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What does a UX designer actually do? - The question finally answered

14th May 2018
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With websites and mobile apps becoming more and more friendly to the user’s eye, the user interface and user experience is the talk of the day. Shortly known as UI/UX, these terms are generally known to be together. Due to this, sometimes, people assume that they can use these terms interchangeably. But this is absolutely wrong.

UX and UI are as different as fruits and apples. UI is a part of the UX. User experience is a broader term. Due to the misconception of swapping UI and UX as if both are similar, business owners sometimes end up getting a UI designer instead of a UX designer or vice versa. To prevent this from happening, I have decided to enlist all the duties or a UX designer and define the role.

First, let me explain in detail what one should understand by the term User Experience design

For a long time now, the term design has been associated with the look or the graphic design of the product. But, the UX design is actually the look as well as the feel of the application.

UX design is the process of developing an app that is useful, easy as well as delightful to interact with. UX is solely based on how the human interacts with the device and its attributes are dictated by the emotions and attitudes of the users, the practical and experiential perceptions of the system and the valuable aspects of human–computer interaction.

UX is actually a really broad term and it does not have a universally accepted definition. In reality, user experience design is a concept that has many dimensions with a union of a bunch of different disciplines namely, interaction and visual design, information architecture, app usability and accessibility, and human-computer interaction.

The aim of UX design can be stated as improving customer satisfaction and loyalty through the ease of use, functionality, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the app.

But all these explanations still do not explain UX design for what it actually is. But it surely sums up what a UX designer is supposed to do.

In short, it lies upon the UX designer to decide how the human and the machine will interact with each other. This defines the sole responsibility of a UX designer.

The duties of a UX designer can vary drastically from company to company or from project to project. But in general, there are some tasks that a UX designer performs that eventually help in designing an app with an impressive UX.

Here is how a UX designer does the UX designing in 4 phases:

1. The product and user research phase: The UX designer in order to give a perfect mobile UI/UX to the app, has to thoroughly research the product. Through this, the designer can build a firm foundation of the UX design and then allow the designer to avoid assumptions and make fact and foundation driven decisions.

When the designer conducts a user research, he or she can gain information regarding the user behaviour, motivation, goals, needs, etc. Through this, one can also analyse the industry standards and look for opportunities in the market for the app.

2. The designing phase: Once the needs and expectations of the users have been analysed, the next step is to plan the design and go forward with it. A thorough study of customer behaviour and reaction along with the study of the product presentation, one can create a UX design that has functionality as well as usability in a way that grabs the user’s attention and holds it.

Once the user expectations have been determined by the designer, he or she can conclude how users would like to interact with the app and develop a UX design accordingly.

3. The testing phase: The testing phase required the designer to test the app UX design and make the required changes to eliminate bugs and errors. There are many user difficulties that can be unforeseen during the development phase. In this, the designer should remember that he or she cannot test it as the user. Testing with real users is an essential part of the design process.

Mobile UX designers sometimes make the mistake of assuming that the users of the app would be like them. This makes them project their behaviour and reactions onto the users. To avoid this, it is essential that the app UX is tested by people who would be using the app and have different backgrounds, varying mindsets, different mental models, and different goals.

4. The implementation phase: This is the final phase where the UX designer works hand in hand with the mobile app developers to transform all these design ideas into a real, working mobile application. The sync and compatibility of the app developers with the UX designer plays a crucial role here.

The UX designer has to make sure that all the design ideas are conveyed clearly to the developers and have realistic expectations from them.

Final words

The work of a mobile app UX designer may keep varying from project to project but all the tasks he or she has to perform are bound within the above-mentioned 4 phases. Each task that the UX designer performs is solely performed keeping in mind the final goal of developing a mobile application with an impressive UX. Mobile app development companies make sure that the UX designer understands his or her responsibilities perfectly to achieve this goal.

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