04 Apr The Rest of UX – Part One

If you Google “Web Design”, “App Design” or any combination of them, chances are you will stumble upon some blogs about UX, UI and a plethora other acronyms. Some of these will likely have described “UX” or User-Experience as simply the “look” of a website or app, or the basic functions of how it works.

This is all fine and great – and while technically correct, it buries the lead. UX literally means User Experience – so how can an entire experience be distilled into button shapes and a loading animation?

It can’t

 

Part One: The Breakdown

UX is the ENTIRETY of the User’s Experience. Anything that a user can read, look at, scroll past, click on, react to or take away with them at any time DURING or AFTER their use of a site or app, is UX. Let’s break it down to easily understood chunks.

When you go out to dinner, your experience isn’t boiled down to the logo on the door of the restaurant. How were you greeted? Is it too quiet or too loud inside? What temperature is it? Was your server friendly? How did the food taste? Was the cost appropriate? How did you FEEL during and after the visit? These are the small pieces that all add p to your whole experience of the restaurant, and the same concepts apply to the digital space.

Amazon may not seem like it has a great User Experience. The screen isn’t a slick design with cool animations or unique elements. Instead, they serves a more utilitarian purpose. Here are products – here are categories – here are prices and options to help you shop. This minimalist approach to UX carries though the entirety of Amazon itself – they know UX doesn’t stop when someone leaves the site. How did the package arrive? What did the box look like? These are the parts of the experience that stay with a user well past a cool button hover or loading animation.

This isn’t to say all the cool animations and hovers and movement’s involved in the apps and
sites we use aren’t vital to UX, it’s actually the opposite. They serve as the skeleton to any
successful digital platform, just not the truly relevant pieces we need.

 

Check back next week for the other half of our exploration of User Experience.