A good answer to the question (above) to keep in mind:
UX is not about hip and cool designs in your portfolio, it’s not about fancy or pretty. It’s about creating valuable (the most important, but rarely discussed), functioning (very important, but few mention it), frictionless (important and many times overlooked or ignored) experiences for a user, that they, the users, also happen to enjoy (this is UX for most people, and they are wrong).
Notice the ordering of the things I mentioned? Also, notice how the more important aspects of UX are not easily presented in a portfolio?
Let’s get to the first in the list above: value. You have to understand the human dynamic, what real people (users) want in their lives and and why they would want or need it to understand HOW to deliver this service or product. This requires research, experience and a deep understanding of human psychology.
What you will find out is real people rarely want what you think they want, so it takes years of experience to figure that out. Most designer almost always get it wrong when they are inexperienced.
Then there’s the second in the list: functioning. This too is many times improperly defined for inexperienced designers. Functioning does not mean animation or the latest in iOS transitions and funky 3D such and such. This is about creating user-interaction and interfaces that match the users preexisting mental models. This is about not making users think to use a product and about getting out of there way (frictionless).
Many designers are bad at this step. They want to create UI/Ix that grabs their attention and wows them, but many times this becomes a distraction. Users care about achieving tasks, consuming content or creating stuff with the least amount of effort on their part. They almost always don’t care about Helvetica or anemic icons or crazy animation!
Anyway, we’ve covered half of my list and haven’t actually discussed design in the aesthetic sense yet, and that is my point. UX is not about design as it’s actually about the user. To even begin to create an effective UX, you have to first understand the complexities about psychology, usability, culture, HCI, heuristics, research, information architecture and taxonomy …
Anyway, when it’s all said and done, it’s all about value. You can create the most beautiful, usable, functional product in the world, but if it has no valueto the intended user, it’s worthless. This is the pinnacle of UX.
– Justin Lowery