October 11, 2021

User Experience (UX) and I

User Experience (UX) and I

Journey, personal context & opportunities

We can view a light switch as an interface to a lamp (product), and the resulting brightness desired as a requirement of the calm environment and ambience, as the User Experience (UX). UX is how we feel when using a product. UX, more commonly, refers to how we feel using an interface of a digital product; be it through a device application or on-screen in a browser of choice.

My journey to User Experience has been a colourful one. As you might have guessed, I trained in object design(3D)before moving into experience design (4D). I recall an arduous exercise that I thoroughly enjoyed during my studies where we had to do a lifecycle analysis of a chair. We had to purchase a chair, strip every bit down, and analyze each part. This process included the material each component is made of, the component’s manufacturing process, it’s materiality and including how long it would be on Earth, the result was a monster! A physical mess at the start, but such a satisfying outcome with the clarity that was achieved through writing. When I moved on to Design Management, this passion progressed to analyzing products and the delivery process of a certain flat-pack furniture giant, revealing that they were a sleek international logistics service, using design to deliver objects to the masses efficiently. Being able to fit their furniture into the boot of your car, and have it assembled at home, was part of the experience but not their value proposition at all. Language and terminology, change all the time, yet my love for exploration remains.

What does this have to do with UX and how did I get here one might ask. As a Designer, more simply, regardless of the field we practice in, we are creative thinkers trying to figure out whether a client and fellow human, is having a good or a bad time using a product.

For an object designer, it may be more straightforward assessing the viability of a two-legged chair, yet for digital products assessing those experiences are less tangible and somewhat of a mystery. It is straightforward what the outcome is in an object design context, but what about UX Design? We associate UX Design with different development outcomes related to visualization through:

  1. Artefacts
  • Mapping; ecosystems, service journeys, omnichannel experience maps
  • Wireframes
  • Flows; Interaction flows, User flows

2. Prototypes and related deliverables

  • Technical specifications that are compliant with business requirements
  • Tests; Usability tests, scenarios, epic and user stories
  • UI design and more…

There are more out there, as the outcome should always be dependent on what research reveals. A wireframe will not be relevant if the objective is to include the outcome as a tool for onboarding new staffers. A long way from object lifecycle analysis, but if anyone wonders how I got so resilient, surviving projects with no Alpha/Beta stages and more adventures, it is because the context is new to me all the time; part of the brief and resulting methodology. This openness is what sparks the most joy for me. I can relax, leave my cognitive biases at the door, and be present at work and focus on play.

The examples are a non-exhaustive list based on some of the artefacts I have been accountable for in my experiences. Am keen to hear, what does your creative journey look like? What did you experiment with in your explorations, and are you a designer?

#uxdesigner #designeducation #leaddontmanage #creativityeveryday #researchandinnovation

This post was initially published on LinkedIn by Beatrice Chew