What Is UX Design & How Can I Use Its Core Principles?

How to leverage UX design to create a product that is usable and more accessible than the competition.

How to leverage UX design to create a product that is usable and more accessible than the competition.

UX design cannot be defined in a single dimension. 

It is actually a culmination of multiple disciplines. It includes usability testing, visual design, interaction design, the information architecture and finally, the human-machine interaction. 

UX design literally encompasses every procedure involved in designing how your users will interact with your product or service. 

Not just designing the experience, but also making it trackable to analyze what you can do to improve the experience for your users. 

Image courtesy of Notion.

What is UX Design?

UX is short for User Experience. In the world of digital design, the entire concept of “what is UX design” revolves around designing the way people interact with any digital product. This will include every factor that influences the interaction. These interactions can be further evaluated on specific criteria:

  • What value does the product have for the users?
  • What function does the product serve?
  • How easy or difficult is it to use the product?
  • What is the overall impression that the users have of the product?

In the 1990s, the co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, Don Norman came up with the expression user experience. 

In his words, “User Experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

Since the origin of the expression, product designers all over the world have been involved in trying to come up with the best user experience models against which they can test their products. 

The goal has always been to improve the interaction of the users with their individual products.

The good designers focus on shaping the user behavior so the users interact exactly how the designers plan. 

However, the best UX designers know that the key is to design the experience according to the predictive analysis of how the users will want to interact when they are using the product.

So by this definition the user experience should be about designing the best conditions to lead the users to a better impression of your product.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand the core principles of UX design. In addition, how you can use those principles to create a product that is usable and more accessible than the competition.  

So let’s dive right in! 

Have a user-centric focus

The primary principle in UX design is always keep your focus on the usability for the user. This principle literally carries all other principles for UX design to follow next.

Most successful product designers have had to face the issue of designing too complex frameworks that focus more on impressing the users at the cost of functionality. 

A great design will always balance the form with function and to do this, you need to include the user experience into your design as early as possible in the process.

If you have a huge budget for the project, you should compile a dedicated User research team to test the product through each design element. 

If you have a limited budget, you have to find other mechanisms to get feedback on your design approach and progress.

The design should be led by the feedback to modify it to absolute user centric focus.

Implement a consistent design flow

The design should have a consistency in the way it flows for all aspects of your product. For instance, if your product is a website, all pages should follow a design consistency. Even when it has a responsive design, the mobile version should have a consistent theme, logical flow, which relates to the main website design.

Most successful websites follow this principle in the core template they use for both their mobile app and website design. The reason is quite simple to understand. You cannot predict whether your users will find the website or the mobile app first as they discover your product.

In either case, they will have certain expectations towards the way the information is structured for the design and each version of your product should respect these expectations.

You can implement this principle by keeping a similar design flow across your product versions for all platforms. Whether it is an ecommerce application or a website, the design should be integrated evenly. Do not compromise on usability for any crazy approaches to the design.

In essence, you have to come up with a unique design language that you consistently follow for all your related versions of the same product. The consistency in the design will also provide additional support to your brand image.

Map an information structure

Map the information structure that will be the foundation of your product before you start the execution of your product design. At the brainstorming stage, you have so many creative ideas for your design.

These ideas may or may not have taken the functionality of the product in to account. After this, when you start the design with a UX approach, at every step you use the user feedback to correct the design based on usability.

However, if you do not have an information structure mapped out at the very beginning, it will be so easy to be lost in the haze of multiple themes, plugins and add on ideas. It will delay the project beyond any projected completion date. 

A structural approach to the design will allow you to stay on course with your design execution. It also allows you to imagine how the user will navigate through the different aspects of the digital product.

The flow of information will basically give you a clear picture of how the finished product will work.

Design to context

UX feedback models collect insights into the way users interact with your product. However, the interactions depend on multiple factors.

The primary factor is the experience level of the users. 

An average user will have a radically different experience as compared to an advanced user for the same product.

If the design remained the same, what changed? The context was different in each case. The context is also different in case of the environment in which the users are interacting with the product. In a peaceful setting, the way they experience the functionality and information flow is not going to be the same if they are exposed to the same design in a chaotic environment.

Your user experience feedback should be designed to test the product in different contexts to perfect the execution of the design more uniformly.

Design for accessibility


A good design will be easy to use for everyone. This includes users with disabilities. You need to focus on this principle to enhance the experience for all your users. However, you need this principle more because quite a few official regulations need you to design for uniform access.

How will this affect the design itself? The way you approach the design for physically challenged people will be to cut back and simplify the features. In the words of Dieter Rams (author of Ten Principles for Good Design), “Good design is as little design as possible.”

So when you simplify your product design, you are already on your way towards a better design. Instead of hampering it, this step will contribute to improving the overall experience for your average users as well.

You can give your advanced users more power by incorporating advanced options within the interface. Just make sure they have the users have a choice to use or exit the options according to their preference.

This will balance the accessibility approach with more user control.    

Implement usability testing

With this final principle, you circle back to the very first point. The entire process will revolve around a user centric model. While you have used a design and feedback approach through the design process, the usability testing is more rigorous than just feedback.

It will test on all parameters of speed, functionality, ease of use, accessibility, user control, and aesthetics of the design.

Usability testing is important for dynamic digital products, which will continue to adapt to the changing technology with each new version update. Any new feature added to the design has the potential to increase the payload on the design interfering with speed and functionality of the entire product.

Usability testing allows you to be on top of the changes in your product with the changes in the subsequent technology. It will prevent your product from becoming obsolete against new competitors.

You can create your set of usability testing models to test the product on the core parameters that you prefer as the highest priority. 


UX puts your customers first, to understand the product from their perspective and use that insight to perfect your product. 

Think like your potential users. Each of your actions from the design stage to the execution should be shaped by this thought approach. 

Good UX design is supposed to give you a roadmap of the users' expectations from your product design. 

A successful product design will now depend on how you use this roadmap to exceed those expectations even further.


Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as a Content Manager with a Fortune 1 retail company. She is also a freelance writer for multiple clients across multiple industries.   

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