Critical Analysis 5
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.Steve jobs
User Interface Design – Fall 2019
Critical Analysis 5
How does User Experience Design differ from what we traditionally call Web Design? Why is each important?
- Looking Beyond User-Centered Design
- The Psychologist’s View of UX Design
- Why User Experience Cannot Be Designed
To answer this question of “How does User Experience Design differ from what we traditionally call Web Design?” and “Why is each important?” I would say fundamentally that UX Design is the overarching concept under which Web Design falls. Web Design is the practical hands on creation of the design of websites, which is a category of UX Design. Each is important because UX Design encompasses many user design products and even philosophy and approaches of design, while Web Design is the design of one type of product – websites. Which websites are still the primary interfaces through which we experience the internet.
Between these articles there is a call for less science and more creativity, more science and less creativity, and in Why User Experience Cannot Be Designed there is a call to better understand the larger concept of UX as a whole:
UX is the consequences of these attributes plus the situation in which the product is used…The attributes can all be grouped into four main categories: manipulation, identification, stimulation and evocation. These categories can, on a higher level, be grouped into pragmatic and hedonic attributes. Whereas the pragmatic attributes relate to the practical usage and functions of the product, the hedonic attributes relate to the user’s psychological well-being. Understanding the divide can help us to understand how to design products with respect to UX, and the split also clarifies why UX itself cannot be designed.
In the simplest of terms, User Experience Design is the “what” of what we do, and User Interface Design is a method of “how” we do it. What we are doing is creating better experiences, and how we do that is by focusing primarily on the user and their needs, wants, desires and goals. I found it fascinating though, to hear the cautionary argument in Looking Beyond User-Centered Design:
Of course our designs must put users first. But there is never just a single way to meet user goals. Instead of trying to deprecate style, we should embrace it as a way to drive our practice forward and lend personality to the things we make. In a marketplace of bewildering clutter, products with a damn opinion are by far the most interesting.
As a new designer, it was great to hear a call for balance in our UCD centric industry. And I agree whole-heartedly that there shouldn’t be a great homogenized one way to create design. Of course I also agree that there is proven science and method to creating UX that is user centered, but like most artforms, an artist can best break the rules, when they deeply understand the rules. I hope to seek this kind of balance and consideration in my own work.