WTF is UX? And why it is important?

Last night I attended Design Stuff Cardiff - a room full designers and creative people listening to successful like-minded people giving talks about their design careers and experiences, needless to say it was a really good way to spend a Thursday evening. 

One of the speakers - Ollie Wells, gave a really interesting speech about UX and what it can offer us.

But what is UX? And why is it so important? 

UX stands for - User eXperience 

Definition:

User Experience

noun

the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.

"If a website degrades the user experience too much, people will simply stay away"

In a nutshell – User Experience is everything that affects the user's interaction with the ‘product’ getting from A to B as easy as possible. 

The ‘product’ can be anything from a physical product - to a website, web application, mobile application or something we use in day-to-day life such as the average office lift. 

You are presented with UX every day and most people don’t realise it.

So why is UX important?

How many times have you visited a website or an app on your smart phone and thought to yourself.. 'what? ‘*long pause* ’umm… now what do I do?'  -  Usually this results in you leaving the site and going elsewhere… and quite often - to the competitor.

We’ve all experienced this at some point on the Internet, where a website's loading very slowly or there’s too many clicks to find what you need and so you give up. You leave with a negative opinion and usually won't return.  

This is obviously not good for business. Should you pay attention where UX is concerned, the result is usually very different.

Google, Twitter, eBay and Amazon are just some examples of great UX, you can go to one of their sites and find exactly what your looking for in very few clicks. 

UX is key - the user must be able to navigate easily and understand how to use it. Neglecting UX can result in a poor site and users not returning. It's key for new businesses - as it’s the first impression your users will get and this gives them the opportunity to decide in the first couple of seconds whether they like you or not. 

Poor UX is very noticeable, test your site properly. Take feedback into consideration; if a user has a problem then this should be fixed.

It's just 'common sense' - the Design behind the visuals is just as important as the visuals themselves. Its all well and good having something that looks amazing, but if the functionality is not there then it's pretty much pointless.

UX is the answer to everyone’s questions, functionality and usage. Below are some tips that will help advise your User Experience.