UX Independent of Digital Products
User Experience Design (UXD) is a process that focuses on creating meaningful and relevant experiences for the user. UX (user experience) helps define the underlying intention behind a product or a service, how it is perceived, how the user may interact with it, and also helps identify potential flaws or issues that the user may run into. It is a continuous and iterative process that is targeted at making a solution fit better to the requirement of the target user.
According to multiple records, a cognitive psychologist and designer Don Norman coined the term ‘user experience’ in the 1990s, however, UX as a practice in the field of problem-solving predates this by quite some centuries.
As designers, we focus or develop solutions that address problems faced by a user and thus by virtue, improve the experience that the user receives through that interaction. I think design as a method of problem-solving cannot exist in isolation from the consideration of UX.
UX and digital products
Since the wave of digitalization and digital products, UX has been linked to the development of software, interfaces, and other digital services. This led to the development of a comprehensive set of laws of UX and UX design principles that act as guiding blocks in designing the UX of a digital product.
In my journey as a designer, as I continued to apply these laws and principles while creating user journeys, task flows, or other collateral, I began to realize the universal applications of these concepts in other aspects of design and have since then grown curious of its abilities.
Let’s look at some of these principles:
“The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.”
This principle guides us to break complex processes in the users’ journey into smaller tasks and allows us to reduce cognitive load on the user, enabling a more fluid and relaxing UX.
If we took the same takeaways and applied them in a real world context, for example, in the number of choices in a restaurant’s menu card, we could help reduce the amount of time taken to decide on the dishes and enjoy the meal experience longer (giving a new meaning to ‘fast’ food).
“The average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory.”
This principle is a UX standard while creating tasks where the user has to remember and recall certain actions or items.
“People remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks”
I find this principle particularly interesting as it can help us build an aspect of recall for a platform when used justifiably, so as to not irritate or agitate the user.
When we apply this principle in conversations or presentations, we can help our teams and clients have a lasting recall of the conversation and interest them to engage further. Imagine ending presentations with an open question urging the participants to think about it.
Since UX closely deals with the comprehension of human behavior, its actions, effects, and their laws aren’t bound to digital products only. Thus, we may find points of interest from several other UX principles.
UX is a powerful consideration that has its effects on all interactions – digital, real, or virtual. So, as designers in service, we should be mindful of our actions, and how we could impart more value.
As I explore further into the world of UX and the development of digital solutions, I shall try to understand user experiences in social interactions and other actions. This may help in developing a more thorough understanding of its applications resulting in creating inspiring and innovative solutions!
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