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Is User Experience (UX) Design where the money is?

user experience
This picture taken on 05 October, 2020 shows logos of US social networks Facebook, Instagram and mobile messaging service WhatsApp on the screens of a smartphone and a tablet in Toulouse, southwestern France. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

At home, at work, at play — all aspects of our lives are interconnected, which is why User Experience (UX) Design has become increasingly important. 

The most successful tech has the most seamless human-computer interaction. How we, humans, experience tech depends on the design and engineering choices that influence such interactions. That is why UX Design was created. 

It is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. Often known as “user interface design” or “usability,” it involves the entire design process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function.

“No product is an island. A product is more than a product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences,” says Dan Norman, inventor of the term “user experience.” “Think through all of the stages of a product or service — from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly.”

user experience

Good UX is fundamental to any positive interaction experience. Source: Michael M. Santiago/AFP

UX Design is user-centered. Designers don’t just focus on creating products that are usable; they concentrate on other aspects of the user experience, such as pleasure, efficiency and fun too. If you are familiar with Apple’s website, you’ll know that it has a compare products feature. This feature allows you to pick up to three items from a particular product category and see a side-by-side comparison. If you scroll down, you’ll notice a “Quick Look” icon that allows you to compare at a glance — it’s almost like shopping in a store.

Good UX is fundamental to any positive interaction experience. It involves research into user personas and user goals; planning of user journeys through an app, website, or product; and sketching of user interface designs and specifications. A UX Design degree will teach you just that. It is a practice-led and digitally-focused course that explores the various dimensions of designing for user experience. 

You will learn to use code, data and other digital materials alongside traditional design methods to realise your creative ambitions. This comprehensive design practice will enable you to design, prototype and build user interfaces, data visualisations, responsive installation pieces and other user-driven interactive experiences. You will also have the opportunity and support to address emerging technologies such as extended reality (XR), wearable technology, digital fabrication and artificial intelligence within a design context.

Can a seamless user experience explain why we are so gullible and so addicted to Instagram? Source: STF / AFP)

It focuses on the analysis, design, prototyping and evaluation of multimedia, multi-modal, and multi-platform user interfaces that are easy to use and support a great user experience. Students that graduate from this course are prepared for a career as an interaction designer, usability engineer, user researcher, or head of user experience.

While the average salary for a graphic designer is US$41,000, a UX designer can earn up to US$74,000. UX Design is one of the most in-demand fields in today’s digital world. From advertising to automotive and healthcare, your knowledge and skills will be needed in a wide range of industries.