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A UX designer or user experience designer is concerned with designing a meaningful and pleasant user experience, generally in the field of websites, software programs, apps, and games.
Similar functions are those of UI designer (user interface designer) and interaction designer, which differ from the role of UX designer in some respects.
The field of view of a UX designer encompasses the entire (emotional) experience of users, while the other two focus on specific parts of this (namely, the Interaction between user and medium or its visual design, respectively).
What is UX design?
User experience design, UX design or UXD for short, is the area of design that focuses on the user experience.
Tests, user surveys, statistics, and analyses, among other things, are used to determine how a user experiences certain websites, products, apps, web applications, etc. Ideally, the experiences a user has (defined by American UX designer Stephen P. Anderson):
■ Meaningful (meaningful)
■ Pleasant (pleasurable)
■ User-friendly (convenient)
■ Usable (usable)
■ Reliable (reliable)
■ Functional/useful (functional/useful)
What does UX designers do?
The tasks of UX designers are, in general terms, as follows:
■ Drawing up improvement plans focused on the customer journey
■ Actively contribute to conversion optimization and lead generation
■ Advising, for example, developers and visual designers in the field of user experience
■ Coordinating user experience initiatives from concept to implementation
■ Elaboration of proposals in prototypes and/or wireframes
To map and improve the user experience, the UX designer has several research models, tools, analyzes, and tests available, such as:
■ User personas
Concrete personifications of (typical) users, including name, face, and attributes, used to try out ideas.
■ A/B tests
In an A/B test, two variants are tried out to determine which works best. One possibility is that the test group is divided in two and that both groups are confronted with one of the two concepts. Such multivariate testing is also known as A/B/n testing.
■ Card sortings
Card sorting is a research method in which respondents have to group cards with subjects to gain insight into a logical hierarchy according to the user. This method is often used when designing a navigation structure for, for example, a website or app.
Wireframes, also called interaction designs, are a kind of construction drawings of a web page or application screen, in which an overview is given of the components. Aspects such as navigation and layout are made transparent, without attention being paid to graphical aspects. This allows pure attention to the content.
■ Mockups and prototypes
Mockups are models of products or software applications that are created early in the design process, for example, for demonstrations, evaluations, tests, or promotions. When a mockup actually functions, it is called a prototype.
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Where do UX designers work?
UX designers often work at media agencies, IT companies, technology companies, webshops, and in large commercial organizations’ development or user experience teams. They deal with interaction designers, UI designers, copywriters, app developers, SEO specialists, app developers, web analysts, front-end developers, communication staff, content managers, and visual designers.
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How do you become a UX designer?
Some relevant courses for someone who wants to work as a UX designer are:
■ Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) (HBO)
■ Design for Interaction (wo)
■ Digital Communication (HBO)
■ Human Media Interaction (wo)
■ Interactive Media Design (HBO)
■ Information science (wo)
■ Interactive Media (HBO)
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