UX Design encompasses the design of all aspects of a service that impact a user of a product, system, or device. Within the realm of technology, such as apps, websites, and devices. In this context, UX Design involves all aspects of how an individual interacts with these services. The interface, graphics, design, physical interaction, and even the help system all are part of the user experience. Components of UX Design include:
Visual Design: This includes the overall aesthetics of a website, app, or device. The look and feel of the interface are often managed by a user interface designer, who has experience with graphic design or visual design. This incorporates elements such as typography, layout, and appearance.
Information Architecture: The structure and organization of information so that it supports the ability of the intended user to easily locate, find, and use the service, website, or app. The ability to easily locating and manage content is an important part of information architecture. Content strategy is an important part of information architecture as well. This incorporates organizing documents, images, and metadata.
Interaction Design: Determining what works best for the users and meets their expectations is the role of interaction design. Interaction designers are often responsible for the layout of an interface, using interaction patterns that are sensible and logical for the user, integrating user research into the design, and keeping the interface consistent.
Usability: Can the intended user achieve their intended results with the system. This is sometimes grouped into the category of functionality, asking whether a system, app, or website can perform its intended tasks. Accessibility is a key part of usability, and is defined by the ease of use and intuitive understanding of a website, app, or system. A system that doesn’t have a steep learning curve and can be used right away is considered accessible. Accessibility can also refer to the ability for users with impairments or disabilities to access a system.
If you’re interested in learning more about user experience design, the UX classes at American Graphics Institute provide an introduction to the fundamental principles of UX design.