User Experience Design

What is User Experience Design?

User Experience design, or UX Design, is the process of creating websites that are meaningful, useful and relevant to a specific user by using research and prototyping to understand the user's needs. It is an important part of analysis part of the web development process, especially during the early stages of development. During this process, the designers and developers must take on the perspective of the user in order to most effectively acheive these goals.

The process begins by raising certain questions about the user's needs and expectations.


When starting to develop a product, it is essential to determine why the site is being created. The development team must understand the user's motivation to visit the site and what they wish to acheive. The developers must also consider how the user feels about using the site. For example, users will have different experiences when using a site to shop for clothing then they would when using a site to pay a credit card bill.


It is important to ask what the user expects to be able to do with the website. This encompasses the overall functionality of the website as well as minor details about what actions the user might take. For example, the functionality of Google.com is to allow the user to search for something on the internet; the UX Designer then needs to think about the actions that the user takes to complete a search. Storyboards are used to outline processes such as this one.


Finally, a designer must determine how to create a site that is functional but also aesthetically pleasing. The designer needs to think about the most effective way to create a great user experience. The need to consider what steps they and the site development team must take in order to acheive the goals of the site.

A storyboard outlining a user booking a class on a website

There are three primary factors that UX Designers are concerned with.


Usability is the number one priority of the UX Designer. The functionality of the site should be as easy as possible and the user should be able to predict what actions they will take next. For example, reducing the amount of input requested from users, predicting potential mistakes, and figuring out what solutions may be needed are essential for a successful website.


The site should be developed in such a way that the user "feels" happy about using the site. This requires the designer to consider the experience beyond functionality. The designer should consider how the user might feel about the content and present it in a way that creates a positive experience for the user.


From a design standpoint, the goal is to create a site that is visually appealing and relates to the user's expectations. This involves making wireframes, mockups and style guides. The look must reflect the values and expectations that the user has about the content of the site.


  • Considering the user experience before the design process begins makes creating a site easier because the basic structure of the site is already outlined
  • Anticipating the user experience will bring more users to the website
  • The research process involved in the UX Design process will give the organization insight into who their users are and what they need


  • UX Design requires a new understanding of web design through various resources, so current web designers may be challenged when learning UX Design
  • UX Design requires a great deal of research which might consume a lot of time and other resources in order to acquire the information needed to improve the user's experience