UX design is a broad discipline, because each process involves many different things. Just take the different types of research that you can let loose on the process of user research. UX design is not limited to creating the wireframes, an association that people often have in their minds with the term ‘UX design’. It extends to research, testing, various forms of visual design and when it comes to the online user experience: knowledge of web techniques.

This article is written by Tilt Amsterdam, Creative Studio in Amsterdam.

One product is not the same as another, and that also applies to services, of course. As an UX designer, it is therefore strictly forbidden to lump all users together. From here on, I will limit myself to my specialty: the experience of the online user. Think of websites, web applications, converting pages, online campaigns and apps.

UX design aimed at the experience of the online user is a combination of three important elements: the appearance, the feeling and the usability (ease of use).

The elements are inextricably linked. If one of these things is not well organized, it is at the expense of the total experience of the user. This total experience continuously plays a role when you, as a user, decide whether to buy something in a webshop, or when you download an e-book from a page. It determines your perception of a brand, how much time you spend on an app, etc.

This article is written by tiltamsterdam.com. Creative Studio in Amsterdam.

It is logical, where a lot of attention is paid to building a good experience, users buy more products and services and the threshold for a larger amount of time is much lower. It is not for nothing that the American research bureau Forrester concludes that 72 percent of the companies (that they researched) say that improving the overall customer experience is their top priority and that technology plays a very important role in this.

Now that you know what UX design is and what it needs to do, we’ll take a closer look at the other disciplines and work areas that fall under the umbrella of UX design. And how UX design relates to online marketing.

User Research, User Testing and Conversion Optimization
UX design always starts with User Research, the user research. Who are the users? What are their needs? A development that stems from user research and is currently incredibly trendy is, for example, online personalisation, in which a user experience is tailored to an individual user. If a user feels recognized and served by his personal preferences, there is a much greater chance that he will return via the same online channel.

In addition, the focus is also on the company or brand that communicates with the user. How well known is their brand? What identity does the brand want to convey? How do their current, digital communication channels perform?

In the research phase there is a range of methods to investigate all these issues. Think about, among other things:

Mapping types of users with personas, so that we know who we are dealing with and what their motives are.
Use measurements in the current communication channels, so that later in the process we have a reference to which we can compare (differences in) user behaviour.
Surveys and other survey-like tools, to find out more about the current experience and to collect suggestions from the user.
Testing of users and the designs in different phases of the process, with the aim of optimization based on significant results / data. You must have heard about A/B testing!
Inventory of marketing data that is already available, because marketers have often already collected a lot of data, such as conversion and demographic data.
A brand optimization research, so that it becomes clear how, and with which audience, a brand connects and what commitment it gets in return.

This research is carried out by a whole team that brings together different specializations: conversion optimization, brand optimization, online persuasion (behaviour on the web from a psychological approach, just read how profound and interesting that is!), usability and user testing. This integrated collaboration ensures a strong and multifaceted research process. The results are well-founded design choices in which as much as possible is based on rock-hard data.

Visual design
People remember 80 percent of what they see, but only 20 percent of what they read. When people hear ‘visual design’, they often immediately think of end products: web pages, page elements, complete websites, apps, banners, and so on. However, in a visual design process, there are often also many intermediate products. Think of the storyboards, moodboards, flow charts, mockups, prototypes, and of course… wireframes (yes, there you have ’em!).

 In this article we limit ourselves to web design, but the design principles are largely discussed.

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