About UX design

About User Experience (UX) Design

UX design requires a listening attitude that creates an openness to new ideas. It’s a method that requires both scientific and artistic thinking.

UX is about solving problems, the conundrums that keep a business owner up at night. Or the ones you don’t even know about. Digital products are especially prone to such intangibles.

The solution is simple, but hard to do well: listening to understand. The answers are hiding in the minds of the users. It’s their personal experience that counts. Even the best designers can’t find this out by sitting at their desk. UX designers often talk about “getting out of the building,” listen to your audience, and do it in a skillful way.

UX is the thinking behind the visual design. It’s often invisible work, done “under the hood,” but the results are what makes the engine run smoothly. The key to success is gaining insights about the people who will be using your product. Hiring a user experience (UX) designer is like having a Sherlock Holmes on your team—except that fortunately Mr. Holmes has now developed empathy and emotional intelligence.

UX venn diagram
UX design ideally is the sweet spot at the intersection of Business, Technology, and Design–because it focuses on the needs and desires of humans using the system.

The UX hierarchy of needs

This is my version of the UX pyramid, a combination of ideas from many designers. It has its limits because the design process is not really linear. But I find it very useful when explaining UX design. I sit and contemplate this diagram every once in a while to refresh my thoughts.

The hierarchy of needs for user-centered-design
The hierarchy of needs for user-centered-design (after Maslow, Stephen P. Anderson, and other UX designers)