"What is UX design?"

Is it just a fancy name for digital design? Not really.

UX (User Experience) is about creating a positive user experience for your user or customer. It's a focus on the customer at every touch point to solve a problem that they are having. It's not necessarily about the visual, though good UI creates delight if the underlying UX is also good. UX is about taking away barriers for your customer. It's about thinking through what they need to complete their task. It could be finding product specs easily so they can make a decision, reading a manual without having to have a magnifying glass, or onboarding to an app on their phone when they don't want to fill out a lengthy form. It could be about taking something complex and making it simple because you've make it intuitive and reduced the barriers to use it.

You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology. – Steve Jobs


UX is research. Strategy. Information Architecture. Interaction Design. It's observing your customers or potential customers. It's asking open-ended questions, as opposed to leading questions. It's listening to get to the why. 

“Pay attention to what users do, not what they say.”
— Jakob Nielsen

It's talking to your customer service to find out what they're hearing. It's talking to your salesforce to find out what they're hearing. It's always asking why. And it’s iterating on the experience to make it even better.