User Experience is a description of how a human thinks, feels and engages with designed software or services.
UX Design is the act of applying design thinking practices to solve problems and craft online / digital experiences.
It covers a broad spectrum of design disciplines - research, content strategy, interaction, architecture, visual, usability and more. By looking at the bigger picture, UX Designers work at understanding users and customers, regularly engaging in research and experimentation on the path to making great products.
As a professional field, UX supports software design and development at the point of early market research, architecture or development and execution. If a company is building or buying software and/or design work, and realizes they need to care about how people will use it for it to be successful, then they care about UX.
Originally published May 6, 2015