What Is: User Experience Design


BlogImage_LukeMiller (1)Name: Luke Miller (@younglucas)

Occupation: UXDI Instructor, General Assembly

1. In 140 characters or less, what is user experience (UX) design?

UXD shapes how you feel while interacting with something. It is shaped by the look, language and feedback of a system across platforms.

2. If a website were a ______, UX design would be ______?

I like this breakfast cereal metaphor.

3. What are some common misconceptions about UX design?

It’s a misconception that…

  • To be engaging means to be persistently in your face; things like good affordances, animation or other contextual interactive components will solve for “putting it above the fold”
  • It takes a long time to prototype or do other user testing
  • You need to understand how systems work: you do need to know how to ask the right questions though
  • My great new feature is great for my users
  • UX is about introducing new features; the solution may simply be about adjusting the ones you already have

4. How would you explain the relationship between UX design and information architecture to a five year old?

Information architects are in charge of organizing things and keeping them clean. A UX designer gets to say how we use those things after they get organized. For example, an information architect would say “toys go in a toy box,” and a UX designer would describe how we get to the toy box, how we might play with the toys, and how we’d put the toys back in the box.

5. What are some of your favorite books, links, resources, for someone interested in getting started in user experience design?

  • How to Make Sense of Any Mess, Abby Covert
  • Design for Real Life, Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy, Steve Krug
  • Sprint, Jake Knapp
  • Practitioner’s Guide to User Experience Design, me 😉

6. Any advice for an aspiring user experience designer?

    • Always be visiting new sites and trying new apps.. Even if they cost a buck or two. Try to become a power user on some — the more you experience the more you have to draw from when thinking through interaction patterns
    • Pay attention to updates and redesigns. Notice how a user’s experience changes as every pixel and feature evolves from version to version
    • Be a better listener. When talking with people, try to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do about a service or product
    • Play more video games.

Get started at GA. Learn from top practitioners in our 10-week User Experience Design course.

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