A ca­reer that high­lights the ex­pe­ri­en­tial, af­fec­tive and valu­able as­pects of a prod­uct through creativ­ity, zeal and en­thu­si­asm

India Today - - CAREER WATCH - By Mar­cia Ro­drigues

Aca­reer in User Ex­pe­ri­ence ( UX) in­volves soft­ware in­ter­face and hard­ware de­sign. The role of a per­son in this ca­reer zone ba­si­cally aims to de­fine user ex­pe­ri­ence and bring to­gether a prod­uct that is ef­fi­cient, user friendly and de­signed to suit the con­sumer. There are two as­pects of User Ex­pe­ri­ence: re­search and de­sign.

The per­son in­volved in re­search is called a User Ex­pe­ri­ence Re­searcher, com­monly known as UXR. Their job is to in­ter­act with the users of the prod­uct and know their ex­plicit and im­plicit needs and ex­pec­ta­tions from a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct. On the other hand, a per­son who is in­volved in the de­sign as­pect of UX is known as a User Ex­pe­ri­ence De­signer, com­monly known as UXD. A UXD’S day- to- day tasks in­volve un­der­stand­ing the re­quire­ment of the prod­uct and solv­ing the pur­pose by de­sign­ing such a prod­uct that meets the re­quire­ments of the con­sumers. The process is quite sim­ple and be­gins from the re­searcher who digs out de­tails from the con­sumers and passes those re­sults to the de­signer, who then pre­pares with a team a prod­uct that spe­cialises and helps the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence a bet­ter use of the prod­uct.

User Ex­pe­ri­ence has be­come a core dis­ci­pline in ev­ery com­pany that aims to grow not just in mon­e­tary terms but also in­crease its eq­uity. It is a spe­cialised field and is not con­strained to a tech­nol­ogy firm. Firms with dif­fer­ent kinds of na­ture and char­ac­ter­is­tics may adopt the use of in­clud­ing a dis­ci­pline of UX pro­fes­sion­als for im­prov­ing a prod­uct in terms of its per­ceived value. Ankur Jhawar, a UX re­searcher at Mi­crosoft De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre,

Hy­der­abad says, “Even a shop­ping mall may use the at­tributes of a UX pro­fes­sional to gain feed­back from its cus­tomers re­gard­ing things like what is the mall lack­ing and how their cus­tomers think they can im­pro­vise.” The ba­sic aim is to im­pro­vise and help the con­sumer at­tain a re­mark­able ex­pe­ri­ence while us­ing a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct, he adds. Mi­crosoft is the pioneer for this depart­ment which started the use of UX pro­fes­sion­als. Mitushi Jain, a UX de­signer at Mi­crosoft De­vel­op­ment cen­tre, Hy­der­abad says, “This dis­ci­pline is be­com­ing a core part of the prod­uct de­vel­op­ment team, as do­ing so en­sures that the prod­uct is not only en­gi­neered per­fectly but is also a joy to use.” A UX re­searcher needs to work closely with the de­signer to cre­ate the right ex­pe­ri­ence for the con­sumer. Mitushi adds, “While the UX re­searcher en­gages with the end cus­tomer and gives in­sight to what the con­sumer’s needs are, a de­signer uses the in­sights pro­vided by the re­searcher to come up with designs that will help pro­duce an in­ter­ac­tive and visu­ally en­hanced prod­uct.” A UX re­searcher’s job pro­file is more an­a­lyt­i­cal and sta­tis­ti­cal while a UX de­signer’s pro­file is creative in na­ture. The re­searcher sum­marises end re­sults through data while a de­signer works with sto­ry­board­ing and vis­ual de­sign tools to come up with de­sign de­liv­er­ables.

A UX re­searcher should be a keen ob­server and lis­tener, who is able to un­der­stand the im­plicit needs of a po­ten­tial user. One should have knowl­edge of var­i­ous re­search tools and their ap­pli­ca­bil­ity and at­tain ex­cel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills that will help in de­liv­er­ing ef­fec­tive re­search out­puts. A UX re­searcher may study de­sign with a com­bi­na­tion of psy­chol­ogy that will help him un­der­stand the needs of the cus­tomers eas­ily. “The field has a wide range of op­por­tu­ni­ties open for fresh­ers and young pro­fes­sion­als who have a few years of ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Ankur. There­fore, the trend­ing em­pha­sis on user- cen­tred de­sign de­scribes and jus­ti­fies the im­por­tance of UX pro­fes­sion­als. Thus, de­sign is an im­por­tant field be­cause it deals with the user’s needs. A UX de­signer stud­ies and eval­u­ates a user’s feel­ings to­wards a prod­uct by mak­ing sure a prod­uct is easy to use; a user is per­cep­tive to the value of the prod­uct, its util­ity and prod­ucts ef­fi­ciency in per­form­ing tasks. Mitushi says, “A UX de­signer needs to un­der­stand a user’s needs, goals and hopes. It is the essence of their job.” A de­signer should un­der­stand and con­trib­ute to­wards busi­ness pri­or­i­ties of the de­vel­op­ment team which in­cludes tech­nol­ogy, plan­ning and re­source. “It is also im­por­tant that one col­lab­o­rates with a UX re­searchers and de­sign­ers within the or­gan­i­sa­tion to keep the team syn­chro­nised with con­stantly evolv­ing de­sign philoso­phies,” she adds.

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