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User experience: nowadays we can hear this term almost everywhere.
With a continuously growing attention to the design thinking approach, it pops out in every commercial sector. But we often forget to ask ourselves: what does it really mean?
We hear people using it while referring to the interface of a digital product, the colors, and fonts of a logotype.
Are they wrong? Not completely, but they probably missed some concepts.
UX is not UI.
User Experience is often confused with the term UI that indicates the User Interface of a digital product. But user experience does not define a single aspect, it is not just about the interface or the look and feel: there’s much more to take into account. This probably happens because the user interface is the most tangible thing that the new big companies own. The thing that millions of users get every day in touch with. Airbnb, Facebook, Uber: it is funny to think about the fact that the largest taxi company in the world owns no vehicle. They are interface owners, controlling the precious thin layer on top of the supply systems.
User Experience is a process.
When we say UX the user is at the center and it’s all about his perceptions and emotions that come from the use of a product or a service, from the interaction with the brand. UX does not define a single item, it can be considered more like a process that we can divide in 3 main moments. If we consider the interaction with the brand we have the moment BEFORE the interaction with a product or a service, the moment DURING the interaction, and the moment AFTER it. Every moment includes many aspects we should care about: from prototyping to interface design and customer care.
User Experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
Don Norman – Nielsen Norman group
UX has a big impact on companies.
Airbnb’s growth can be attributed to the fact that they craft a unique experience on their platform. When Airbnb wasn’t the successful platform it is today, the founders thought it could depend on the fact listings were poorly represented on the platform. They rented a professional camera and went door to door, taking professional pictures of as many New York listings as possible.
Improving the way listings were displayed led to doubled bookings. A design improvement, a big UX improvement, and of course increased revenues.
Are UX designers like superheroes?
If it’s true that designing a user experience involves three main phases, with tens of different aspects to take into account the question is spontaneous. We can say that a UX designer is not someone that is an expert about every single and specific aspect of the process, but he always has in mind the bigger picture and deals with experts evaluating how to bring innovation and consistency in the whole process. To make the overall experience simply good.
This is just a short introduction to the world of User Experience with a practical example of how big it can be the impact on a company.
What about you? How crafting a unique User Experience could be valuable to you and your company?
About the Author
Matteo Lo Manto is a UX Designer and entrepreneur, co-founder of the integrated digital agency GlueGlue Studio.