The UX Umbrella


It seems like everyone defines user experience differently these days. If you talk to anyone with some sort of UX job title, you’ll find that this person wears a whole lot of hats. That’s probably what it’s so hard to nail down everything that UX encompasses (it’s a long and varied list). Read on to learn about six of the most important areas that falls under the UX umbrella. By no means is this list complete, but it gets at the heart of what UX is all about — tying it all together.

Key Components of UX


At the core of UX is the goal to create a freakin’ amazing product that helps to solve people’s problems. You want to user to have a great experience, from the first time s/he engages with your product through the completion of your goal. Think it. Build it. Ship it. Test It.


You’ve got to know the content your working with inside and out. This part should be fun (most of the time). Part of UX is mocking up screens that use real content. Always use real content instead of lorem ipsum, if you can. (And, you can. Don’t be lazy.) This makes the product come to life much more quickly and it helps the project team identify flaws early and think of creative solutions.


Numbers are just another form of feedback. And it’s hard to refute numbers. You’ve got to plan for and understand how to analyze your product so that you can make your product better. Setting up proper tracking and being able to put together basic analytic reports is critical to receiving and understanding real feedback on how your product is getting used.

Business Analysis

Any UX designer needs to understand the business goals in order to succeed at creating a truly great product. After all, while it is important to design products that users will enjoy using, the business needs to meet its goals, too! The product’s got to be feasible to develop. Understanding the business side of things equips you with the ability to articulate how the product fits in with the overarching business strategy. To yield the most return, you’ve got to understand how your product fits and what it’s role is in the big picture.

Information Architecture

IA is the backbone of any product and a key component of UX. For everything to work properly, information needs to be organized in an intuitive manner. If a user can’t navigate your product (go through the experience, end-to-end) with minimal guidance, you’ve failed. IA needs to be thought through early on and should be constantly revisited as new information comes to light.

Search Engine Optimization

You might be asking, “Why do I need to know about SEO? Aren’t there SEO specialists?” Well, yes, there are. But, if you have a digital product, SEO has just always got to be woven into the game plan at some point. Don’t overlook it. Don’t overthink it. Just know your stuff and work it in.

Shannon Ruetsch is a user experience consultant based in New York City. She has an avid fondness for making lists and getting things done, but loves nothing more than getting lost in a good book. Say hello.