Our team at Mäd continues to grow. Today we caught up with our new UX Design Lead to discuss user experience as a craft.
Anne is from the Netherlands where she studied Industrial Design Engineering but has lived in Ghana, Denmark and Cambodia since. Anne has many years of experience in User Experience Design and is specialized in designing complex websites and professional tools.
She is especially fond of turning messy and complex applications into intuitive and user-friendly experiences. She enjoys talking to users and learning about their world.
Designing For The End Users.
Design has always been for the end users, but it wasn't until 1995 that the term UX—short for User Experience—was coined. Prior to this, all effort was placed in making technology work and shipping it out as soon as possible while User Experience took the backseat. However, as technology begins to advance, it's no longer excusable to disregard User Experience. Prioritizing UX is the key to ensuring your designs make an everlasting impact.
Designing with the end users in mind is designing with purpose.
For Anne, her approach to design has always been with a purpose. At the start of her career, she designed bicycles for the elderly and people with light disabilities in the Netherlands; the bicycles are still in production to date. She describes the experience as one of the highlights of her career, one that continues to shape her work today.
UX vs. UI. The Differences.
UX and UI are always paired together, it's rare to see one without the other. This has led to the misinterpretation that the two terms are interchangeable. However, while closely related, one focuses on the experiences and perspectives of the users while the other focuses on the interface i.e. the design, the aesthetic, the look and feel. Anne uses the analogy putting a lipstick on a pig to explain a design process that focuses on UI without UX.
The Creative Process.
The Creative Process differs for every individual and for every project. For Anne, it's due diligence to conduct User Research to understand what users truly want, what truly pain or delight them of the current solutions and how we could improve on this.
The Future of UX.
UX is a field that continues to evolve. It's exciting to see more and more specializations within the field, from VR (Virtual Reality) to AI (Artificial Intelligence). However, it's still a predominantly male-dominated industry.
For UX to see the future it deserves, Anne encourages girls and women to join the industry. Recent data reveals the bias in design from the average phone being 5.5 inches long, a size too big for most women's hands and often doesn't fit in womens' pockets; to speech-recognition softwares like Google being 70% more likely to understand male's voices. Nonetheless, it's reassuring to know UX can play a role in designing the world with a more equal consideration of interests.
Since joining the team Anne has taken a key role in aiding with the UX development of HungryApp, an innovative food delivery application offering multiple items, from multiple restaurants, delivered in a single order.
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