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Introduction to UX
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to UX

What is User Experience?

The user experience is the way a person, the user, interacts with or experiences a product. A product can be a service or a feature. It can be a physical product, like a video game controller, or a technology product, like an app, website, or smartwatch. There are many things that can make a good user experience.

For a user to have a good experience, for example, the product must be usable, fair, enjoyable, and useful. User experience is about improving the user experience or making something easier to use. This means that the design, structure, and purpose of the product are clear to everyone.

  • #User
  • #Interaction
  • #Experience
  • #Product

What's a good design?

Good design is easy to spot, but often hard to get to the heart of. What exactly makes a product effective for its users? Is it a matter of simplicity, structure, or functionality? The answer depends on the product in question.


If a product is usable, it means that the design, structure, and purpose of the product are clear and easy to use. When evaluating a product for usability, you can ask questions like: Is everything in the design easy to find? Is the functionality of the design easy to understand? Can users complete specific tasks within the design? These questions can help you evaluate whether the design provides a user-friendly experience.


When a product is equitable, it means that the design is helpful to people with different abilities and backgrounds. In other words, the product's design addresses the needs of a diverse audience and ensures that all users have a quality experience regardless of their background, gender, race, or ability. Equity is about equipping people with the tools they need to reach their goals and achieve a better quality of life. Equity goes beyond the concept of equality where everyone is provided with the same resources, as people often need different tools and support depending on their needs. This is especially important when dealing with people who belong to a group that is often disadvantaged. When evaluating the equity of a product UX you can ask questions such as: Does it address the needs of a diverse group of users? Does the design of the product address the needs of traditionally underrepresented and excluded groups? These questions can help you determine if the design provides an equitable experience.


If a product is enjoyable, it means the design delights the user. The design reflects what the user may be thinking or feeling and creates a positive connection with them. A product's design does not have to be enjoyable for it to work. But a pleasing design complements an already functional product and can improve the user's feelings about the product. When evaluating how pleasing a product UX is, you can ask questions like: Are there aspects of the design that address the user's feelings? Does the design inspire pleasure in the user? Does the design keep the user engaged throughout their experience? These questions can help you determine if the design provides an enjoyable experience.


If a product is useful, it means it solves user problems. In other words, the design intentionally solves a user problem that the designer has identified. It is important to note that useful and usable, while similar, have different meanings. A product that is useful is not always usable. The same is true for the opposite. The difference between the two is that usability refers to the product working well and being easy to use, while usefulness refers directly to the ability to solve user problems. When evaluating the usefulness of a product UX you can ask questions like: Does the design add value to the user's experience? Does the design solve a problem for the user? Does the design help the user achieve a specific goal? These questions can help you determine if the design delivers a useful experience.

  • #Usable
  • #Equitable
  • #Enjoyable
  • #Useful

Lifecycle Product Development

Every new product, whether it's an app or a physical object, follows a specific set of steps that take it from the first spark of an idea to the release of the final product. This is known as the product development lifecycle and includes five phases: Brainstorming, Definition, Design, Test, and Launch. Depending on where you work, the exact names of each phase may be a little different, but the overall process is generally the same.


The first phase of the product development lifecycle is the brainstorming phase, where the team begins to think of an idea for a product. Your team may already know the user problem you want to solve when you start the product development lifecycle. If not, a list of user problems is a good place to start.

It's important to pay attention to the diversity of your team at this stage. Teams that have meaningful diversity in identifiers such as race, gender, skill set, family structure, and ethnicity are generally more effective at brainstorming because they bring together many different lived experiences.


In the second phase of the product development life cycle, UX designers, UX researchers, program managers, and product managers come together to define the product. The goal is to figure out the specifications for the product by answering questions like: Who is the product for? What should the product do? And: What features must be included for the product to be successful?

During the definition phase, your team narrows down the focus of your idea. A product can not solve every user problem. In this phase, a UX designer can help the team define the focus of the idea, but a product lead will likely be the one to define the scope of the project.


Research is also important in the definition phase. You need to pinpoint your potential users' problems, and your team can not assume they know what users' problems are without asking users directly. User research helps determine what problems need to be addressed through product design.


