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Two Words Why IKEA Furniture Works: UX Design

Billy bookcase instructions

Whenever I bring up the topic of UX design with friend’s who are not designers or technology enthusiasts, their responses are quizzical. They believe that it involves making apps or games look pretty, and I don’t blame them for thinking that; I figured it meant graphics and visual imagery for applications. The way I help them understand what UX design is with IKEA Furniture. Rather than focusing on visuals, UX focuses on how the user experience should be when interacting with directions and menus like furniture. Not only are IKEA instructions simple to understand, but they are designed for the user to have a straightforward and quick building process.  UX is developing a map for a process on how the user should interact and interpret a product that a designer placed in front of them. The reason I bring up UX design is that I believe it’s useful for graphic designers to know and use. Graphic Designers are problem solvers and finders; we make sure that a user can visually understand a solution to their problems.

UX design is an opportunity for designers to critically think a solution rather than creatively think. It involves deeper research and understanding on how we create simple steps for a user to follow. An excellent way to practice UX Design is creating directions for a self-made product, like making furniture! It sounds dumb but understanding how to guide your user through the process is the foundation for UX. Make very specific directions and a list of tools for your guinea pig (user) to need and see how it goes. Watch them build it and see what mistakes and bumps they run into. In order succeed in design, you must define how your user will use your product and how they should approach it.