what is UX?
We’ll start by defining UX, which stands for “user experience.” When we say “user experience,” we’re referring to how people interact with a product. For example, when we want to turn on a light in our room, we interact with a light switch. The design of the switch—including the color, material, and physical appearance—may impact how we feel about the interaction.
Similarly, in the digital design world, UX refers to everything that affects a user’s interaction with a digital product. When people use a product, they usually evaluate their experiences according to the following criteria:
- Value. Does this product give me value?
- Function. Does this product work?
- Usability. Is it easy to use?
- General impression. Is it pleasant to use?
The origins & goals of UX
Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, coined the term “user experience” in the 1990s. According to Norman, “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
In the following video, Norman shares his thoughts on the origin of the term UX and how we should and shouldn’t use the term.
Other essential things that you need to know about UX include:
- User experience is about what users both think and feel. Humans are both rational and emotional; both sides play a significant role in how users think about a product.
- User experience also depends on the context in which the product is used. To design a great product, you need a good understanding of this context. It’s also essential to understand the role that a product plays in users’ lives.
- A user’s experience with your product may change over time. When people start using a new product, they may have mixed feelings about it. However, as they become more familiar with it, they might easily change their minds.