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What is User Experience (UX) Design? Everything you need to know

What is User Experience (UX) Design? Everything you need to know

What is ux design

Table of Contents

UX design, the User Experience Design (also called UXD for short) is a field that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years to become hugely popular in recent times.

It includes many different disciplines which are related to human-centred architecture, engineering, psychology and other areas of study.

These are designed to ensure that the user finds it easy to work with a system without any hindrances or barriers.

This can be achieved by changes made in software or hardware or even in the environment where the product will be used.

Find out more about this exciting world of UX design in this article!

The definition of UX design

UX design is the process of making sure that people find it easy to use your digital products or systems.

There are four major aspects that one needs to include in UX design: user research, user experience strategy, human-computer interaction, interface design, and prototyping.

The first stage, user research includes identifying the personas, their needs and wants, and how they would use the product.

User research can also be used to identify heuristic evaluation which refers to software development standards.

The second stage is UX strategy where you prioritize usability, accessibility, content strategy, and information architecture.

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is research in the design and the use of computer technology, which focuses on the interfaces between people (users) and computers.

Interface design includes wireframing layouts with mockups that can be tested before they are developed into prototypes.

Prototyping includes collecting feedback from users after testing different versions of these layouts or prototypes.

ux designing wireframes

People who work in this field are called UX Designers or Experience Designers, and they use tools like Axure, Invision or Mockplus to create mockups for their designs.

UX design covers a vast area, and there are many different specialities that one can specialize in.

Some of the most common ones include user interface (UI) design, information architecture, interaction design, human factors engineering, accessibility design, and usability testing.

Each of these fields focuses on different aspects of the user’s experience with a system or a product, but all of them work together to ensure that the user has a positive experience with the system.

UI is mostly concerned with how users interact with software, whereas information architecture is focused on how they access and manage the data in the system.

Interaction design looks into how the user will navigate through different pages or screens, whereas human factors engineering (or ergonomics) focuses on how the user interacts with different elements of hardware like keyboards, mice, buttons and screens.

Accessibility design ensures that people with disabilities who may have visual or auditory impairments can use the system too.

Finally, usability testing is used to gather feedback from users so that their needs and wants can be met.

product managers usability design

Why is user experience important?

Consider the example of an ATM where you have to punch your PIN number even though you can remember it because it’s a 4-digit number.

The reason why the ATM asks for your PIN is that without it, anyone can withdraw cash from your account and you will lose all of your money.

So although the security measure may be annoying, it still protects you and ensures that you do not lose any money or get robbed.

That’s how user experience works; you may not like the security measures that are put in place, but if they help protect your interests or safety then it is all worth it.

Tell me the role of UX designer?

UX designers are responsible for making sure that human users find it easy to use digital products or systems.

They do this by researching user needs, coming up with strategies, designing interfaces and prototyping products.

They then test these prototypes with users to get feedback so that they can improve the user experience.

What skills do UX designers need?

UX designers need to have excellent research skills in order to identify user needs and wants.

They also need to be able to come up with creative solutions to design problems, have strong visualization skills so they can create wireframes and mockups, and be able to prototype products quickly.

Finally, they need to be good at gathering feedback from users and incorporating it into their designs.

UX Design is user-centred

UX design is a cognitive science all about putting the user first.

This means understanding the needs and wants of the users and designing digital products or systems that are easy to use.

This can be done by conducting user research, coming up with strategies, designing interfaces and prototyping products.

UX designers then test these prototypes with users to get feedback so that they can improve the user experience.

UX Designers consider the Why, What and How of Product Use

UX designers consider the “why, what and how” of product use when they are designing digital products or systems.

The “why” is about understanding the needs and wants of the users, while the “what” is about designing digital products or systems that are easy to use.

The “how” is about prototyping products quickly and getting feedback from users so that they can improve the user experience.

customer journey map by desircle
Example of the Customer Journey Map

Tell me the difference between a UX designer and a UI designer?

User experience designers are responsible for making sure that people find it easy to use digital products or systems.

