broad number of responsibilities

T-shaped – expert at one thing and capable in a lot of other things
Specialist: A specialist dives deep into one type of UX design, like interaction, visual, or motion design, and becomes an expert. Specialist UX designers are more common at large companies that have a lot of designers, like here at Google. Some of the benefits of becoming a specialist include:

Focusing on one type of design that you enjoy more than others.

Gaining deep knowledge of one type of design.

Becoming well-known in the industry for your expertise in a particular type of design.

Generalist: A generalist has a broad number of responsibilities. A majority of UX design jobs are generalist positions, especially at companies with fewer UX designers. Typically, entry-level UX designers work in generalist roles, and some people choose to stay in generalist design roles for their entire careers. There are a lot of benefits to being a generalist UX designer, like:

Expanding your skills in many different types of UX work.

Trying a variety of responsibilities and finding an area of UX that you’re especially passionate about.

Keeping your job feeling fresh and new, while doing a variety of tasks.

T-shaped: A T-shaped designer is a specialist who also has a lot of capabilities in other areas. T-shaped designers get their name because the stem (or vertical line) of a T represents their expertise in one area, while the top (or horizontal line) symbolizes their related skills in a broad number of areas. T-shaped designers are great to have on your team, since they come with the benefits of both specialists and generalists. The image below highlights some of the skills a T-shaped UX designer might have. In this example, the person is a visual design specialist but also has knowledge in other areas, like coding and prototyping.

Graphic representation of T shaped designer, who has deep knowledge on visual design.
Each designer tends to naturally have a little T-shape in their abilities, even at the beginning of their career. As you start to work on projects, you’ll probably notice where your strengths and interests lie. As you get better at one area of design, you’ll likely find yourself working on that part of design projects more often, which helps you continue to improve in one area.

You can also decide to direct your T-shape by developing specific skills that will open up future job opportunities. For example, you might work extra hard on your prototyping skills, in addition to your general UX design skills, which can lead to new experiences and professional growth.

UX VS UI DESIGN

UI design is a craft where you the designer build an essential part of the user experience. UX design covers the entire spectrum of the user experience. One analogy is to picture UX design as a car with UI design as the driving console.

THE FIVE ELEMENTS OF UX DESIGN

The five elements of UX design is a framework of steps that UX designers take to turn an idea into a working product. The five elements are, from bottom to top: strategy, scope, structure, skeleton, and surface. Think of these as a set of five layers, where each layer is dependent on the one below it.

Strategy: The bottom layer is strategy, where you lay a foundation of your design goals. These goals are based on user needs and the business objectives for the product.

Scope: The next layer is scope, where you determine the type of product you’re building. At this point, you will consider the kind of features and content you want to include in the product.

Structure: The middle layer is structure. Here, you’ll figure out how to organize your design and how you want users to interact with the product.

Skeleton: The skeleton is the layout of the product. Just like the layout of our bones shapes our skin, the skeleton layer details how your design works – and like a skeleton, users won’t directly see its inner-workings.

Surface: The top layer, surface, represents how the product looks to the user. The surface represents the interface that users view and interact with. Think of the surface like the clothes or makeup you wear that are visible to the outside world.

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