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The Imperative Precedence of UX Process over UI

Have you ever worked for a company where UX tasks were unclear? Recently, I had a 4-month contract with a non-profit organization that hired me as a UX Designer to assist them in rebuilding their website and creating a cohesive Design System. However, upon joining, I quickly realized that they had no interest in UX at all. What they actually wanted was a UI Designer who could simply create a visually appealing website.

Throughout the years, I've come to understand that many companies are unaware of what UX truly entails. Job descriptions can be misleading, and companies often fail to recognize the value of UX. This blog aims to highlight why UX should come before UI and the consequences of neglecting to establish a centralized UX process.

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In the fast-paced digital era, where usability and user satisfaction reign supreme, it has become increasingly vital for companies to prioritize user experience (UX) far before they dive into the realm of user interface (UI) design. Unfortunately, many organizations overlook this crucial step and find themselves grappling with avoidable challenges resulting from a lack of a centralized UX process. In this blog post, we will explore the struggles faced by a company without a well-defined UX process and emphasize the significance of placing UX as the foundation of successful design.


Incoherent User Journey

A company that neglects UX processes often has a fragmented user journey. It becomes hard to understand and map out the path a user takes when engaging with their products or services. This lack of clarity ultimately leads to confusion, frustration, and a high drop-off rate. On the other hand, a thorough UX process ensures a seamless user journey, starting from the initial touchpoints to the final conversion, by analyzing user needs, defining the goals, and strategizing the interactions accordingly.


Inefficient Problem Identification

Without a centralized UX process, identifying and solving user problems becomes a daunting task. User feedback and data often get overlooked or, worse yet, misinterpreted, impeding the opportunity to improve the design. Conversely, by incorporating a standardized UX process with techniques like user research, usability testing, and iterative design, companies gain invaluable insights into user pain points, enabling them to refine the product and enhance user satisfaction.


Disconnected User-Centric Design

UI designs created in isolation, without adhering to a UX process, run the risk of being driven solely by aesthetics or personal preferences rather than considering the user's needs. This disjointed approach often results in aesthetically pleasing but functionally deficient designs that fail to resonate with the target audience. On the contrary, a strong UX process prioritizes users' goals, behaviors, and expectations, ensuring that the UI design is intuitive, usable, and aligned with the overall user experience.


Higher Redesign Costs

While ignoring or rushing through the UX process might give the illusion of saving time and resources at first, in the long run, it results in higher costs due to the likelihood of multiple redesigns, frequent usability issues, and overall user dissatisfaction. Incorporating UX processes early on mitigates these risks by minimizing user-centric design flaws and costly redesign cycles. It saves time and resources by enabling a more efficient and effective design iteration process.


Ultimately, companies must understand that the UX process should precede UI design as the foundational layer of successful product development. Ignoring or underestimating the significance of UX processes leads to a wide range of struggles and can ruin a brand's equity. Redesigning and changing a brand's perception is much harder and time-consuming. Companies that create brand equity and trust value the UX work and understand the importance of prioritizing it before UI. The truth is, no matter how beautiful your designs are, if they are not functional and do not follow UX principles, they will not generate the same results.


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