The Challenges and Opportunities of UX Design - VistaTalks Episode 115
In this episode of VistaTalks, Peter McNally, a Senior Consultant at the User Experience Center at Bentley University, joins host María Roa. Peter shares information on his background and how he got into the field of UX design. He started out studying computer science in college but quickly realized that he was more interested in the user experience aspect of technology. Peter was always fascinated by how people interacted with technology and how design could be used to improve those interactions.
As a Senior Consultant at the User Experience Center, Peter works with various clients on UX research and design projects, from conducting user research studies to designing user interfaces for software applications or websites. The User Experience Center also does a lot of work in accessibility, ensuring that digital products are usable by all people, regardless of their abilities.
María and Peter discuss some of the biggest challenges companies face regarding UX design. Peter shares how one of the biggest challenges is understanding the user entirely. He reminds us that not everyone thinks or behaves the same way, so designing for a broad audience can be difficult, and how companies need to invest in user research to understand their users’ needs, behaviors, and preferences. Without this understanding, making assumptions that lead to poor design decisions is easy.
Peter shares some of the trends he sees in the UX design field. One trend that remains is the ongoing importance of mobile design. With more and more people accessing digital content on their phones and tablets, designing for smaller screens and touch-based interactions is crucial. In other trends, Peter stresses the importance of designing for accessibility. He also believes there is a growing emphasis on designing for emotion and creating products that delight users emotionally rather than just meeting their functional needs.
María asks Peter about some of the key skills that UX designers need to be successful, and Peter shares how, first and foremost, UX designers need to have strong empathy skills. They must be able to put themselves in their users’ shoes and understand their needs, wants, and frustrations.
UX designers must be strong problem solvers, as complex systems can be challenging. Additionally, they need to have a solid understanding of design principles, such as typography, layout, and color theory, and the skills to effectively communicate their ideas and designs to others on their team, including all stakeholders.
Peter’s advice for anyone working in UX is never to stop learning. The field of UX design is constantly evolving.