I’ve always struggled to tell people what I do. Not that it matters much, but it makes me think a lot about it. At the hospital despite what I say, the doctor still puts down, ‘IT Technician’. My family say, ‘website designer’. My friends say, ‘She does something weird’. Some others, ‘She works with computers’. So what is it really?
What is UX?
UX is short for User Experience. So I am a User Experience designer. The role I play in an organisation or on a project varies, but it is mostly about focusing all efforts on creating an experience for a person regardless of the medium, that should be enjoyable not merely manageable and definitely not painful.
In the digital space, I collaborate to build applications for the web on various platforms, social platforms like facebook, mobile platforms like smartphones and tablets. I am the interface between the development team (Graphic Design + Code) and the product team (Business + Marketing + Customer Service).
A substantial part of it is User Research and Testing, which involves, taking ideas/products out there to those who are going to use them, getting feedback from their reactions and using it to inform your design.
Sometimes I do the Information Architecture of the application where I decide depending on needs and user goals, the experience we’d love them to have taking into consideration business requirements and available technology. Right from loading the application, signing up to signing out. Applying the full UCD life cycle.
At times I design the User Interface, wireframing or protoyping. Depending on the type/need of project or organization this could be lo-fi, done with pens and paper or Hi-fi, done with a tool like Omnigraffle or Axure. I also decide on the interaction required and the levels we need in the project.
Sometimes I do all of the above on one project, but what I do all the time is think about those who will eventually have to use these things. I also educate those within my organization on the importance of User Experience, because it really is a combination of all efforts in an organization.
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