3 Myths About User Experience Most Businesses Believe

It can be hard to keep up with the digital world when you’re on the outside. SEO, full-stack, the cloud, social media marketing, retargeting…and on and on it goes.

User experience (UX) is just another one of these buzz words.

On the one hand, we are glad UX has been picked up as a buzz word as of late. Companies are now aware of the term and realize they should be focused on user experience (or customer experience as we prefer to call it.)

On the other hand, now that the term UX is hot, there are UX “experts” all over the place, preying on unsuspecting businesses looking for help.

Myth 1: Anyone can do UX.

Being a UX expert in reality is quite difficult. User experience design is difficult to learn and by definition requires a vast amount of experience. To know what works and what doesn’t work, there is no replacement for time on the job and countless hours of research. Research a lot of UX “experts” don’t do.

Beyond training, experience, and research, UX design is not a completely learned skill. User experience design is an art. The skills required are innate to an extent and acquired over time. Some are naturally gifted in UX design, but just like with a visual designer, the craft takes time to develop to a professional level.

Myth 2: UX is visual design

User experience design is part of the design process, but it is not visual design. It is product design. It is the process of designing how something works. Visual design is the next step in the process, when a graphic designer puts a visual treatment on the functionality and layout that has already been determined.

Many visual designers claim to also be qualified UX designers, but in our experience, this is rarely the case. Being a great visual designer requires a very different set of skills than being a great user experience designer. Very few are good at both. It is not impossible, but rare to find an individual that is both skilled at UX design and visual design.

So, as a rule of thumb, your visual designer should not be your UX designer.

Myth 3: UX is wireframes

It’s not. Wireframes are often (but not always) a part of the user experience design process, but they are simply a representation of several other steps in the experience design process. Believing this myth would be the same as reducing the work of an architect down to the blueprints of a house.

User experience design is being able to take an idea and a set of product requirements and figure out the best possible way to deliver a useful and high quality experience to the target customer. It requires not only understanding of what’s technically possible, but also of psychology, visual design, and the target customer market.

Want to learn more about what goes into the user experience design process? Check out this interview with our lead UX designer, Justin Davis.

Now that we’ve busted these myths about the buzz word “user experience”, remember this: user experience design is a very crucial part of the creation of any product, digital or not. And it is not a one-time thing. User experience design should be happening throughout your entire product design process and should be refined over time, even post launch.

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