What is UX, anyway? A Quick Intro
What if you could increase the likelihood of someone buying from you by 400%? It might seem be true, but by simply focusing in on the UX or User Experience of your product/service, it’s inevitable to have a positive boost for your company. According to Forrester Research1, companies see as much as a 400% increase in customer sales simply by leveraging UX strategy / UX design. That brings us to the question, what is UX or User Experience anyway? -- UX is the quality of encounter and perception, be it positive/negative/neutral, that a user (or customer) has when they interface with a company’s brand, product, and/or services*. “good” UX is perceived as seamless, easy to use, friendly and intuitive whereas “bad” UX is perceived to be noisy, broken, and generally confusing (HackingUX's definition of UX)
WHAT IS UX?
To more specifically understand what UX is, we can start with what it is not. UX or User Experience is not to be confused with User Interface, Interaction or Interaction Design, Customer Experience, and so on. Much like how a tree is comprised of many components (roots, trunk, water, sun, etc) UX is built upon a number of items and it spans across detailes that ultimately build upon a successful (or unsuccessful) user’s experience.
DEFINITIONS ACTOSS INDUSTRY
UX is an all encompassing, end-to-end look at the experience that the user perceives. To help add a little more context, here are 3 definitions of UX across industry
GOOD VS GREAT UX
As mentioned, focusing on crafting a “good” UX (i.e. seamless, friendly, intuitive) can be the difference of a customer converting or not; it can also be the difference of a customer coming back, trusting your company, as well as recommending your product/service to their friends. UX is the overall perception and quality experience of a customer.
Pause for a moment. What’s an app that you use everyday? For most people, an email app is probably one of the most used applications . The seamlessness in which an email app is able to notify you when you get “new mail,” your ability to tap it open and immediately read a message, and reply within seconds is a direct example of seamless UX. Good UX should feel obvious (i.e. intuitive… the user should know what to do without thought nor training). Great UX should feel delightful. An example of delighter in UX for an email app might be when you’re refreshing a page and you see a colorful serendipitous spinner, or when you send an email and you hear a small swoosh sound, making it feel like your email is being physically sent. Good UX helps users achieve their goals easily while great UX enhances their experience.
CONCLUSION + HOW TO GET STARTED
Similar to how one would successfully craft a compelling story, a story itself is not solely it’s characters, nor is it solely its setting, nor is it solely it’s plot -- these things are components that make up the story rather while the story itself is the bigger picture composition. User Experience is similar in that it is not to be confused with any one component (user interface, brand, architecture, copy, etc), but rather, understand that each of these elements play a role in the bigger picture to compose what’s would be perceived as a good or bad experience by the user.
UX is the sum of many components that come together to produce a certain quality perception of a product/service (components including UI, brand, information architecture, interaction, etc). It’s no wonder that “good” UX can be the precursor for a 400% bump in customer conversion, as it means that the product/service/website would be characterized as intuitive, easy to use, and friendly. For those who are ready to learn more about UX, the process and how to better their company’s user’s experience, join along Uxonomy, a free publication dedicated to helping people build better, more user friendly and profitable products/services.
This article was written by Holly, M.S., founder of Uxonomy, M.S., Full Stack UX Designer (previously Apple, Facebook, Mintboxx)