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UX Design: Is it Science or an Art? Let the Battle Begin

4 Février 2021 Publié dans #ux design services

UX Design: Is it Science or an Art? Let the Battle Begin

There is a lot of hype about designs. Creative individuals embrace the profession of designing to set wings to their passion. It is considered an art that is subjective and hence meant to be understood. There are a lot of critics of designs who put forward their learned opinions and interpret a design. However, is it so much about art only? We would suggest otherwise. UX design practice is more science than art. Designing a product, whether digital or physical, requires a lot of effort. Do you think these efforts are unplanned? They need a lot of planning and research.

Unlike Art, You Need To Understand Designing

One can interpret art. Abstract art is quite popular these days, where different people interpret it depending on their personality. Therefore, it is open-ended. You are free to perceive it based on your motives and interests, which also includes criticism. After all, art always calls for a critique. It helps to enhance and enrich the work. We are not suggesting that you cannot critique the design. However, more than your interpretation and critique, you need to understand the structure. There are basic things about user experience design that you need to know before you critique it.

You Need To Get The Psychology Of Users

UX design aims to give a smooth and seamless user experience. So you need to understand the minds of the people. It will require a bit of rigorous research. You cannot just read the minds of people by assuming. You need to follow a procedure for that. For this, you require both qualitative as well as quantitative research. Most people overemphasize qualitative research in this respect. However, quantitative data shows you a well-defined path to start your research. Qualitative research often tells you why.

On the other hand, quantitative data lets you think about the aspects related to “what”. If you are not aware of the question ‘what’, you cannot take your research forward. Moreover, it will give you some invaluable data to fall back on. Without data, you will proceed nowhere. Unless you identify a trend in people's behavior, it is impossible to create a perfect UX design. After all, you are not the user. So, you need to understand their minds. If you rely too much on qualitative analysis, you will get lost because the human mind is subjective. Not all people will think in the same way. Here quantitative research will help you to identify trends. You will be able to identify different groups of people who behave in a particular way. It will help you think of design ideas suited to meet the needs of specific groups of people. So, can you argue that that UX design is not science?

Do Not Design For Dribble

Have you ever made an excellent design only to realize that you have not included any of the user feedback? After all, UX design is not graphic design. It is more about working with real products that users interact with. Of course, you need your creativity. However, forgetting about the user feedback will lead you to create a mess. Before finalizing the product, it is crucial to get user feedback on the device. So, even before your device is ready, you need to test out how well it works with the users and how much they like it. It is crucial to understand this before you finalize a design. If we look at the statistics, around 80 percent of the total design ideas finally materialize into the products. Why do the other 20 percent fail to make it? They do not consider the various UI scenarios that could arise when the product reaches the market.

Observation Is The Key To Success

Just as a scientific experiment requires proper observation to be successful, a successful UX design needs you to observe your surroundings minutely. Like a scientific experiment, you need to be very careful with your observations. Take care to note down your data somewhere. Do not make mistakes with it. It will lead to various problems. If you are a designer, you need to pay extra attention to raw data before you start. Observe as much as possible and ask questions like "how many" and "how much*. You might also need to find out the percentage of certain things. Collecting all these data will give you a fair idea of how to go about designing the product. Not all designers, however, note down the data. They are professionals who have excellent observation skills and can form a rough idea in their minds just by glancing at the data.

 UX designers are also required to try out data recovery tools like Looker and Metabase. It will make the process a lot easier. Such data recovery tools reduce the barriers to data querying, thereby making the process faster. You can undertake the data query process through a Graphical User Interface.

What Do Experts Say?

Well, there have been a lot of heated debates on this issue. While some design professionals are not ready to consider UX design as a science, others have argued to the contrary. Natalie Hansen, an anthropologist, and a designer believe that empirical data and research are crucial to any business's needs. What is designing but a company? Research and data collection helps us to get invaluable insights into the habits and preferences of the user. Another product designer, Kristina Oliva, believes that UX is dominating business in modern times and shapes how businesses work. It should therefore be considered a science. Many designers think scientific designs to be bland and filled with technicalities. However, Oliva says something quite contrary. She suggests that science is not dull. She considers the entire process of collecting the data, noting down the observations, strategizing, and finally coming up with the product as an exciting process. 

After all, it requires a lot of creativity and insight to design a product based on the user's feedback and keeping in mind the comfort and ease of use of an average user. No doubt, scientists often have to design experiments. Oliva regards that science and design are inseparable and are integrally connected. For an excellent design, you need both creativity and proper strategy. Only the former will lead you nowhere.

 Final Thoughts

With gadgets and electronic devices flooding the market, UX design is the talk of the town. The perpetual question of whether it is a science or art remains equally relevant. However, our discussion has proved beyond doubt that UX design practice is more science than art. We are, however, not arguing that it has nothing to do with art. Of course, making designs requires a lot of creative skills, which can be compared to an artist's work. However, creativity alone cannot make you a designer when you are dealing with real objects. It would be best if you had a scientific spirit. Doing your research, collecting raw data, organizing them, forming a killer strategy, and finally coming up with the end product should form a part of your work. So, though it includes both art and science, it is more of the latter.

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