What Are The Basics Of UX Design?

With UX (User Experience) Design becoming increasingly in demand, we think it is more important than ever to understand the basics of UX Design.

Previously, it was popular to have a website with all the ‘bells and whistles’, but this attitude has changed over the years with specialists advising on the importance of user experience and functionality.

At the core of UX Design is ensuring that web users find value in the information and/or services you are providing to them. 

Most designers would state that the success of an online platform is dependent on the quality of the UX. The goals that drive UX Design are clear – Every website must be simple to navigate, easy to operate, and should deliver a unique benefit to the user.

We have some incredibly talented UX Designers working at Nvisage and they can be relied upon to consistently deliver outstanding, but crucially, functional websites for our clients. These clients cover many different sectors, from housing associations to charities to adventure experiences and online language schools, but the commonality is that these businesses all need websites that help their users get what they want quickly and efficiently.

Despite the growing trend for User Experience Design, there is still confusion as to what it actually is – cue Nvisage’s guide on the basics of UX Design…

So, what is UX Design?

When we look at the basics of UX Design, we must first ask ourselves: ‘What exactly is user experience?’

  • A ‘user’ is the person on the other end of the computer screen – usually an organisation’s customer.
  • ‘User Experience’ (UX) therefore is how these users purchase or interact with the digital interface, product, or service.

Consequently, UX Design is the process of finding out what a user’s needs are and then building a website to meet them.

A very well-respected model of this is Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb. He specifies that for there to be a ‘meaningful and valuable user experience’ information must be:

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfil a need
  • Usable: The site must be easy to use
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them

… all these specifications are centred around the core concept of ‘valuable’.

When building a website, it is unlikely that UX design will sit on its own. A good design Project usually encompasses many other factors as well:

  • Project management
  • User research
  • Usability evaluation
  • Information architecture
  • User interface design
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design
  • Content strategy
  • Accessibility
  • Web analytics
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

A good UX Designer will also consider the following aspects when starting a new project:

  • Empathy: Quality designers should put themselves in the user’s shoes and learn about their daily life, what problems they need solving, what expectations they encounter and what they perceive to be a good experience.
  • Strategy: Any design project should have a well-defined plan and set of objectives. UX strategy often considers factors such as research methods, preferred design and testing systems, and what success means to both the user and the organisation. It is not uncommon for UX strategy to be flexible and fluid as the design process unfolds.
  • Usability: In an increasingly complex world, UX Designers strive to ensure that the websites they are building are simple and intuitive to all people of all abilities. Optimal and effortless usability is the end goal.
  • Accessibility: Design should always consider the needs of people of all races, ages, genders, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and more. Designers are privileged to be able to shape the digital world and therefore must ensure it is functional for a wide variety of people.
  • Validation: This is one of the most crucial steps in a UX Design process – a new website must be tested by the people who are likely to use it in real life. User feedback is essential and even after websites are launched, designers are constantly assessing them and seeing where improvements can be made.

User Experience vs User Interface Design

It is important to note that there is a difference between UX Design and UI (User Interface) Design. Many people think that they are the same thing, but UX Design and UI Design have different purposes.

An easy way to differentiate it is that UI is the product of UX Design – it is what users can physically see on the website. If a UX Design process is properly considered, evaluated and researched, then the resultant UI Design will be effective.

There are of course some crossovers, and it’s important to ensure that these are managed correctly.

User Experience Considerations:

User Interface Considerations:


  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Design Thinking
  • Prototyping

Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog that will more explain UI Design in more depth.

In a digital world, organisations these days have two personas – the physical and the online. Just like it is important for users to be cared for and looked after in ‘real life’, it is equally as critical to ensure that digital users are looked after as well. This is what UX Design is all about. An example of this is if a person walks into a clothes shop, then they want to find their desired items quickly, they expect to encounter a particular sales process, and they want to have an enjoyable overall experience. If the same person visits the online version of the shop, then they expect to have the same experience.

UX design is created to solve potentially complex problems and UX designers have been called upon for improving individuals’ access to healthcare, education, housing, food, and more – just like the team at Nvisage.

We hope you have enjoyed this blog on the basics of UX Design. Don’t miss part two of our blogs on user experience, where we will cover the processes and benefits of UX Strategy & Design.