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Great teams create great products

Great products and services are nowadays seldomly created single handedly but derive from an intense collaboration approach of open minded team members and engaged stakeholders. They are created in an atmosphere of trust and appreciation of individual contributions to one shared effort. Stress and distrust can seriously damage the process and lead to poor product decisions which will neither be appreciated nor accepted by clients and prospects in a very competitive market.

User experience design 101

There are many definitions out there. For me UX-Design is a methodology which helps building user-centric digital products and services and helps to find highly optimized design decisions. The name was coined by Don Norman to encompass all aspects of a persons experience with a digital system and introduced because Norman felt that human interface design and usability were too narrow. UX-Designs broadness is also its biggest advantage and adversary when it comes to a clear understanding of the concrete practices in the field. Being mostly confused with UI-design which is the visual part of designing interfaces.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

That might have been true, but Henry Ford probably also never asked his users what they wanted. User research is not straight forward. Unfortunately we cannot simply ask our users what they want, but we need to find out their acutall goals and sometimes hidden motivations to arrive at a great solution. The nearer UX comes to the users, customers or prospects the better. For example, it sometimes seems more feasible to use crowd testing, because of it´s attractive price and almost instant availablility. But it might be more suited for the project to undergo the hardship of recruiting own participants form the current user base or go out and recruit the users of competing products or solutions.

UX - U = 0

If you take out the user insights then it´s probably not user experience design. For some projects the lack of directly obtained user insights can be mitigated with analytics insights, usability best practices and other research resources, but it might also lead to wrong assumptions because of difference in audiences or contexts.

UX is not UI Design

UX and UI Design

User experience and user interface design are as the different naming already suggests not the same. User experience design focuses on obtaining better informed user centered design decisions for all phases of the product development and optimization process. User interface design is occupied with the visual design of an interface, which should be part of a UX concept.