As UX designers, we have often been asked how UX benefits businesses. This article tries to address this fundamental question and demonstrates how UX design can equip businesses to gain customers and achieve growth. User experience design or UXD, is a combination of key elements like research, prototyping and UI which all combine to align business goals with user needs. Let’s first start with research.
Research: Understanding user needs and business goals
Research is one aspect of UX that often gets overlooked. A lot of businesses feel that they know their users. They are so involved in the business that they start believing that the users will perceive their product in the same way as they do, which is often not the case. User research can help answer whether users can perceive the design in the same way as they are intended. Research helps in defining who the users are, what are their goals and what are they trying to achieve through this product/platform. It’s a holistic approach aimed at understanding the business goals and using a variety of research methods to extract the most vital forms of data from the users.
IA and wireframing: from ideation to implementation
Weak navigation or cluttered web pages make it difficult for users to find the right content or accomplish their goals. This is often due to too many features and content being piled up over time or a lack of information structure. This highlights the importance of Information Architecture(IA). In simple terms, IA refers to the blueprint of the design structure that is created by organizing the information and content in the best way possible. IA provides a hierarchy of information flows that can then be used to create wireframes.
Early-stage wireframes help translate research and analysis into tangible visual prototypes. Wireframing helps interpret business goals into pages, giving a clearer vision of what the product is going to look like.
UI design: defining your brand
UI involves using the grid, rich typography, colours and images to give life to the wireframes. It helps relate the brand to the right target user and creates a connection and trust with the users. Good UI design makes the page look consistent, intuitive and seamless. Here it is important to talk about design systems that play a major role in reducing developmental efforts by providing a collection of usable components which can be assembled to build pages. From a business standpoint, these help save time and effort and offer faster and more consistent outputs.
As the UX process moves forward it starts aligning the business goals, stakeholders’ vision and user goals and unites them into one, creating the best user experience for both users and stakeholders eventually leading to business growth.
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