What Does a UX Designer Have to Do With Awesome Websites?

November 24, 2022
Ellie
What is a ux designer - A person designing a wireframe for a mobile web page.
November 24, 2022

Ellie

What Does a UX Designer Have to Do With Awesome Websites?

User Experience (UX) designers are fairly new in the ecommerce game. They're like that new kid on the block, sporting a proper style and getting everyone's attention. They rise to the popularity scale because they're likable and know what everyone else likes.

In ecommerce, UX designers are key to a pleasant website experience that rakes in sales. They're the cool kids of the internet game, and every wise ecommerce business owner wants them in their circle. Now, you're one of the wise ones, and you want to know what is a UX designer and how UX designers do their magic.

Let Mesmeric help you out.

The Beginnings of User Experience

User experience (UX) has been around for a long time, even before the UX designer role existed and we understood UX design principles. Today, it's everywhere, from that click pen on your desk to that ceramic mug you like to drink coffee in. You may even be reading this article on an anti-glare screen! All these can be dubbed as user experience.

UX is defined by how someone feels when using something. Hence, it's coined user experience. Of course, as humans, we react to something we use based on how we feel about the thing. We make judgments during the process or in hindsight. So we have a concept of a good experience and a bad one. To understand this, let's wind the clock back to 4000 BC.

Good Feng Shui, Bad Feng Shui

Our Chinese ancestors are pioneers of user experience. Their Feng Shui (meaning wind-water) philosophy of building and arranging things well is loosely interpreted as seeking harmony with the world. Feng Shui philosophy still endures as a means of judging design and placement. 

Are the front door and back door aligned? Bad Feng Shui. Is your Ma nagging you to move your bed away from the door? It's "good Feng Shui," she'll say. All these design decisions are more than just ancient practices of our modern times—they molded our judgment of good or bad user experience.

How User Experience Began

The phrase user experience didn't exist as a design concept until Dr. Donald Norman called it. The electrical engineer at Apple is one of the originators of user-centric design. He strove to push for a design based on fulfilling the needs of the final consumers of their products.

Norman pulled in many factors to refine the concept of user experience. He included system interaction, materials used, and the physical experience itself. All these things play a part in aiming for a seamless, positive experience. That's how the concept of UX is cemented.

Why is UX Design Important?

If we have a concept of good and bad experiences, and we desire a positive, fulfilling one, then who's to say we can't create it? To produce a positive user experience, it has to be designed. Hence the discipline of UX design becomes inevitable.

UX design is discovering how someone can "enjoy" the product and creating it for them. For example, your ceramic coffee mug has a handle so you can enjoy drinking hot coffee without burning your palms. Likewise, your click pen hides the ballpoint ink so you can enjoy putting it in your chest pocket without worrying about stains.

User experience design is about fulfilling a need, be it efficiency, speed, or quality. The point of UX design is to achieve a level wherein users feel at ease interacting with the product.

What Is a UX Designer?

Now here comes the cool kid—the champion of the users. They are the people who make sure that every user's needs are met for a seamless and positive experience. In brief, a UX designer understands what good user experience is. Moreover, they are people who have skills in arts and design, whether by way of planning or sketching them.

Throughout the UX design process, they employ design thinking principles while always putting the user's needs at the center. In addition, they conduct research and analyze data and translate this into a product.

So How Do UX Designers Work?

We now know UX designers are making everyone's life easy. But to understand what the UX designers do that's special, we have to dig further and ask, "what does a UX designer usually do?"

To better understand how a UX designer works, it's important to place them in the context of designing a website. So let's take a closer look at a UX designer's usual work process and how it applies to building a user-friendly e-commerce website.

It All Starts With User Research

For a UX designer, creating a positive experience starts with getting to know the people who should benefit from it. So they conduct user research with real users to get enough data to get to know them. But not just on a superficial level. UX designers strive to know how the users think and behave, including what they want and need.

User research is done before design to identify the user relative to the ecommerce website being (or about to be) produced. For new websites, they conduct user interviews with key user groups to unravel needs and desires. For existing websites, they conduct usability testing to spot the rough areas so they can iron them out.

Make Sense of the User Research Data

Once all the user research data is in, the UX designer analyzes them. Then they try to piece things together in several modeling methods to cement their findings. Here are some of the tools they use.

User personas - These are profiles of potential customers and patrons of the website.

User journey maps - This visually presents the standard experience flow of the user interacting with the website—the user's journey.

Wireframing and Designing

After understanding the user and how they experience a product, it's time to plan how to improve their experience. This is where user interaction design plays a part, wherein the user experience designer uses UX tools to create the following:

Sitemaps - In the context of an e-commerce website, these are the standard web pages that should be present, such as a Home page, Product page, About us page, and many others.

Page hierarchies - They stack the web pages together and organize them based on how you should experience them. For example, in an ecommerce website, they put the home page first, then the product page, then the checkout page, etc.

Wireframing - The UX designer sketches a skeletal design of the web pages. The idea is to determine each element's optimal design and positioning within the page.

Implementation

Once the UX design is established and translated into a website form, it goes live. But the work of the UX designer doesn't end here. They can continue gathering user data to improve the website's user experience further.

This is what's known as the iterative process. UX designers gather data using tools such as heat maps to determine if the initial UX design is effective. If not, the cycle repeats.

Is UX Design All You Need to Get an Awesome Ecommerce Website?

Hardly. There are several steps where UX designers must collaborate with other professionals between designing and implementation. To get the project through, they need the help of the following website pros:

User Interface Design Professional

The UX designer's job is sketching and wireframing. Once the lines and shapes are set in stone and instructions are written, the sketches are submitted to UI designers.

Once received, the UI designer will work to flesh out the UX designer's plan. They will apply graphic design skills and put UI design elements into the mix, like an architect drawing a perspective or building a diorama, except it's the UX designer's plan translated into web pages.

Front-End Developers

The fleshed-out web page designs are then passed on to front-end developers. These people will convert the UI designer's work into a functioning product prototype (i.e., the e-commerce website). They'll use programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript to make web pages the target users will eventually interact with.

Back-End Developers

Behind the fleshed-out web pages are the back-end developers. They work on the server side, ensuring every button, sliding image, and page are plugged into the source materials stored on the server.

They use languages such as PHP, Python, and SQL and write scripts to ensure that the web pages appear and function as they should when the user sends them.

Ready to Work With UX Designers (And Other Website Pros)?

To make your e-commerce website more appealing, you need excellent user experience design. You also need people working behind the scenes to bring it to life. It is like throwing an awesome party. You can't do it alone. You must bring the cool kids in if you want the town to show up, and it starts with the UX designer.

At Mesmeric, we have a roster of UX/UI designers and full-stack web developers ready to level up your ecommerce website design. They'll work with you to ensure that your customers get the best experience—the kind that compels them to buy, boosts your sales, and makes you want to throw an actual party.Learn more about our services here.

Join Our Newsletter
2022 Mesmeric - All Rights Reserved