They do this by researching user needs, coming up with strategies, designing interfaces and prototyping products.

They then test these prototypes with users to get feedback so that they can improve the user experience.

UI designers, on the other hand, take care of the look and feel of a product or site – think colours, fonts sizes and how things look on the screen.

One common misconception is that UXD works exclusively with software, while UI designers work exclusively with websites.

This is not true! Most design professionals in the field have experience working in both areas.

ux design developing products

So, What is User Interface Design?

User interface design is the art of designing the colours, fonts, formatting, and other “look-and-feel” parts of digital products or systems.

User interface designers are responsible for making sure that products look good and are easy to use.

They do this by researching user needs, coming up with strategies, designing interfaces and prototyping products.

They then test these prototypes with users to get feedback so that they can improve the user experience.

usability information architects

What UX designers do goes beyond UI Design

What UX designers do goes beyond UI design, but UI is still an important part of the job.

A new website, for example, will need to be designed both with the visitor in mind and the backend developer.

What this means is that UX designers are responsible not only for its usability or functionality but also for crafting a site that can be built by developers.

There are many different types of user experience designers

There are several different roles within UX design, with some compilers working on one set of tasks while others working on another set.

There are some who only work with what can be seen or touched on-screen, while others focus solely on back-end operations.

The key is to learn about what is involved so you can decide which type of UX design would suit you best.

usability in ux design field

What about the difference between Graphic Design and UX design?

Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of typography, photography and illustration.

User experience (UX) design, however, is about understanding how people interact with all types of digital products and systems.

Aesthetic beauty is not the main concern in UX Design; initial impressions may be more important in areas such as graphic design.

Not sure what the definition of Graphic Design is?

Don’t worry! On our blog, we’ve put together a whole guide that talks about the subject, how important it is, how you can start to approach and learn about it and also how it came about and what its history is.

If you want to learn more about Graphic Design, read this article from our Desircle team.

usability information architects

Do user experience designers need to code?

The question of whether UXD designers need to code is more complex than it seems.

There are some UX professionals that are also programmers or coders, while some do not know how to code at all. When it comes to visual design, many UXD works on software that they don’t have to code themselves.

This can be in the form of Photoshop, Illustrator or Sketch. For prototyping, there are more specifications required for the coding language – so if you want to learn how to prototype quickly and with ease then you might need to learn how to code.

ux design need to code

The history of UX design

UX design is a relatively new field that has only been around for about 50 years.

Its origins can be traced back to the 1950s when computers were first being used in businesses.

At this time, there was no such thing as UX design – instead, computer scientists would work on developing programs and systems that were easy to use.

However, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that UX design began to be recognised as a distinct profession.

This was largely due to the work of Donald Norman, who wrote the book “The Design of Everyday Things” which argued that good user experience was essential for the success of any product or system.

The value of UX design

The value of UX design is difficult to quantify.

Different companies find different things valuable about it.

Some emphasize the money that they save by utilizing better design, others say it saves them time, and others think it improves the customer experience.

All these are worth something because these are all objectives that the company has.

planning ux design solution

Structuring & Planning Design Solutions

User experience design is a process that helps you structure and plan your design solutions.

This is done by taking into account the user’s needs, wants and limitations.

By understanding how users interact with digital products, you can create designs that are not only effective but also user-friendly.

There are several steps in the user experience design process, which include:

  1. Research – This involves understanding who the users are, what they want and need, and how they currently interact with digital products.
  2. Strategy – Once you have gathered all the research data, you need to come up with a strategy that will address the users’ needs. This may involve designing new interfaces, improving current ones or even coming up with new solutions for the users.
  3. Design & Prototyping – Once you have come up with a solution, you need to create wireframes and prototypes to test it out so that any problems can be fixed before it gets implemented. Wireframes are static images of what your design will look like while prototyping allows you to see how the design works and how users will interact with it.
  4. Implementation – Once the prototype has been approved, it is then implemented into the live website or product.

The above are just some of the steps involved in the user experience design process.

There are many other factors that need to be taken into account, such as user feedback, which are covered in the other articles on this website.

