What Does A User Experience Designer Do?

The main task of user experience designers centers on making sure that computer interfaces are functional, usable and user-friendly. Companies stand to lose a lot of money if they introduce websites, applications and software programs that are difficult for their employees, clients and other end-users to utilize. To avoid this, they tap on the expertise and knowledge of user experience designers.

One integral task that is commonly associated with UX designers is the creation of wireframes. A wireframe refers to the schematic or blueprint of a website which serves a visual guide for the layout of the site or app being created. The layout, which is fueled by the goal or objective behind the creation of the site, seeks to show how the site elements and navigational systems are linked to each other. Wireframing is typically the first step in the process of user experience design.

UX designers also conduct user testing to determine how well users respond to the interface they have developed. In this strategy, UX designers ask test users to actually use the website or app they have designed. One unique feature of the entire process is that participants are actually asked to say out their thoughts out loud as they use the interface. This helps UX designers understand the difficulties that participants are encountering with the website or software and will thus take this in consideration as they continue to work on the product.

Research is an important part of the tasks done by UX designers. They do surveys, interviews and other forms of information-gathering procedures in order to know what users or potential users of the product are thinking. Research is the backbone behind the UX designer’s method of coming up with personas which are hypothetical people who are going to use the product. Personas will help UX designers develop a more effective and user-friendly interface.

Together with the creation of personas is the making of a storyboard which can be likened to a narrative that depicts how one hypothetical user is going to use the app or website that the UX designer is working on. UX designers work on these scenarios to clarify exactly how and where the product fits into the life of this user.

UX designers don’t stop at ascertaining the usability of their product. They also see to it that it carries its own distinct style. To a greater extent, the appeal of a website, app or software program does not just rest on its usability. Rather, looks play a great deal because it is the first thing that users notice. When the look of a site or app is engaging, it encourages them to explore it more closely and will make them appreciate its functionality and ease of use.

The final stage of the work that UX designers do is prototyping or testing the product before it is ready to be launched in full. This usually involves getting company users and close friends and family members to try out the product through what is known as the alpha launch. The next stage is known as the beta launch which involves getting the product out to a limited number of actual clients for them to try. Both these initial launches are done for users to provide their feedback of the program and to check if there are still bugs and issues in the program that still need to be addressed. During these times, UX designers are also open to suggestions about how the product can be improved to better serve the needs of its end-users. It is only when the prototyping phase is completed and the problems addressed will they make the recommendation to finally launch the product to its intended users.

In every step of their work, UX designers must always take into consideration human behavior. Knowledge of psychology is important because it will figure greatly in helping UX designers address problems that come with human-computer interaction. As websites and apps become a regular feature in our daily lives, the job of UX designers take on a higher level of importance. It is a profession that draws on a wide body of knowledge—all with the aim of making computer interfaces easier to navigate even as it addresses all the needs of its target users.

Career Spotlight: User Experience Designer

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