What is UX Design: Everything You Need To Know and More

Discover what UX design is, plus insights on how and where to conduct continuous testing to refine user design experience.

Godi Yeshaswi
January 19, 2024
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Despite their close collaboration, user experience (UX) design is frequently confused with user interface (UI) design. This article provides a comprehensive overview of what’s UX design, covering a UX designer's business responsibilities, valuable tools and resources to enhance your skills in UX designing and UX testing.

Whether you aspire to enter the UX-design field, seek a deeper understanding of the UX design role, or aim to test your designs, this article is tailored to meet your needs.

What is UX Design? 

What is user experience design: User experience (UX) design is the method design teams employ to develop products offering users meaningful and suitable experiences. It includes the entire process of obtaining and integrating a product, involving branding, design, usability, and function.

Crafting an experience involves more than just ensuring the software is user-friendly. It also entails designing the UX of other aspects connected to the product, such as the marketing campaign, packaging, and after-sales support. The crux of UX design is providing solutions that effectively address users' challenges and requirements. Ultimately, a product with a clear purpose is likely utilized by everyone.

88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

What is the Difference between UX Design and UI Design?

When delving into UX, the topic of User Interface (UI) design inevitably arises. It's crucial to acknowledge that, despite their frequent interchangeability, UX and UI are distinct concepts.

UI refers explicitly to the tangible interface of a product—the visual design of screens a user interacts with in a mobile app or the buttons they click on a website.

UI design encompasses all visual and interactive elements of a product interface, including typography, color schemes, animations, and navigational elements like buttons and scrollbars.

UX and UI are interconnected, and the design of the product interface significantly influences the overall design of the user experience.

Phases of UX Design

Every UX and product team adheres to various approaches, as products, users, and internal processes vary. Some teams, for instance, adopt the Lean UX model, which consists of three broad phases:


Teams analyze user feedback, product and usage data, competitive insights, and other research to identify challenges and pain points. They then brainstorm ways to enhance the product and address user problems.


Developers and designers collaborate to implement the changes or integrate new features into the product.


Teams employ surveys, A/B testing, Card sorting, Preference testing, Tree testing, five-second tests, Prototype testing, and various tools to assess whether the introduced changes or new features enhance the UX experience and effectively solve the initial problems for their users.

94% of first impressions of a brand’s website relate to its design.


8 Steps of the UX Design Process

The fundamental UX design process outlined above is quite similar, but here we break it down into five steps to highlight the cyclical and iterative nature of UX design:

UX Design Process


In the initial phase, it's crucial to clearly define what needs to be developed and the reasons behind it. Why does this product need to exist? Who is the intended audience? What business challenges will it address?

These discussions often occur through stakeholder meetings, where product designers establish a foundational approach aligned with high-level business strategies.

Following this kick-off meeting, you'll have specifications to follow and a low-fidelity prototype. These provide a basic framework for the subsequent steps in the process.

Research and Understanding

The user experience design initiates with thorough UX research before creating any design mockups.

User Research: Identify users' pain points, goals, obstacles, and characteristics. Develop detailed user personas that guide design decisions, ensuring the UX design process remains user-centric.

Market Research: Comprehend the market and similar products available. Analyze commonalities in UX among those products and identify opportunities to distinguish your product based on UX.

Historical Analysis: Gain insights into your product's history. Utilize information from previous iterations to guide future design decisions, prevent the repetition of mistakes, and consistently enhance your product's UX based on acquired knowledge.

Analysis and Planning

During the planning phase, you take all the information you gathered in the research stage and plan how to meet those needs. During this phase, you develop user personas, user stories, wireframes, and other high-level plans.

This is also the time when you start to think about how the product will be built and what technologies will be necessary. You develop a roadmap for the project and begin to establish milestones.


Once you have a solid understanding of your users and a plan in place, it's time to start generating ideas for how they'll interact with your interface. Consider aspects such as page layout, navigation, and specific elements.

Prioritize the user experience during this phase. Consider how users will engage with your interface and what information they need to access quickly. You can develop a clear vision of your interface by addressing these questions.

This design phase incorporates both UX and UI elements, involving tasks like:

As you transition between UX and UI design phases, refine your wireframes and low-fidelity interfaces into a more polished version. This is where you'll focus on elements like color schemes, typography, and iconography. The culmination of these components results in an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly interface.


Once you've developed a functional UI, it's time to transform it into a working prototype. Creating a prototype enables you to showcase a more lifelike experience during usability testing, providing more precise feedback and insights into what's effective and what needs improvement.

Whether you opt for a low-fidelity or high-fidelity prototype, various prototyping tools like InVision, Figma, and Sketch can bring your prototype to life.

UX Design Testing

Following that, your product team will perform user testing, utilizing methods such as A/B testing, Card sort tests, Preference tests, Tree tests, 5-second tests, and Prototype tests. The aim is to uncover existing or potential design issues that create user challenges. For instance, your team might discover:

  • The UX needs to be clarified to help users achieve their objectives.
  • Certain features aren't worth further development because users need more interest.
  • Specific user actions introduce friction in the product experience.

Sometimes, user testing may involve product experience and behavior analytics tools like heatmaps and mouse tracking. Additionally, collecting user feedback is essential to identify obstacles and pain points, which we'll delve into later.



Throughout the testing phase, you'll enhance your prototype according to results and user feedback, implementing changes and adding final touches before the official launch.

The product launch is typically a staged process. Your UX team may initiate a beta version or conduct a 'soft launch,' initially introducing the new design to a limited user group. This approach gathers additional user feedback and usage data before rolling it out to your entire user base.


