To immerse in UX design or not? / by Isabelle Ringnes

Photo by Marek Uliasz/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Marek Uliasz/iStock / Getty Images

I have recently gotten very engaged in the realm of UX design. I find it fascinating. I blogged about it the other day, but now that I am back from San Francisco I wanted to explore what other opportunities I have to delve deeper into the make-it-or-break-it component that is the User Experience. General Assembly has an immersive 3-month program that focuses on developing the skill set and tools in order to create fantastic UX experiences.  I am personally interested in UX because the field requires many of the skills that I already have. I am interested in the business, psychology and design and I want to develop my skills in terms of research and design.

I interviewed for the program yesterday (it went well, I got in!) and for my interview I needed to prepare a concept to present. I was encouraged to redesign 3 key elements of the grocery shopping experience. Given the short preparation time I was did some light user research to find out what pain points people have when doing their grocery shopping. It seemed like the main take-aways were long lines, hassle of locating items and hurdle of dragging groceries around the store. I solved this by creating an app that you can:

  • - Add products by scanning or searching for items

  • - View your shopping list and quickly add it to your cart 

  • - See what you have in your fridge; stock up on the stuff that’s running low! (available only for Smart Fridge’s)

  • - View popular recipes and add ingredients needed

  • - Set preferences for special recommendations

  • - Pay however you want- all in one click (Apple Pay, anyone?!

  • - Save your orders for quick re-orders

  • - Store and manage all your receipts in one place

  • - Pick up your groceries packed and ready by the door 

  • - Request Home Delivery

(if you are not able to view the embedded prototype here; you can click this link) -- (sorry this link does not work now, my free trial is up!)

I created the prototype using keynote and invision. 

So what is UX to me? 

User experience is about creating the best possible interaction between the customer and your product. I believe that you do this by thoroughly taking into account all the research and information you have derived about your user and tailoring your design and service with the user in mind at all times.

What is required from the UX designer?

  • Research
  • Interviewing
  • Creation and administration of tests
  • Gathering, organizing, and presenting of statistics
  • Documentation of personas and findings
  • Product design
  • Feature writing
  • Requirement writing
  • Graphic arts
  • Interaction design
  • Information architechture
  • Usability
  • Prototyping
  • Interface layout
  • Interface design
  • Visual design
  • Taxonomy creation
  • Terminology creation
  • Copy writing
  • Presentation and speaking
  • Working tightly with programmers
  • Brainstorm coordination
  • Company culture evangelism
  • Communication to stakeholders

I believe that a user should be able to access your site or app and never have to think. The UX designer should have done all the thinking ahead and been able to create an experience that is seamless, pleasurable and one worth coming back to. I believe that UX is what essentlially defines the success of your product.

I believe in making esthetically pleasing, engaging and delighting experiences with clarity, ease and beauty. An experience that is intuitive, cohesive and desirable. 

What is good design? (Broken down) 

  • What is good design:
  • Innovative
  • Useful
  • Aesthetic
  • Understandable
  • Unobtrusive
  • Honest
  • Long-lasting
  • Thorough down to detail
  • Is environmentally friendly
  • Is as little design as possible

The whole design process should be entirely focused on the end-user and their needs by introducing innovative solutions that the user may not even have thought that they needed ahead of time. To quote the famous Henry Ford: 

If you asked consumers what they want, they would say faster horses.