User Experience (UX) Design

Your constantly-updated definition of User Experience (UX) Design and collection of topical content and literature
6,785 shares

What is User Experience (UX) Design?

User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function.

Learn about the history of UX and what it means to be a UX designer here.

What UX Designers do goes Beyond UI Design

“User Experience Design” is often used interchangeably with terms such as “User Interface Design” and “Usability”. hi888ֻ¼ever, while usability and user interface (UI) design are important aspects of UX design, they are subsets of it – UX design covers a vast array of other areas, too. A UX designer is concerned with the entire process of acquiring and integrating a product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function. It is a story that begins before the device is even in the user’s hands.

“No product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. 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.”

— Don Norman, inventor of the term “User Experience”

Products that provide great user experience (e.g., the iPhone) are thus designed with not only the product’s consumption or use in mind but also the entire process of acquiring, owning and even troubleshooting it. Similarly, UX designers don’t just focus on creating products that are usable; we concentrate on other aspects of the user experience, such as pleasure, efficiency and fun, too. Consequently, there is no single definition of a good user experience. Instead, a good user experience is one that meets a particular user’s needs in the specific context where he or she uses the product.

UX Designers consider the Why, What and hi888ֻ¼ of Product Use

As a UX designer, you should consider the Why, What and hi888ֻ¼ of product use. The Why involves the users’ motivations for adopting a product, whether they relate to a task they wish to perform with it or to values and views which users associate with the ownership and use of the product. The What addresses the things people can do with a product—its functionality. Finally, the hi888ֻ¼ relates to the design of functionality in an accessible and aesthetically pleasant way. UX designers start with the Why before determining the What and then, finally, the hi888ֻ¼ in order to create products that users can form meaningful experiences with. In software designs, you will need to ensure the product’s “substance” comes through an existing device and offers a seamless, fluid experience.

UX Design is User-Centered

Since UX design encompasses the entire user journey, it’s a multidisciplinary field – UX designers come from a variety of backgrounds such as visual design, programming, psychology and interaction design. To design for human users also means you have to work with a heightened scope regarding accessibility and accommodating many potential users’ physical limitations, such as reading small text. A UX designer’s typical tasks vary, but often include user research, creating personas, designing wireframes and interactive prototypes as well as testing designs. These tasks can vary greatly from one organization to the next, but they always demand designers to be the users’ advocate and keep the users’ needs at the center of all design and development efforts. That’s also why most UX designers work in some form of user-centered work process, and keep channeling their best-informed efforts until they address all of the relevant issues and user needs optimally.


User-centered design is an iterative process where you take an understanding of the users and their context as a starting point for all design and development.

Learn More about UX Design

You can read and watch more about UX design from the inventor of the term, Don Norman, right here:

Medium.com has a wealth of insightful, funny and inspiring material on UX. Start reading here:

If you want to start learning how to work in UX Design now, the Interaction Design Foundation’s online courses are a great place to begin. You can read more about all the courses we offer here: /courses


Literature on User Experience (UX) Design

Here’s the entire UX literature on User Experience (UX) Design by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about User Experience (UX) Design

Take a deep dive into User Experience (UX) Design with our course User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide .

User experience, or UX, has been a buzzword since about 2005, and according to tech research firm Gartner, the focus on digital experience is no longer limited to digital-born companies anymore. Chances are, you’ve heard of the term, or even have it on your portfolio. But, like most of us, there’s also a good chance that you sometimes feel unsure of what the term “user experience” actually covers.

[User experience] is used by people to say, Im a user experience designer, I design websites, or I design apps. [] and they think the experience is that simple device, the website, or the app, or who knows what. No! Its everythingits the way you experience the world, its the way you experience your life, its the way you experience the service. Or, yeah, an app or a computer system. But its a system thats everything.

Don Norman, pioneer and inventor of the term user experience”, in an interview with NNGroup

As indicated by Don Norman, User Experience is an umbrella term that covers a number of different areas. When you work with user experience, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of what those areas are so that you know what tools are available to you.

Throughout this course, you will gain a thorough understanding of the various design principles that come together to create a user’s experience when using a product or service. As you proceed, you’ll learn the value user experience design brings to a project, and what areas you must consider when you want to design great user experiences. Because user experience is an evolving term, we can’t give you a definition of ‘user experience’ to end all discussions, but we will provide you with a solid understanding of the different aspects of user experience, so it becomes clear in your mind what is involved in creating great UX designs.

If you are new to the Interaction Design Foundation, this course is a great place to start because it brings together materials from many of our other courses. This provides you with both an excellent introduction to user experience and with a preview of the courses we have to offer to help you develop your future career. After each lesson, we will introduce you to the courses you can take if a specific topic has caught your attention. That way, you’ll find it easy to continue your learning journey.

All Literature

Please check the value and try again.