The Evolution Of User Experience Design

The UX design has its roots in the ancient science called ergonomics. It seeked to establish principles to make work more efficient and convenient. Modern developers and designers have been creating screen-based user interfaces since the end of the 20st century. In the early era of the UX, the actual UX design was not of a high priority. It was more about making everything work with a rather limited amount of processing capabilities. In the early days of computing, the UX meant showing people how to use icons, tabs, and windows. As time passed, the design possibilities increased, hardware evolved, and the years that followed featured quick growth and evolution of the mobile and web UX design.

A generation ago, a good eye for design was enough. There was no need to build intuitive and clear user interactions. Apple become the first company that kickstarted the progress and seriously changed the principles of mobile UX and UI design. The original Apple’s innovation – the use of button-free control has changed everything in this field. So, in this posting, we will talk about key shifts in user experience design, and how it evolved since the early era of computing.


Generally, the user experience design is a cyclical process that may be distilled down as follows: Observing → Generating Ideas → Creating a prototype → Testing. Throughout its long history, mobile and web UX design went through numerous changes that shaped the way in which it exists today. Let’s see the most significant of them.

Responsive Design Patterns

Responsive web and mobile design has been driving the web design world towards a unification of UX across all modes and devices. Since mobile applications have overtaken desktops and laptops as the primary way people access the Internet, a mobile-first approach has come to dominate web and mobile UX and UI design.

Sometime ago, designing was relatively easy as website owners were reasonably sure that the majority of visitors access websites via a desktop computer. Currently, they might also use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They might use just their thumbs, or they might come equipped with a keyboard and a mouse. That is why, at the moment, the top priority of each USA design studio is to make sure that the website works good across all platforms.

Visual Design Evolution

When you try to teach a person how to use something new, it is best to begin with something he or she already knows. This is where skeuomorphism came from. It tried to do just that by emulating real-world motion and objects. Skeuomorphism is one of the first design concepts applied to computers. For example, to delete, you look for a trash can icon. If you wanted to print something, you would click on an icon of a printer. As technology evolved, the UX design got ever more lifelike and vivid (and even cartoonish). It started featuring richer details and textures, more fluid interactions, and more realistic images.

Microsoft’s Metro UI was one of the first web apps design approaches that rebelled against skeuomorphism by putting usability over all other aspects. Although it did not catch on, it has managed to start a new movement known as material design that made skeuomorphism much less literal. Material design uses the people’s understanding of how objects behave in physical reality to build something more flexible and powerful than reality.


The UX Revolution

Indeed, Apple’s button-free screen is one of the huge reasons the iPhone was so successful. Since 2007, people have acquired the ability to control everything from the screen, without having to use the old-fashioned dialing buttons typical for all phones of those times. As a result, a new device became less of a phone and more of a consistent, elegant, and multifunctional gadget. It changed the way people thought of their phones. In fact, they turned into a small yet fully-functional computers thereby opening up numerous possibilities for UX designers.

User-Centered Approach

Definitely, the UX design is an ever-evolving field that has changed significantly over the last years. Keeping up with these changes was not easy as people’s deliverables evolve at the speed of light. Native and cross-platform, touch and mouse, mobile and desktop, and the list goes on and on. One factor of the UX that remains unchanged is people. And all of them have feelings. Thus, today the best apps design is built with psychology in mind. In order to design effectively for people, the UX designers start to factor in their feelings. Delight is now positioned at the heart of everything they create. What’s the bottom line? Create the delight and the reward will be indisputable.


Key Takeaways

The prospects ahead are amazing for designers working in the UX design industry. It is challenging, yet very exciting. One thing that remains the same regardless of how much benefits technologies give us: they all serve humanity’s needs to collaborate, connect, and communicate. At Loonar Studios, we have an experienced team of UX designers capable of performing an outstanding mobile and web apps design. Consider contacting us to get a free quote. Future is in your hands!