Understanding The Most Common Misconceptions About UX Design
User Experience (UX) design is an important part of the development of any application or website – and is critical for delivering value to people who are interacting with your product or service.
But despite how widespread UX design is, there are some common misconceptions about UX design that refuse to go away – partially thanks to confusion with the similar, but distinct field of UI (User Interface) design.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss some of the most widely-held misconceptions and myths about UX design, and explain why each one is incorrect. Let’s get started now, and explore this subject in further detail.
UX Is The Same As UI
UX/UI are often used interchangeably – or alongside each other – but it’s important to be able to recognize the differences between UX and UI. They are not the same – and in fact, they are two distinct processes that must be used in parallel to reach the same goal.
At the most basic level, you can understand the difference between UX and UI as this: UX design is the starting point of the design process – and has the goal of creating a particular user journey. In contrast, UI design is meant to help create the final user interface – the UI process takes place after the UX process has defined the basics about how the user will interact with a given product.
In other words, UX design specializes in the research of user experiences, understanding human engagement, and studying the ways that customers interact with a product, and their journey while using it.
In contrast, UI is intended to focus closely on the look and feel of a product – and creating a user interface based on the UX principles that were found throughout the UX process. To further define the difference between these two fields, we’ve put together a few more differences in the table below.
UI is concerned with the visual design of a product and focuses on the look and feel of a particular interface.
UX is interaction design, focusing on the customers’ experience and ways they can interact with a product to accomplish a particular goal.
UI utilizes design trends and brand guidelines to ensure that the UI conforms to the proper branding and design elements.
UX utilizes user research, empathy, user emotions, and data to understand how users interact with digital products and websites.
UI design consists mainly of color, typography, and layout creation, and using UI tools to create mockups.
UX focuses primarily on wireframes, site maps, and persona creation.
UX Design Starts With Technology
This is not true. While advanced technology and interfaces can be helpful when designing a user interface, UX design is not just concerned with using the latest technology.
Instead, UX design focuses on creating products that are meaningful and provide seamless, relevant experiences to their users. This requires deep knowledge about how customers interact with products – regardless of the digital interface or technology used to create the product.
While UX design should leverage advanced technologies to improve the end result of a product, the process does not start with focusing on technology – but with an emphasis on the customer, and their experience. From there, UX design can work toward creating a great customer experience – and leverage advanced technologies that can help trigger this experience.
UX Design Is Only About Users
Naturally, UX design emphasizes the need to design a great, optimal experience for users – but this is not the exclusive goal of UX design. In fact, the overall goals and objectives of a given UX project are typically defined in advance by the businesses which are developing a new piece of software or a website.
This ensures that a UX team has a clear set of expectations and deliverables – and understands both the customer’s needs and the goals and expectations of a business. The process of UX is, in part, a balancing act – allowing for the best possible user experience while still satisfying the goals and objectives of the business developing the software or website.
To create a successful product, UX design must cater to both of these needs – and the company responsible for the product must provide guidance and clear goals toward which the UX design can work.
UX Design Is Just Another Step In A Product’s Development
This is another common misconception. UX is never “done.” It’s not just a step in the planning process – it’s a continuous cycle that begins from the moment that a project starts, and must continue throughout the entire product development cycle.
There are a few reasons for this. Scope creep and feature creep, for example, can lead to the implementation of more features and objects than were initially anticipated – which can require a change in UX design, as well as in UI design.
Additionally, it’s not always easy to predict how users will react to a particular design. UX requires continuous refinement and A/B user testing to ensure that the goals of the UX design are being met and that the original objectives of the UX design can be accomplished.
For this reason, UX phase should be a continuous process that occurs in parallel with the development of a product – when features and new content are added to a product or a website, the UX team must respond accordingly, and ensure that the product is easy to interact with, and provides a great user experience. Even after a project is completed, regular UX audits can help refine the product in the future.
Great UX Design Is Universal, And Easy-To-Use For Everyone
This is, for the most part, not true. Why? Because UX is concerned with making a product intuitive and easy-to-use for a particular audience. In other words, the product will be designed to be very usable for a specific subset of people. You’re focusing on a specific user persona.
For some products, like an eCommerce website, this means that, yes, the UX design should be extremely intuitive and easy-to-use for just about anyone – because your “audience” is everyone!
But when it comes to more technical websites and applications, the user persona changes. A designer working on UX phase for a 3D modelling program, for example, would want to adopt the best practices that other 3D modelling programs use, in order to provide a great user experience – and make it intuitive for the target audience, which is people who know how to use a 3D modelling program.
UX design is about making the experience great for a particular user. If the UX designer in the above example attempted to create a user experience that was more simple, had fewer features, and was more intuitive, they may (counter-intuitively) actually alienate the user that the product is intended for. For a product to be valuable, it must be understandable and user-friendly towards a specific user persona.
Know The Facts Behind These Common UX Misconceptions!
We hope that this article has been helpful, and helped you learn about a few of the most common misconceptions about UX. For more information, you can take a look at our blog – and get even more insights about UX, UI, and other related subjects like information architecture from Idea Theorem.
Idea Theorem is Toronto based UI UX Agency. We create simple and usable products for web and mobile. Our human-centered design approach lets us understand your customers, identify their pain points & deliver solutions that enhance their experience with your brand. Contact Us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.