The third phase of the product development life cycle is design. In this phase, UX designers develop the ideas for the product. Generally, UX designers begin by drawing wireframes, which are outlines or sketches of the product, and then move on to creating prototypes, which are early models of a product that convey its functionality.

UX writers are also involved in the design phase, writing, for example, button labels or other text within the wireframes and prototypes of the product.

At this point in the lifecycle, UX designers ensure that all product specifications outlined in the definition phase are included. They might also verify that the pieces of the design fit together in an intuitive way. For example, UX designers might check that an app's screens flow in a way that makes sense to the user. Or that each interaction, such as tapping a button, has a corresponding action, such as adding an item to a shopping cart. For a physical product, on the other hand, designers at UX might check to see if a part of a physical object matches the connecting part. Finally, UX designers also ensure that any task a user needs to complete is clear and easy to understand, such as navigating from the homepage to the order confirmation page in an app.


Next, your designs move into the testing phase. UX Designers work with engineers to develop functional prototypes that match the original designs, including details and features that fit the company's brand, such as font and color choices. This also means writing the code and finalizing the overall structure of the product.

If you want to test your designs earlier, another option is to test a working prototype of the product using a design tool like Figma or Adobe XD.

In this phase, designs go through at least three phases of testing: internal testing within your organisation, reviews with stakeholders, and external testing with potential users. The UX researcher on your team, if you have one, is usually responsible for conducting these tests.

First, the team tests the product internally to look for technical bugs and usability issues. This is often referred to as alpha testing.

Then, the product undergoes testing with stakeholders to ensure that the product aligns with the company's vision, meets regulatory guidelines for accessibility, and follows government regulations for privacy.

Finally, there is an external test with potential users. This is the time to find out if the product provides a good user experience, i.e. if it is usable, fair, enjoyable and useful. This is often referred to as beta testing.

Gathering and acting on feedback at this stage is absolutely critical. If users are frustrated or confused by your product, UX designers make adjustments or even create new versions of the design. Then the designs are retested until there is little or no friction between the product and the user.

It's important to point out that the product development lifecycle is not a completely linear process. Your team may switch between design and test a few times before you can get the product to market!


Finally, you have arrived at the fifth and final phase of the product development lifecycle: the launch phase, where the product is released into the world! This may mean listing an app on Google Play Store or Apple's App Store, launching a website online, or putting a physical product on store shelves.

The launch phase is a time to celebrate your work and start promoting the product. The marketers on your team might post about the new product on social media or issue a press release. The customer support team might be gearing up to help new users learn how the product works.

Program managers also meet with the cross-functional team to reflect on the entire product development lifecycle and ask questions like: What worked and what could be improved? Were the goals met? Were the timelines met? Taking time for this reflection is super important as it can help improve the process in the future.

For a physical product, the launch phase may be the end of the product development lifecycle. But with a digital product, like an app or website, launching the product to a wider audience provides another opportunity to improve the user experience. New users may find issues with the product's functionality or features that need improvement that no one noticed before. Therefore, after the launch phase, teams often return to the design and testing phase to work on the next version of a digital product.

  • #Lifecycle
  • #Brainstorm
  • #Define
  • #Research
  • #Design
  • #Test

Table of contents
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Introduction to User Experience •

7/13 topics available

Introduction to UX

  • What is User Experience?

    User experience, definition of a good design, lifecycle product development

    11 minutes read

Competitive Audits

  • Introduction to competitive audits


  • Limits to competitive audits


  • Steps to conduct competitive audits


  • Present a competitive audit


Design Ideation

  • Understand design ideation


  • Business needs during ideation


  • Use insights from competitive audits to ideate


  • Use "How might we" to ideate


  • Use Crazy Eights to ideate


  • Use journey map to ideate


Goal statements

  • Build a Goal statement


User flows

  • Introduction to user flows


  • Storyboarding user flows


  • Types of storyboards



  • Introduction to wireframes


  • Paper wireframes


  • Transition from paper to digital wireframes


  • Information architecture


Ethical and Inclusive Design

  • Identify Deceptive Patterns


  • Role as a UX designer


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