Job descriptions for UX Designers are replete with complex-sounding technical descriptions of skill sets. How do you make sense of it all to forge a mid-life career in this highly sought-after field?
First off, you need to get your mind around the fact that UX, or User Experience, is a huge area of knowledge that involves engineers, psychologists, marketers, sociologists, and mathematicians. Donald Norman, Director of the Design Lab at the University of California is credited with coining the term, ‘User Experience’. In very basic terms, User Experience is most often described as a way to solve human problems in the most simple and efficient manner possible.
Consider a smartphone platform designer who needs to create an app that helps you weed out facts from rumor. Rumors spread quickly online over social media and by word-of-mouth and breed irrational behavior. A newspaper might want to sponsor such an app in order to build its reputation as a source of authentic news. How would a UX Designer go about designing an app to stop such tendencies?
- Do your Research
As with any problem-solving process, the first thing that the developer would do would be to state the problem clearly. To create the problem statement one would need to find out who is the person who would want to use this fact-checking app. You would want to find out not just the number of people interested in this app but also why they need this app?
You would also need to prepare questions to interview users and conduct surveys. You should have the necessary skills to analyze the data and recognize patterns. That would help you in building what is called the User Persona in Design Thinking – the typical user who would be using your online tool.
- Listening to People
Quite often you as a designer would need to empathize with users when they are being interviewed to discover hidden cues. In UX terms these steps go into building the User Persona. When interviewing typical users, for example, you would want to find out hidden biases in the survey questions. These would prevent the research from finding the truth about real user wants. The misleading results so gathered could result in a fatal failure that discredits the fact-finding ability of your app.
- Pay Attention to Detail
Attention to Detail is a caption found in many successful job-resumes that one need not be born with. Consider all factors that could affect the usability of your application. This is a practiced skill that is vital to business. This is because it helps the business in catching discrepancies and saving money for the organization.
- Collaboration is the key
You should frequently compare your app with other attempts that have been made in this direction. Programs can be developed that track down the origin of suspected fake posts, for example. You can also ask other developers, designers, and mentors for help in identifying problems. Learning how others think will help your own advancement as a UX Designer.
- Hone your Problem Solving Skills
Because we talked about User Experience development as a function of problem-solving skills you should work toward honing your mental capacities. Good reasoning skills are necessary. Good mathematical skills are desirable but not absolutely necessary. Practice aptitude and reasoning questions to boost your IQ. This can only come from regular and sustained practice.
- Focus on Interaction Design
More than an aesthetically pleasing look for your app you should think about how users are going to interact with it. Although this is an advanced skill that comes at later stages of the UX ladder it is nevertheless essential to design. At the stage of prototyping, typically, you would need more than one interactive prototype to determine which one is easier and more efficient for the user.
The process could involve several iterations before you get a definite answer. The goal should be to not disturb established customer interaction expectations.
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Published By: Anish Tiwari is a Digital Marketing Expert and Blogger who loves to write and explore newness relating to IT, Search Engines, Web Development, Gadgets, etc. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for the glimpses. You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn for better communication.
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P.S. This is a guest post published on ShouTech on behalf of the Wisitech.