UX design is an ongoing, iterative process, and creating a positive user experience is never complete. After the product's launch, additional testing is carried out.

During the iteration stage, your team will persist in making updates and enhancements as necessary, closely observing how these changes influence the product experience. A/B testing, preference testing, live app testing, and live website testing are often integral to this stage, enabling your team to evaluate the impact of product modifications and compare various design versions to determine the one that delivers the best user experience. The preferred version is then implemented.

Goals/Importance of Best UX Design

When a user visits a website/product page, it's similar to someone entering a store with specific intentions and a desire to get the best possible deal. The goals of UX Design encompass:

  • Presenting the user with the best products.
  • Offering comprehensive and user-friendly information about the products.
  • Ensuring the information appeals to various senses and cognitive inputs (visual, auditory, text).
  • Making product information easily accessible and understandable.
  • Designing an appealing look and feel for the User Interface (UI).
  • Clear navigation always lets the user know where they are and how to move around or fulfill different needs.
  • Avoiding frustrating experiences.
  • Giving the user compelling reasons to trust and potentially become a customer.

By optimizing these aspects, you automatically minimize the loss of purchases and dissatisfaction among visitors. While there are other reasons, such as psychological factors influencing a person's decision to buy a product or use a service, you can exert control over User Experience Design.

UX Design Best Practices

Deep Understanding of Users and their Preferences

As mentioned above, the initial stages in the UX design process include 'research and understanding.' Whether you're creating a new product from the ground up or refining an existing one, it's crucial to begin with a profound comprehension of your users and their intentions.

Various methods can be employed to develop this understanding, such as utilizing behavior analytics and product experience insight tools, listening to sales and support calls, and analyzing product usage data. 

However, there is no substitute for direct interaction with users. This often involves conducting online surveys or engaging in one-on-one interviews. Both approaches contribute to a better understanding of customers, fostering empathy for their needs and challenges. This information is instrumental in constructing valuable user personas that guide the entire UX design process.

Plan the User Experience

Analysis using Insights AI, such as heatmaps, areas of interest, mouse clicks, attention span, and session recordings, which aid in visualizing how users navigate through your product. However, this information becomes even more valuable when you have a benchmark to compare it against: your ideal user flow.

Considering your understanding of why people use your product, you should be capable of outlining an ideal user flow. This involves mapping out the necessary steps users should take within your product to achieve their goals, resembling a user journey map.

Do you want to know more about how Insights AI revolutionizes User Research? - Download Insights AI Report 2024 for User Research

Monitor and Eliminate Friction

Your desired user flow is crucial in shaping the initial product design and is a foundation for consistently enhancing the user experience (UX). When users deviate from this ideal flow—encountering obstacles or friction in the design that leads them off track—AI-powered insights like heatmaps, mouse clicks, areas of interest, user journey maps, etc., become invaluable for promptly pinpointing user pain points and addressing them.

For instance, if you observe users abandoning the process before reaching their intended goal, analyzing the insights powered by AI can help uncover potential reasons behind this behavior. Subsequently, seeking additional feedback allows you to comprehend the reasons for the drop-off. 

Test Multi-platform Experience

Consistency in user experience is vital, ensuring users encounter a seamless and effortless interaction with your product, regardless of their device. If your product caters to mobile, tablet, and smartphone usage, the design should prioritize delivering a positive user experience (UX) on all devices.

For instance, leveraging the live app testing tools feature on Qatalyst can provide insights into the behavior of mobile users. This allows you to assess and compare the user experience on mobile devices with that on web or desktop platforms, identifying any disparities in the experiences across different devices.

Bottom Line

​​In conclusion, UX design is a dynamic process crucial for creating products that provide meaningful experiences to users. The distinction between UX and UI design is vital, as UX focuses on the entire user journey. The UX design process involves defining the product, thorough research, planning, design, prototyping, testing, launching, and continuous iteration.

Key principles include understanding users deeply, planning the user experience, and ensuring platform consistency. Best practices involve constant user interaction, benchmarking against ideal user flows, and addressing friction points.

The significance of UX design lies in offering the best products, clear navigation, and minimizing frustrating experiences. By optimizing these aspects, businesses can build user trust and enhance customer satisfaction, positively impacting the return on investment. In essence, UX design is an ongoing, user-centric journey that ensures products exceed user expectations and thrive in the competitive digital landscape.

Test your UX Design with the ready-to-use template by Qatalyst - UX Design Template.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is UX and UI?

The common query revolves around UX vs UI. In brief, UX stands for 'user experience,' focusing on how users feel when interacting with a product or service. On the other hand, UI stands for 'user interface,' specifically addressing the touchpoints users use to engage with a digital product.

Why is UX Design Important?

Utilizing UX design is a method to ensure that your product efficiently resolves issues for your users. Your product team can leverage UX design to:

  • Enhance user conversion and encourage adoption.
  • Increase customer retention and loyalty.
  • Mitigate churn

Is UX Design like Coding?

User experience design doesn't necessitate coding skills. Nevertheless, having a grasp of fundamental coding concepts can prove beneficial for a UX designer.

What is the difference between UI and UX? 

In digital design, user interface (UI) pertains to the interaction, visual aesthetics, and overall appearance of a product screen or web page. On the other hand, user experience (UX) encompasses the comprehensive encounter a user has with the product or website.


Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.


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Author Bio

Godi Yeshaswi
Yeshaswi is a dedicated and enthusiastic individual with a strong affinity for tech and all things content. When he's not at work, he channels his passion into his love for football, especially for F.C. Barcelona and the GOAT, Lionel Messi. Instead of hitting the town for parties, he prefers to spend quality time cuddling with his Golden Retriever, Oreo.

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