You will need to have these skills to be a UX designer.

User Research & Strategy

The User experience researcher and strategist personas were added in 2009.

They are professionals who have a wide knowledge of all aspects of user experience (UX) design, so they have the skills to do the job well.

These are people who have experience with UX research for UX design, strategy design methodologies, UI, creating an entire user journey, prototyping tools for the end-user, sprints, project management practices, enabling users to navigate with ease, and more.

They also need to be good at understanding business needs and being able to communicate their expertise with non-UX professionals.

UX and graphic design

6 tools for UX designers

There are plenty of UX design tools out there, that allows you to create successful design projects (eg, mobile apps, user flows, accessible design and also physical interaction) using computer science.

Let’s get a closer look at 6 of the best design tools for UX – user centered design:

#1. Axure

This wireframing software is used for UX design, prototyping and documentation.

It also has a number of features that are necessary for designers to create interactive prototypes, such as dynamic content updates or hotspots.

There are other features that are useful for professional designers, such as an in-browser preview or the ability to generate code automatically.

#2. Balsamiq Mockups

This tool for UX design is helpful when you want to create wireframes and mockups quickly without having to deal with any complex interface issues.

It’s especially useful if you don’t have much experience with sketching or graphics design because it provides everything you need to create great designs.

#3. Adobe Captivate

This tool for UX design is good for creating and conducting a UX design process, user testing, collecting user feedback and gathering qualitative data and positive first impression (such as customer satisfaction).

It allows you to create animated prototyping tutorials with voiceover narration, which is not possible with most other tools.

Captivate works best when used as a complement to Axure, Balsamiq or Sketch because it can be used as part of the research process as well as for final documentation.

#4. Sketch

This is a Mac OS X-based application that specializes in UI design, specifically UI and icon shaping, also used in UX design.

It has some powerful vector tools that allow you to create smooth lines and curves, which are difficult or impossible to do with most other similar tools.

One of the best parts about this tool is the fact that it’s so easy to use.

#5. Adobe CC Suite

The interaction designer who is working with wireframes and prototypes need specific tools, so this one is good for vector graphics.

It has some powerful features that allow you to easily do UI and UX designers work, like extracting logos or other images from Photoshop files, which can save you a lot of time.

It also has a number of features that are good for creating illustrations and wireframes, that’s why it’s a must-have tool also in UX design.

Adobe offers a wide range of apps that can help you grow as a designer in general, here are some of them:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe XD

#6. InVision

This is another popular prototyping tool for UX design that is used by both UX and UI designers.

It’s known for its easy-to-use interface, which makes it perfect for people who are new to prototyping.

It also has a number of features that are helpful for more experienced designers, such as the ability to add animations and create complex interactions.

InVision is a great tool for collaboration because it allows you to share user’s experience prototypes with others and get feedback quickly and easily.

Other Tools:

If you are interested in discovering other tools for web designers, I suggest you read our insights in the following articles.

learning ux design
Example of UX certificate by the Interaction Design Foundation.

What UX skills do you need to be a successful UX designer?

In order to be successful in user experience design, it is important that you have strong research, problem-solving and communication skills.

You should also be familiar with common software used in the field, such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch.

Prototyping skills are also beneficial, as this will allow you to quickly test your designs with the end-user.

There are several different skills that will help with being a successful UX designer, including both technical and creative abilities.

A good understanding of what makes products easy to use is needed, as well as interpersonal skills that will enable you to gather information from users.

Other relevant skills include creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking.

As with any career choice, it is important to keep on learning new things in order to stay ahead of your competitors.

