The art of engineering positive user experiences.
User Experience is the key factor for most people visiting your site.
Your site needs to work. Your site needs to look good. These things are a given (if you want to compete in todays crowded webspace).
Your user doesn't care about design (so long as it looks like the work of a professional web designer).
They do not care about development (as long as everything they interact with works).
How can you engineer positive user experiences?
By making sure they never have a bad one.
UX engineering is about making sure your users never have to want, worry, or wander. This means code that works, design that works, but most importantly, that everything works together to form a cohesive and worthwhile investment of their time.
Think about it like this: Would you want to do business with someone that has a broken website?
Chances are that kind of negative impression would at least make you think twice.
Poor design and poor programming are both are unacceptable.
Designs do not have to be filled with eye candy for your visitor to rate it as "good design". Your site does not have to have more features than Facebook in order to hold their attention. It just has to work, and work well.
What is User Experience anyway?
UX encompasses everything, from the time they enter to the time they leave.
You can read more about the nuances of user experience in User Experience: The rise and fall of modern design.
In a nutshell, it's about creating a fluid experience that provides exceptional value.
This can be as simple as a black and white webpage with nothing but information. If the information they're looking for is easy to locate and digest (and accurate!) , you've just created a positive user experience.
Positive experiences can become positive relationships.
The end goal of UX is to form trust.
Without trust, you have nothing. Providing value to those in need is a great way to build trust!
Value comes in many different forms, but user experience is about sharing those values in the best ways possible.
Present your message in a way that can be heard.
People are constantly bombarded with advertisements and information. If you want to reach your audience, you have to engage them.
You cannot communicate with your visitors unless you can speak their language. This means getting to know the people using your site/application and meeting/exceeding their expecations on every level.