UX FUNDAMENTALS: A Guide to Designing User-Centered Experiences

Sudarshan S
5 min readMar 26, 2023

Are you tired of using digital products that are frustrating to use? Have you ever wondered why some products are a joy to use, while others are a nightmare? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we’ll be exploring the exciting world of UX design and how it can make all the difference in creating digital products that are not only visually appealing but also easy to use and enjoyable for the end-users.

Whether you’re a designer, developer, or product manager, this blog is for you. You’ll learn about user research, user interface design, interaction design, usability testing, and accessibility, all of which are essential elements of UX design.

So, get ready to dive into the world of UX design and discover how you can make a real difference in creating products that meet the needs of your users. Let’s get started!\

“Design is a systematic and data driven process”. Design is systematic because it is based on a set of techniques and also on a cycle of discovery

Design Process

The Design process consists of 4 steps, let’s see one by one briefly.

Step 1: Requirements Gathering

This step is understanding the problem space, understanding the user and what their goals are, and current practices.

Step 2: Design Alternatives

After collecting the requirements from the user, the next step is that able to take this data and develop various design options.

Step 3: Prototyping

This is like a testing model for the design which engages the user. This is used to test the features and designs before the final version is produced.

Step 4: Evaluation

A collection of methods for ensuring that your design satisfies the user’s demands.

(The above mentioned steps won’t be linear always. It may be in cyclic order like after evaluation, again if the user needs some additional features then the process again goes from requirement gathering till evaluation, making the process a cyclic one.)

Who is a user?
Here, User is an individual who is using some technology to accomplish some goal

Features of Good Design

“Usability is essential for good design”

  • Affordance: actual and fundamental properties of the things that determine just how the things could possibly be used.
  • Signifiers: It communicate what actions are possible and how they should be done.
  • Feedback: Sending back the user information about what system input has occurred.

User Engagement Ethics

“User interaction is an essential part of User Experience Design!”. Every time when you interaction with a user you have access to precious information. “Good design is a data driven process”.

User engagement is a 3 part structure:

  • Introduction: Provide an overview and the goal of the session. Ask them for frank opinion as there is no right or wrong answers.
  • Interaction: Provide positive feedback during interaction. If you got enough information, then steer the conversation back to the track.
  • Closing: Remind them about the goals of the interaction. Ask if they have anything else to add.
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

1. Requirement Gathering

Types of Data

  • Quantitative data: Information or data that can be transcribed numerically. This give the “what” about the user.
  • Qualitative data: Provide us thematic information. Example: the information that collected can be easily put into narrative. This gives the “why” about the user.

Categories of users

The users can be categorized based on how they will be affected by the design

  • Users as stakeholders
    - Primary: use the design directly
    - Secondary:
    use the design indirectly because they get some output from it or may provide some input
    - Tertiary:
    may not use the design at all but are affected by the design either positively or negatively

Let’s look at an example for the stakeholders with the example, we design a new system to keep tack of wear on running shoes.

  • Primary stakeholder: The runner, because they will be wearing the running shoe and they are the end user.
  • Secondary stakeholder: Her coach, as the coach will not be using the shoes but have the data to make decisions like when they have to get a new pair of sneakers.
  • Tertiary stakeholder: The product manager of the company that builds the shoes. He may get rewards/compensation for the design.

Understanding the stakeholders will improve the design.

Techniques for gathering information

The techniques are arranged in order that the top has least interaction and the last has more interaction with the user.

  • Naturalistic observation
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews

Collect information from the user, about the user to understand the problem space better. Better designs can be made by utilizing couple of techniques in one design cycle.

The results of the information gathered can be presented by,

  • Scenarios
  • Essential use case
  • Hierarchical task analyses
  • Current UI Critique

2. Design alternatives

Goal of the design is to meet the needs of the user than the existing design. Designing for an individual may result in designing for group of users.

Design interfaces should be useful and usable.

Useful: Improve users ability to complete their task.

Usable: Understand the functional (what the system should do) and non-functional (constraints on the system and its development) requirements.

3. Prototyping

Prototype can be defined as an early model of a novel design. This lies between the designing and evaluation processes. The reasons to prototype are that they manage the resources, and to iterate the design.

Types of Prototyping

  1. Low fidelity: has less similarity to the final design of the final design. Quick and easy. Storyboards, sketching, card-based
  2. High fidelity: very similar to the final design.

Other Prototyping techniques

Wizard of OS

Used to model functionality of a product by having a human perform the task usually performed by the computer.


  • Time saving and economical


  • Considerable time is required for this to work appropriately
  • Always requires multiple people to operate
  • User may have unrealistic expectations for the system

Proof of Concept Technique

Fictional video that shows the various features, functionalities of the system

Metaphor Technique

Help user build a mental model of how a new design functions. Communicates the functionality of the novel design by comparing to artifacts or systems the user knows

4. Evaluation

The evaluation is a process that measures the success of a design. It involves testing the design with users and using their feedback to make improvements. The evaluation can be done in different stages of the design process. It can be done after each design iteration or after the final design is completed.

Formative Evaluation conducted early on in design process with low-fidelity prototypes

Summative Evaluation conducted with high-fidelity prototypes or final interface

In conclusion, using the foundations of user experience design will help you develop user-centered design solutions that appeal to your target market. To create a great user experience, it is essential to adhere to the fundamental principles of usability, accessibility, simplicity, and consistency. UX professionals may develop products and services that are intuitive, simple to use, and pleasurable by understanding the context and behavior of the user, designing for their wants and goals, testing the design, and iterating on it. The foundations of UX give a framework for producing successful and interesting user experiences, whether designing for the web, mobile devices, software, or hardware. Organizations may set themselves apart from their rivals and foster enduring consumer loyalty by giving the foundations of UX top priority during the design process.



Sudarshan S

Tech enthusiast | Developer | Machine learning | Data science | Cybersecurity