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Wanted to ask if you think that I explain UX design well enough in one sentence?

Looking to hear personal experiences.

"UX design is the path of least resistance for one to achieve a desired goal / outcome".

  • I would define it as the application of design thinking to solving problems related to users. In your definition it doesn't mention anything about users or their experiences so it might be confusing for some people. – Michael Lai Jul 3 '16 at 12:32
  • Design is not a path. It creates the path. – Rob Jul 3 '16 at 13:58
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    Regardless of the explanation you find useful from the above comments or answers, supporting it with a simple example can have someone understand UX a lot better. For example: Compare a fork and spoon. Would they like using a fork to have soup and a spoon to eat noodles? Use real life examples to support your explanation. – Swapnil Borkar Jul 3 '16 at 15:39
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UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with.

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To answer the question: no I don't think your statement explains UX design well enough in one sentence.

There's several reasons for this:

  • It doesn't explain UX design.

  • UX Design is not something that can be explained in one sentence. It's not something that has such well defined boundaries that it can be packaged up into a neat little box of words.

  • You haven't said anything about the intended audience that you're trying to explain to.

  • UX design isn't necessarily about a path, not necessarily about least resistance, and users don't necessarily know what their goal or goals are or even how to define a good outcome. The sentence isn't general enough.

A quick Google will find many definitions of user experience and experience design so I not going to try and define it here, but to explain UX design (or anything) to a person you need to understand your audience and the message you want to convey, not just try and create a single-shot one-size-fits-all snappy sentence for all scenarios.

Start with why you're defining it, and then who for.

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I like to think of UX Design as the following:

  1. A transformation process. This is about turning (real life) User Stories into a software/hardware supported solution.

  2. An optimization process. Most likely the need for an website/app/device has arisen because users have been facing issues/problems to perform their (professional) tasks or day-to-day activities; they might have become slow, cumbersome, boring, etc.

  3. An emotional process. No UX design without empathy and the desire of changing or improving the life of the Users.

So as a summary, my one sentence would be:

"UX Design is about helping Users and/or improving their actions by transforming their stories into user-friendly and intuitive solutions"

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Explaining UX design is hard and the following isn't quite a short explanation but when I'm asked what I do as a UX designer (normally from those outside of the technology industry) I find that this kind of explanation helps them understand:

When you're browsing the web / using an app and you get frustrated at the task you're trying to do that means I haven't done my job. If you complete your task without feeling frustrated then I've done my job. If you complete your task and feel happy or accomplished then I've gone above and beyond in my job.

Like I said, the above isn't short but if I had to shorten it and have it encompass all industries and UX practices, this is what it may be:

UX design is an exploration of finding alignment between a user's expectations on completing a task to how they may complete it.

Exploration includes research into your target audience, their expectations and behaviours as well as iterating on possible solutions to find the most desirable and usable outcomes.

Task could be anything getting the user to what they want to complete (their goal).

I use the word alignment as you want the experience to be as smooth as possible to the point that user's don't feel like they've hit road blocks and even if they do they don't mind. Steve Krug's book Don't Make Me Think talks about usability and how you don't want the user's "expectations tank" that starts at 100% to reach 0.

p.s. would highly recommend his book for anyone wanting to read it!

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Depends on who you're explaining it to, and what your context is.

In general I go with the following:

UX is every interaction a someone has with your brand or company. From the email in their inbox after subscribing to your newsletter, to the way the parcel is wrapped that you sent to them. Every time they interact with something created by your company or brand, there's an interaction and a chance for a good or a bad experience.

And a UX designer is someone who tries to get those moments to feel as "befitting the brand" as possible!

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