Top 7 UX Topics All Beginners Need to Know

If you are reading this post chances are that you want to get started in UX design. We are proud to tell you that you have come to the right place. Herein we will describe the top seven topics you and all other beginners in UX design should know. Just continue reading.

You must have heard of the term UX but you might not know what it means. UX is growing tremendously and has changed the way people relate to their surroundings.

UX is what has made search engines like Google easy to work with and has made Facebook to always know what people want next. UX is done by UX designers. However, Startups, product managers, product designers, and entrepreneurs do it.

So, what exactly is UX?

We will try to explain it in a layman language to make you understand that term easily but first UX stands for user experience.

For beginners, when you but something, let’s say, for instance, you bought a mobile phone or you were treated in a hospital and you were healed, then you are a user. The way you interact with a service or a product is what is called experience. When you buy a product from a company, the company wants you to enjoy a good experience using it. Now for the experience to be good, the product must solve your problems or you must get value from the product.

Now as a UX designer, you not only need to create the user experience, but you also have to make sure the experience is good.

The UX process

The UX design process follows a process that resembles that of doing science. First, you must research to know the users, then come up with ideas to solve their needs plus those of the company, and finally, you measure the solutions practically to see if they are effective.

Some people understand what UX means, and sometimes they may have a clue of why it is essential but they lack an understanding of how to realize a good UX.

According to Livingstone Stewarts, a UX designer at AssignmentMasters.org, when there is lack of understanding and especially from the top managers of a particular company, the UX team faces challenges. But that doesn’t have to happen in your company if you go through these critical UX concepts.

1. User Research Is Critical

It’s not a question: When customer service managers, marketing managers, and project managers are asked by the UX design team about talking to their users, they will definitely say they know their users and there is no need to talk to them. “Well, as long as we the customer service team, talk to our customers on a daily basis, we don’t have to talk to them” This is what the customer service managers would say.

As a UX designer, you need to explain to the management the purpose of the research and what you want to achieve from it. Explain how user research can help to know user’s needs so that the company can work to address those needs. Show that market research entails broad user trends and the likelihood for them to buy but user research is based on users’ experience when they buy and use a product. Market research and user research are different things, and without talking to them, it can be hard to know their experience with the products they buy.

2. Understand Your Target Audience

When it comes to the UX design process, user research is not optional. It also worth noting that before you design a product you should know the intended users of the product first. For a product to be loved by the users, you must know what they want and have an idea of their needs too. This is where user research becomes an inevitable part of the UX design process. It is essential to design a product with the users in mind. This will help you to tailor the product to their needs and wants.

People want to buy products that will add value to their life. As a UX designer, you should be able to understand it’s time to forget about adding features to your products and concentrate on adding benefits that people will enjoy when they use your products.

3. Seek Feedback Regularly

UX Topics All Beginners Need to Know

Reflection is good. It feels bad to design a product or come up with a service only to find out that people are not interested in it. This is caused by failing to seek feedback from users before you start and during the design process. It is true; you will get sucked into the details of implementation during the product development stage, but this brake is meant to ensure you get things done in the right way possible. However, you need to seek feedback from users on a regular basis to know whether you are still on the right track.

Remember, you are not limited only to users, but you can also seek feedback from other people outside your team and the UX team. Feedback is meant to ensure you don’t get lost on the way.

During the product design process:

  • Think about a product or feature you designed in the past that failed to meet the wants and needs of its users. Did you seek feedback from users and people outside your team? If you never sought feedback, what was the reason for that?
  • Consider the product or feature you are designing at the moment. Decide to seek feedback after every stage. Find out how you will get this feedback, who are the people to approach and what method should you use?
4. Train Your Eye for Design

Yes; you might have an understanding of design principles, which is good, but that’s not all, you must develop an eye for design in that you can see a good design and a bad one and you can detect strengths and weaknesses in designs. You must get inspired so as to train your eye for design. Get creative through research. Unless you are a genius but your mind cannot create designs on its own. This is why you need to see what other designers are doing so that you can get an idea where to start and get things done, particularly for a starter.

The best way to get ideas is to look what other UX designers are doing, make notes of good designs you come across that are similar to your project and note down the good thing you see about the designs you come across. This is a fantastic way to feed your mind with ideas to start from.

5. UI is Part of UX But The Two Are Different

Although UI is part of UX, it is crucial to understand the difference between the two. Most designers make a mistake of thinking that the two terms are the same. However, UI or Unser Interface is the point of interactions between a product and the user, whereas, UX or User Experience is the behavior of users after they interact with the product. What you see immediately you launch a particular App is the User Interface (UI). What you feel when you start using the App is the User experience (UX).

6. You are Not the Real User

UX Topics All Beginners Need to Know

Sorry to say that but here is the point: Testing the product or feature with the actual users is a crucial part of the product design process. UX designers sometimes try to relate themselves with the real users of their product or feature. They tend to think that users of their interfaces are like them. This leads to designers transferring their behaviors onto users. What you need to know is that you are not the user. Different people share different beliefs and will behave differently in a given context.

Remember, chances are that your product’ users come from distinct backgrounds and have different wants and needs. In short, you are not them and they are not you. This takes us to the next topic…..

7. Usability Tests are Essential

Usability testing is a helpful technique that is meant to help UX designers to avoid thinking that they are the same as users of their product. This technique will help you to design a product or feature that users love. Note that users are not only friends, family members, and your team members alone. You need to go out there and test your product or feature with real users so that you tailor the product to them.

Important: Usability testing takes time, so you need to be patient, but it will help you to move on the right path.

Bonus

A Prototype is Essential

When designing a digital product, you should develop a prototype first.

We have mentioned above that UX designers make a mistake to think that they are users of a product. Another mistake is to skip the prototyping stage when designing the real product. You put a lot of effort to design a product that you think is good but when released to the users, it can’t solve their problems. This can be a stressful moment that can be avoided by creating a prototype beforehand.

A prototype is a model of a product and is created to test the real product. During the prototyping stage, UX designers can use a variety of prototyping techniques. The most commonly used prototyping technique is called rapid prototyping. This technique is meant to show how the end product will look like whether it’s a website or an app.

Always Set Time for Thinking

Most successful designers usually allocate time for thinking and less doing. So learn to think like a great designer.

You will get excited to see the progress of your project and that’s normal, but do you have some time to think? When you concentrate solely on doing, you are likely to skip the thinking process. Always set time to think.

To ensure you have time to think:

  • Schedule a thinking session in your calendar and then conduct an activity outside your place of work so that you can think. It could be a walk, a trip or a lunch outside your office.
  • Allow team members to share their views throughout the product design process.
Consistency and Simplicity is Paramount

UX Topics All Beginners Need to Know

To create a good user interface you must keep simple and consistent.

When it comes to digital products, simplicity refers to creating something that users can understand and use easily. Your product should not be complex to the extent of making users refer to the manual/instructions every time they want to use it. The interface of your App or website should guide users from one stage to the next.

The interface should also be consistent from the start to the end of the product. For instance, some websites are designed with different color schemes for every web page. This way, the website can confuse users. So it is important to keep everything consistent.

Final Words

As we conclude, we should also let you know that mistakes are inevitable and don’t be afraid when you make them as it’s part of learning. Follow the ideas we’ve shared above, and if possible keep adopting new UX design practices and tactics to find the one that is ideal for you and suitable for your target users.

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