User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. UX design involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function1. UX design is not only about making the software easy to use, but also about designing the other experiences related to the product, such as the marketing campaign, the packaging and after-sales support2. UX design is also an element of the customer experience (CX), which encompasses all aspects and stages of a customer’s interaction with a company.
In this blog post, we will introduce some basic concepts and principles of UX design, and show you some examples of good UX design practices from popular SaaS tools. We hope this guide will inspire you to improve your own UX design skills and create products that delight your users.
What is UX design?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines user experience as:
We can break this definition into two parts:
- A person’s perceptions and responses: This refers to how a user feels about using a product, such as their emotions, attitudes, preferences, satisfaction and loyalty.
- The use or anticipated use of a product, system or service: This refers to what a user does or expects to do with a product, such as their goals, tasks, actions, interactions and outcomes.
UX design is the process of designing products that meet or exceed user expectations in both aspects. UX design is not only concerned with the appearance or functionality of a product, but also with the value and benefit it provides to users.
Why is UX design important?
UX design is important for several reasons:
- UX design can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty: A good UX design can make users feel happy, satisfied and valued when using a product. It can also increase their trust and confidence in the product and the company behind it. A satisfied user is more likely to recommend the product to others, become a repeat customer and stay loyal to the brand.
- UX design can improve conversion and retention rates: A good UX design can make it easier for users to achieve their goals and complete key tasks with a product. It can also reduce friction, frustration and confusion in the user journey. A user who can easily and enjoyably use a product is more likely to convert from a visitor to a customer, from a trial user to a paid user, or from a one-time buyer to a recurring buyer. A user who has a positive experience with a product is also more likely to stay with it and not switch to competitors.
- UX design can reduce costs and increase revenue: A good UX design can save money and time for both users and companies. For users, it can reduce errors, mistakes and rework that result from poor usability or functionality. For companies, it can reduce customer support requests, complaints and refunds that result from unhappy or dissatisfied users. A good UX design can also increase revenue by attracting more customers, increasing their lifetime value and creating positive word-of-mouth.
What are the principles of UX design?
There are many principles of UX design that guide the process of creating products that provide great user experiences. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Know your users: The first principle of UX design is to understand who your users are, what they need, what they want, what they expect and how they behave. You can use various methods such as user research, personas, user stories, scenarios and journey maps to gain insights into your users’ characteristics, motivations, goals, pain points and contexts.
- Solve problems: The second principle of UX design is to identify and address the problems that your users face when using your product or similar products. You can use techniques such as problem statements, hypotheses, assumptions and validations to define the problems clearly and test possible solutions quickly.
- Design for outcomes: The third principle of UX design is to focus on the outcomes that your users want to achieve with your product rather than on the features or functions that your product offers. You can use tools such as jobs-to-be-done (JTBD), value proposition canvas and lean canvas to articulate the value proposition of your product and how it helps your users get their jobs done.
- Follow best practices: The fourth principle of UX design is to follow established best practices for designing usable, accessible and delightful interfaces. You can use guidelines such as heuristics evaluation, design patterns, UI kits, style guides and accessibility standards to ensure consistency, clarity, efficiency and aesthetics in your UI design.
- Test and iterate: The fifth principle of UX design is to test your design ideas and assumptions with real users and collect feedback and data to measure their effectiveness. You can use methods such as usability testing, A/B testing, analytics and surveys to evaluate your design decisions and iterate based on the results.
What are some examples of good UX design?
There are many examples of good UX design in the market, but here are some of our favorites from popular SaaS tools:
- Airbnb’s booking experience: Airbnb is a platform that connects travelers with hosts who offer accommodation in their homes or other properties. Airbnb’s booking experience is a great example of UX design that addresses typical pain points travelers have when trying to find accommodation. The homepage design offers a simple and intuitive search bar that allows users to enter their destination, dates and number of guests. It also inspires travelers who are unsure where to go by offering popular destinations nearby. It gives a mix of what people love: entire homes, pet-friendly homes, or unique stays. The search results page provides a map view and a list view of the available properties, with filters and sorting options to narrow down the choices. The property details page shows photos, reviews, amenities, location and price of the property, with a clear call-to-action button to book or contact the host. The booking process is smooth and secure, with options to pay with credit card, PayPal or other methods. Airbnb also offers a messaging system that allows users to communicate with hosts before and during their stay4.
