User experience design or UX design deals with analyzing, creating, and optimizing the user experience. User experience is a complex topic because it includes the complete experience (e.g., thoughts, emotions, and needs) of a user when interacting with a digital product. The goal of UX designers is to improve the user’s experience. This means, for example, presenting complex systems in a simple way and getting the user to the desired destination as conveniently and quickly as possible.
Good products need good UX design. Everyone has been annoyed by confusing websites or ticket machines that are far too complicated. There are many examples of failed UX design. Effective user experience, on the other hand, is not particularly noticeable because the more sophisticated the UX, the less it is noticed. Nevertheless, the importance of UX design should not be underestimated. The commercial success of digital products depends significantly on a solid UX strategy.
Many people might ask themselves at this point: What is the difference between the visual design of a product and user experience design? Basically, UX designers deal with the concrete needs of users, while UI designers focus on aesthetics. An example of this is the paths in parks. One example of this is the paths in parks. While paved paths are usually straight and angular for aesthetic reasons, walkers generally shorten their paths by walking through the lawn. The consequences of this mistake in a park are manageable because people still find their way. However, the consequences of this mistake in digital products can be devastating. Users tend to be lazy and have a low attention span. If they cannot find their way, the users lose interest and leave the website. For the company, this means losing potential customers and forfeiting profit.
UI Design vs. UX Design
User interface design and user experience design are often confused, even though they are fundamentally different. Simply put, UI designers make sure that a digital product looks good. UX designers take care that a product is easy to use. The biggest difference between the two disciplines lies in the methods. While UI designers face a problem creatively and artistically, UX designers rely on analytical research methods and try to prove every design decision scientifically. The basis of their design process is user psychology, while design aesthetics are just a detail.
What does a professional UX agency do? The work of a UX agency can be compared to the work of an architectural office. For example, when a company wants to build a new headquarters, they hire an architecture firm and give them requirements for the building. The architects create a blueprint, which is ultimately realized by a construction company.
The construction of a digital product is similar. A company has a need for a product and approaches a UX agency—such as Empatic—with the requirements. We then develop an individual UX strategy with the help of user research and our expertise. Based on this strategy, we then design black-and-white plans (wireframes), which can be realized with an elegant UI design. Our UX design process in detail is explained under How we work.