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What is UX Design? Why is it important to me?

User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that are meaningful and relevant to your users.  Good UX is one that meets a particular user’s needs in the specific context where he/she uses the product.

This process recreates user journeys that are simpler, more human-centred and more impactful. Your UX design process should look like this:

  • Designing how people will interact with your digital product to achieve intended outcomes

  • Structuring information so your content is easy for users to navigate

  • Defining how the presentation of your product elevates the user experience, usability and engagement

  • Running usability testing to identify friction, inform design iteration and identify improvements

  • Testing for accessibility and addressing usability challenges

UX design is about supporting the agile development of your digital product or service. We recommend that you continue to make improvements to your product based on user research, testing and product data.

What are the different UX Design Domains?

UX designers leverage on a broad collection of design skills and experiences to develop great user experiences.

In reality, no two UX designers' jobs are exactly alike - there are design-generalists who have a broad base of competencies; others are design-specialists with a depth of expertise in select competency areas. Some designers excel at craft and individual contribution, while others excel at leading multi-disciplinary product teams and stakeholder engagement.

Roles also differ according to your team size. On smaller teams, 1 UX designer is enough to cover all bases - a design-generalist who can cater to all potential UX needs. Larger teams with more resources divide their design team into more specific roles (e.g. design researchers, interaction designers, content strategists and service designers). Bigger organisations also demand more leadership skills and domain expertise.

In assembling your product team, you should spend the time to think through and articulate the specific design skills and deliverables required.

You should also consider which phase of the project lifecycle your project is currently in (problem discovery, product conceptualisation, agile development, etc.).

The whole team, and in particular the designers, user researchers, content designers and developers, must work together to design, build and iterate a product based on users’ needs.

Which UX specialists do I need on my team?

Not quite sure which UX Designer you need on your team? Not to worry. We've outlined the key roles and responsibilities of several specialist roles so you can find the right people for your team.

Design Researcher

Performs primary and secondary research on user behaviours, needs and goals for the design of your product. Your Design Researcher should:

  • Have deep expertise in user interviews, usability testing and other relevant research methodologies

  • Translate research data into insights, stories, clear findings that inform product decisions

  • Identify measures to indicate and track user experience success

  • Lead the synthesis and documentation of research

  • Define knowledge gaps and strategic opportunities for research to inform the future direction of the product

Interaction Designer

Defines how people will interact with your product, and how to elicit the desired user behaviour, responses and outcomes. Your Interaction Designer should:

  • Develop end-to-end interaction flow diagrams that address specific user requirements

  • Identify alternate interaction pathways for edge and error cases

  • Implement consistent interaction design patterns according to principles set to elicit desired user behaviour

  • Develop UI designs that are intuitive to use

  • Set up, run and interpret usability testing, communicate findings, and prioritise design iterations

  • Implement visual standards set by product or organisation guidelines

  • Have working knowledge of motion design principles and tools

Content Strategist / UX Writer

Defines how information should be structured, so that content is easy to navigate across your product. Your Content Strategist/UX Writer should:

  • Identify ways to make complex information and processes easy to understand

  • Implement information architecture based on data, user needs and stakeholder priorities

  • Write concise messages that support the content strategy of your product

  • Maintain appropriate voice and style across a product

  • Implement usability tests to identify content gaps

  • Uses content modelling to optimise content for improved user experiences

Service Designer

Creates a seamless experience that meets the needs of your users by tying together human, digital, and physical interactions. Your Service Designer should:

  • Define a service journey vision, strategy and a roadmap to implementation

  • Have expertise in facilitation of the design thinking/service design process

  • Have some experience in other relevant design disciplines

  • Translate user needs into service journey goals, opportunities, experiences and measures of success

  • Develop and test service experience prototypes of different levels of fidelity

  • Develop detailed service experience documentation that inspires and guides change