There are a number of hard and soft skills that are essential for anyone hoping to become a successful UX designer. These include:

  • Strong research skills: It’s important for UX designers to be able to understand user needs and behaviours, so they can create designs that meet these needs.
  • Good problem-solving skills: As a UX designer, you will often be required to solve design problems quickly and efficiently.
  • Design process: as a UX designer, you need to know how the design thinking process works, to be in line with the design ideas and design thinking.
  • Strong communication skills: UX designers need to be able to clearly communicate their ideas to others, both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent design skills: A good UX designer needs to have strong visual design skills and the ability to create interfaces that are both user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Good technical skills: Many UX designers work with software, so you will need to have a good understanding of how it works.
  • Team player: As the user experience design industry is highly collaborative, it’s important to be able to work well in a team environment.
ux design hard and soft skill

A successful UX designer will need to have also soft skills such as:

  • being creative;
  • clear communicator;
  • tenacious in solving user problems;
  • improving a person’s experience;
  • resilient optimist;
  • open-minded listener;
  • empathetic thinker;
  • analytically rigorous thinker.

A successful UX designer should be good at team-building with interaction designers and project prototyping systems – but should also pay attention to other aspects of their work outside of UI design.

How to become a user experience designer?

A successful user experience designer is able to answer all three Ws: why (understand what the users want, fo eg, through user interviews and user stories), what (create engaging experiences for them) and how (do it quickly).

In addition to this, great user experience professionals need to be good communicators who can clearly communicate ideas and design decisions, as well as have a good understanding of technology.

They should also be able to work effectively in teams, as user experience design is often a collaborative process.

ux design salary
The average UX design salary by Desircle

What is a UX designer salary?

User experience designer salaries vary depending on a number of factors, including experience, location and company size.

However, the average pay for a UX designer is around $72,000 per year.

The average annual gross designer wages are approximately $50.53 per hour.

Most job openings begin at $55,000 a month and experienced workers can earn more than $125,000 per year.

Are UX designers paid well?

UX designers are paid well.

Usually, they make an average yearly salary of 75,000 U.S Dollars/year (which is about 113,500 Pounds or 71,350 Euros).

However, this can vary depending on the experience in the field and how successful their client base is.

Across all platforms, lead UX designers at Glassdoor were reportedly the top-paid employees, valued at between 169k and 181K.

Where can I find out more about becoming a UX designer?

There are many online courses available that provide an introduction to user experience design.

The best resource online is the Interaction Design Foundation.

This platform offers the best UX design courses to pursuit a UX career.

You can also read articles or books that give an overview of what being a UX design professional involves – just search for “UX books” or “online UX design course” on Google.

Google offers also an online course for UX design to upgrade your UX design skills and will deliver to you a professional certificate.

Another option would be to look for Jobs (to get digital experience in UX design) through a lot of UX design jobs platforms, such as:

  • Indeed
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Monster
  • CareerBuilder

These sites are great because they allow you to search for jobs based on your skills and experience, get a competitive advantage, create a real final product, obtain a finished design to add to your UX design portfolio.

is worth working in UX design

Is it worth becoming a UX designer nowadays?

The answer to this question really depends on your personal circumstances.

If you’re already working as a graphic designer or web developer, then learning about user experience design can be a great way to broaden your skillset and make yourself more marketable.

However, if you’re just starting out in your career, it might be wise to wait until you have some basic design or coding skills under your belt before trying to become a UX designer.

That being said, the field of user experience design is growing rapidly, so there’s no telling what the future holds!

So, is user experience design worth it?

There is no simple answer to this question – it depends on a number of factors, including your skill set, experience and what you hope to get out of a career in user experience design.

That said, there are many benefits to pursuing a career in UX design, including job security, the ability to work from home and good salary prospects.


There’s no telling what will happen in the future with user experience design but it does seem like a good career choice for those who want to pursue one now.

There are many online courses and resources available to help you get started, so don’t hesitate to do some research and see if the career is a good fit for you.

This career is certainly very exciting. 

We have seen how you can approach this new world and how great it can be to start this new role. 

Whether you already have experience in the world of design or you are new to this field, you can certainly learn more thanks to the web, because nowadays there are plenty of free (and some paid) resources that can help you learn more and better yourself. 

The bottom line is that user experience design is important because it helps create engaging, user-friendly experiences for people all over the world.

If you’re interested in helping make the digital world a better place, then a career in user experience design might be the right choice for you.

2 Responses

  1. fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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