User Experience design, or UX for short, is the design process used to determine not what something looks like, but the experience we have while using it.

Why?

The design of everyday things used to be based on what the designer thought best. But when big brands like Apple started focusing on the feelings of the user, the meaning of a “good” design changed forever.

Today, user experience design is the difference between a companys mere survival and its ongoing success. A plain useful product is no longer enough. We, the users, want more.

Who?

UX designers are creative problem solvers who draw from empathy, research, psychology and other design disciplines to enhance our everyday experiences with (mostly) digital products & services, like apps or websites.

From startups to the world’s most successful companies, brands everywhere hire UX designers to design products that are easier to use, efficient and enjoyable for everyone.

Who

Where?

From smartphones to supermarkets, theme parks to tableware. Our user experiences are always improving, thanks to UX.

Where

How?

With design thinking! The mindset used by most UX designers to create products we love.

It has five phases:

Empathise

Empathise

To understand the user, first put yourself in their shoes!

Define

Define

Identify and prioritise their needs. They have many!

Ideate

Ideate

Come up with ideas for a helpful design (this is a really fun part!)

Prototype

Prototype

Testing the design is very important, and often repeated.

Test

Test

After more testing, you produce the final working product!

Arrow
Empathise

Empathise

To understand the user, first put yourself in their shoes!

Define

Define

Identify and prioritise their needs. They have many!

Ideate

Ideate

Come up with ideas for a helpful design (this is a really fun part!)

Test

Test

After more testing, you produce the final working product!

Prototype

Prototype

Testing the design is very important, and often repeated.

There's never been a better time

Magnifying Glass

To learn more

Timeline

4000 BCE: Feng Shui

4000 BCE: Feng Shui

An ancient Chinese philosophy dating back 6,000 years is the practice of arranging living spaces in the most intuitive, user-friendly way to establish harmony between an individual and their environment. Behold, one of the earliest examples of UX?

500 BCE: Ancient Greece

500 BCE: Ancient Greece

Greek civilizations carefully considered their workplaces and public spaces. For example, Hippocrates once explained how a surgeon’s workplace should be set up, “The surgeon may stand or be seated, in a posture comfortable for him”— and the arrangement of tools; “they must be positioned in such a way as to not obstruct the surgeon, and also be within easy reach when required.”

Early 1900s: Frederick Winslow Taylor

Early 1900s: Frederick Winslow Taylor

Taylor, a mechanical engineer, wanted to make workplaces more efficient, so conducted extensive research into interactions between workers and their tools

1940s: Toyota

1940s: Toyota

Factory workers were encouraged to offer feedback in this famous human-centered production system. Respecting workers by creating an optimal working environment has begun, as well as a better understanding of the importance of how humans interact with machines

1955: Henry Dreyfuss

1955: Henry Dreyfuss

He is responsible for designing and improving the usability of some of the most iconic consumer products, such as the Hoover vacuum cleaner and the tabletop telephone.

In 1955, he wrote about his design philosophy: “When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the designer has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient—or just plain happier—by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded.”

1966: Walt Disney

1966: Walt Disney

Wait, what? UX isn’t just digital. Disney was obsessed with creating near-perfect user experiences, and his Disney World is an example of UX genius. He once said, “Know your audience, wear your guest’s shoes, communicate with color, shape, form and texture…”

1970s: The PC

1970s: The PC

Personal computers got psychologists and engineers working together to focus on the full user experience.

1984: Apple

1984: Apple

When the original Mac was released featuring a built-in screen and mouse, UX changed forever. Since then, Apple has been a true innovator of user experience.

1995: Donald Norman

1995: Donald Norman

Finally, user experience design is given a name! While working for Apple in the early 90s, Norman came up with the term to describe all that UX was. He explained, “I invented the term because I thought human-interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience”

To infinity, and beyond!

To infinity, and beyond!

UX design isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s just getting started! From Artificial Intelligence to Virtual Reality, UX designers face new and exciting challenges every day.

Introduce them to a new way of thinking

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