The rise and fall of modern design.
UX isn't everything, but it encompasses everything.
Positive user experiences are the ultimate goal for any legitimate application (be it a website, an app, or even in-house software).
Some important distinctions about User Experience
UX is not UI.
UI, or User Interface is the front-end of your application.
A good deal of the UX stems from here, but UI is merely a component of UX.
UX is not Graphic Design.
Most interfaces will have graphical elements, earning them the title of GUI (or Graphic User Interface). These are mostly cosmetic items like images and video, and generally acts as an extension of the UI.
Imagine for a moment that your site is a living, breathing thing.
The UI is the skin (front-end frameworks, layouts and the like). It's with you from the start, and generally, you want to feel comfortable in it - it's usually with you for life.
The GUI is the clothing, makeup, and accessories that allow you to tell the world, at a glance, what you might be like. These are cosmetic items that can be changed often.
UX is the organs - the parts you can't really see, but you know are there. They are the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, the heart, and the brain. You need them all to work. You can mature the brain. You can keep the heart strong and active. You can treat the rest of them with respect, and they'll serve you well for a long time.
To complete the analogy, programming is the muscle, architecture is the skeleton, and servers are the central nervous system linking it all together. Ahhh, closure.
The truth about UX
UX encompasses *everything* that end-user will experience.
This involves a multitude of both large and nuanced factors in the overall development.
Are your clients having to needlessly suffer?
Is your application pleasant to look at?
Is your application easy to use?
It asks important questions, testing theories to validate (or invalidate) assumptions.
Can new users use your software almost immediately?
How does your target audience grade your application?
How are your end-users interacting with your application?
The list is exhaustive, but the point should be clear:
UX is extremely important.
In a way, it's everything.
It's looking at the bigger picture, incorporated into the very transition from an idea into something useful. When you skimp on UX, you're cheating your customers and yourself. You're wasting money doing things that may not even be critical to the final application.
Without a solid plan, your team is lost in a fog. Without feedback and data, you're deaf, silent, and blind to what your customers have to say.
Want to talk more about UX and show the world you aren't monkeying around?
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I haven't started my project yet.
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There are many hidden truths about software development and application management. It's good to have someone looking out for what's best for YOU.