Though UX design is in big demand, it is often misunderstood even within the industry. Many people right from designers to businesspersons find themselves trapped by the question - Is UX a science or an art? This question bothers them because UX is done by numbers as well as by feelings.
Sometimes, scientific tools are used to do user survey. On other occasions, designers try to understand users' feelings, needs, and expectations by interacting with them. Thus, we use scientific tools, while we also apply human creative skills and imaginations to understand the users.
When any business partners with a creative UX design studio, C-level folks ask this question to their design team - whether UX is a science or an art? And the right answer to that is - it is both; a science with the boundaries and art is within that.
UX as an Art
UX is an art, but one that creates an impact. UX design is not like paintings that are left to be interpreted. Some people like the paintings and some dislike or don’t understand. UX design is exactly opposite to that because it has to make an impact, it cannot be left to be interpreted by users. It has to work for something and that something is basically user goals and business goals.
UX as a Science
Design is like a scientific experiment that is conducted in the lab and in the real time as well. In an experiment, you always have some causal effect, a hypothesis, something to be implemented and then you get the results. This is exactly what design is. If you don’t run design like a scientific experiment, then it will never work for businesses or the users.
Design Practice at YUJ Designs
We, at YUJ Designs, always practice design as an art as well as a science. That science is of user-centered design or informed design. We never say that this design is great because it is designed by designers, which is the normal accepted concept everywhere else. We call it as design because it is informed through data sources.
Once you capture the right data sources and analyze them, the design must work for the users as well as businesses. That entire process of user-centered design at YUJ Designs is practiced day in day out. So, we capture different sets of data from different parties - data from users, which is qualitative about their needs, expectations, motivations, likes and dislikes; from stakeholders about their goals; from analytics; market competitors; and trends.
Once we put all of these data together and analyze, the conceptual design literally falls out. Then within that conceptual design, for a certain problem, we have multiple competing solutions. That is the creative space where the art comes in where we have to balance the cost benefits of all the solutions that are competing with each other.
To wrap up, user experience design is intersect between art and science. It is art because it deals with human behaviour and science because it deals with the technology. In short, UX design is an art within the boundaries of science.