Let’s tell the story of a typical tech product. It starts with a great idea — maybe a personal pain point you’ve faced, or a hunch about where the market is headed. You spec out an amazing app. You get a team of engineers to build it, and find a designer to make the product look and feel awesome. You’ve nailed it!
Only thing is… you launch, and no one cares. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?
Know what might have made the difference? Talking to your customers and gaining insight into their wants & needs. Also known as… user research!
What is UX Design, really?
“But isn’t UX Design all about the look & feel and usability of products — creating things like wireframes & site maps?” you might be asking. Good question!
User Experience design is concerned with every part of how a user interacts with a product. That involves things like understanding interaction design (what is the interface we’re building, and how do users navigate through the product?), information architecture (how is our site/app organized?), and usability (is it easy to use and functional?). But before we can address all the details about how the product works, we first need to understand who we’re building it for, and why we’re building it.
As the industry-leading Nielsen Norman Group states, UX without Research is not really UX.
Quite simply, if you want a job in UX, you need to be able to demonstrate your ability to gain customer insight and empathy to inform any solution you’re building. Increasingly, companies are understanding the value of user-centered design, and they’re looking to hire people who are skilled in those methodologies to help them create more impactful products.