- Netflix’s autoplay features: Netflix is a streaming service that offers a wide range of movies, TV shows, documentaries and original content. Netflix’s autoplay features are controversial but effective examples of UX design that engage users and encourage them to watch more content. Netflix has two autoplay features that users can turn on or off in their settings: the play next episode feature and the autoplay previews feature. The play next episode feature automatically starts the next episode of a series when the current one ends, with a countdown timer and an option to skip the intro. This feature reduces the effort and decision-making required for users to continue watching a series, and creates a sense of urgency and anticipation. The autoplay previews feature automatically plays a trailer or a snippet of a movie or show when users hover over it in the media library. This feature gives users quick insights into the content they are interested in, and helps them discover new content that they might like5.
- Dynamic Yield’s personalization software: Dynamic Yield is a personalization software that helps businesses optimize their websites, apps and emails for different segments of customers. Dynamic Yield’s product is an example of UX design that showcases its own capabilities on its website. Dynamic Yield uses its own software to personalize its website for different visitors based on their location, behavior, preferences and attributes. For example, it changes the headline, subheadline, call-to-action button, background image and testimonial on its homepage depending on the visitor’s industry, company size, referral source or previous actions. It also offers personalized recommendations, pop-ups, banners and surveys to different visitors based on their interests, goals and needs6.
- Segment’s analytics platform: Segment is an analytics platform that helps businesses collect, clean, and connect their customer data. Segment’s product is an example of UX design that simplifies a complex and technical process for users. Segment allows users to easily integrate various data sources and destinations with a few clicks, without writing any code. Segment also provides a user-friendly interface that lets users view, manage, and troubleshoot their data flows. Segment also offers a visual debugger that shows users the status and details of each data event in real time.
- Nike’s fitness app: Nike is a global brand that sells sports apparel, footwear, and equipment. Nike’s fitness app is an example of UX design that motivates and rewards users for their physical activity. Nike’s app allows users to track their workouts, set goals, join challenges, and earn badges and trophies. Nike’s app also provides personalized coaching, feedback, and tips based on the user’s performance and preferences. Nike’s app also integrates with social media platforms that let users share their achievements, join communities, and compete with friends.
How to improve your UX design skills?
If you want to improve your UX design skills, here are some tips that can help you:
- Learn from the best: One of the best ways to learn UX design is to study and analyze the products that have great UX design. You can use tools such as Maze, Hotjar, or UserTesting to conduct usability tests on these products and see how real users interact with them. You can also use tools such as PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, or Webflow to inspect the technical aspects of these products and see how they optimize their performance, accessibility, and SEO.
- Practice your skills: Another way to learn UX design is to practice your skills by creating your own projects or participating in online challenges. You can use tools such as Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD to create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes of your designs. You can also use tools such as Webflow, WordPress, or Squarespace to build and publish your own websites or portfolios. You can also join online platforms such as Dribbble, Behance, or UXfolio to showcase your work and get feedback from other designers.
- Keep learning: The last way to learn UX design is to keep learning new concepts, methods, and trends in the field. You can use online resources such as blogs, podcasts, newsletters, books, courses, or webinars to stay updated and inspired by the latest developments and best practices in UX design. You can also join online communities such as Reddit, Slack, or Discord to network with other designers and exchange ideas and opinions.
UX design is a vital process that can make or break your product’s success. By following the principles and tips we shared in this blog post, you can create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to your users. You can also use some of the examples we showed you as inspiration for your own UX design projects.
We hope this guide has helped you understand what UX design is, why it matters, and how to improve your skills. For expert UX design, contact us today.
c: ISO 9241-210:2019 – Ergonomics of human-system interaction — Part 210: Human-centred design for interactive systems : 5 Examples of Great User Experience Design – New Breed : 6 Amazing UX Design Examples to Inspire You in 2023 – Hotjar : 11 Brilliant UX Design Examples to Learn From in 2023 | Maze : 21 UX Design Examples to Inspire UX Designers to Improve User Experience : The Ultimate Guide to Designing for the User Experience – HubSpot Blog