What Is User Experience Design?
UX or ‘User Experience’ can simply be defined as a process that allows users to navigate through your website or app smoothly and with ease. It combines elements of design, psychology, research, technology and business to give the user an optimum experience. Depending upon the perspective of a designer or a consumer, UX can have multiple definitions.
In a designer’s words, User Experience (UX) is the process to build products that provide meaningful, relevant and flexible experiences to users. It includes the process of collecting and unifying a product, covering aspects like branding, design, usability, accessibility and functionality.
From the point of view of a consumer, User Experience (UX) is how an individual feels while interacting with a product like a website, a web application or desktop software or, collectively, some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).
The importance of UX cannot be taken too lightly. About 29% of consumers will not come back to a website after a bad User Experience and that number will only go up. Whether you’re an international organization with an established presence or a startup building your first website, User Experience has to be an important factor in your design process
UX brings people towards technology and business. Understanding the end-user requires building empathy through research, understanding the business goals of each distinct component’s value and use and understanding technology that uses the best tools for effective UX designs for end-users.
Why Is UX Experience Important?
UX helps your organization save time, money and effort at every point of the design process, creating long-term value for your business. Although UX is often attributed to websites or apps, it can apply to a product or service that brings out a certain experience. These are the factors that affect user experience and business alike:
- Is it easy to use?
- Does it have a short learning curve?
- Is it efficient?
- Is it user-friendly?
No matter why you are looking into UX, whether it’s reducing maintenance costs, a higher return on investment or a user-centric mindset, there’s a variety of benefits.
Emotional connection is another powerful tool in the UX armoury. Most logical and rational individuals are driven by emotions because it is what makes us human. Emotions are used in UX visual hierarchy and influence extremely decent design when used correctly. An understanding of emotional design usage in UX is important to be prominent.
A good UX design can have an assortment of features, but some of the basic ones are:
- Dependable (does it work how it’s supposed to?)
- Conversational (is the tone of content correct?)
- Encouraging (is it an upgrade on something that already exists?)
- Personable (is it relevant and easy to use?)
- Utilitarian (does it do its job swiftly and efficiently?)
- Shareable (can you share it easily?)
The Difference Between UX And UI
Put it simply, UX is how someone feels about your design, whereas UI is how they interact with the system, its features and functions. UX & UI are associated with each other. UX is a human-first way of designing whereas UI is a feature-first way of design. UX is a path whereas UI is the end of the path.
5 Elements Of User Experience
The user experience design process is all about ensuring that no aspect of your product happens without your conscious intent. The whole user experience designing process is broken down into five main elements.
The purpose of the product, application or the website, why we build it, what is our targeted audience or user base, why users are going to use it, why they require it. The objective here is to define the user requirements and business goals.
Scope describes the functional and content requirements of your product. The requirements should achieve and be in line with the strategic objectives.
- Functional Requirements is about the features in the product, how features work together and how they correlate with each other. These features are what users need to realize the goals.
- Content Requirements is the information needed to provide value like text, pictures, audio, videos etc. Without highlighting the content, one can not have any idea about the size or time needed to complete the project.
Structure defines how users interact with the system, how products perform when consumers interact, how it’s organized and arranged. Structure is split into two components,
Interaction Design, given the functional requirements, defines how consumers can interact with the system, and how the product behaves in reply to the user interactions.
Information Architecture, given the content requirements, defines the ordering of content elements, how they are arranged to facilitate human understanding.
Skeleton controls the UX visual hierarchy on the screen, demonstration and arrangement of all elements of UX design that makes users interact with the functionality of the product that exists on the interface. It also defines how the user navigates through the information and how information is offered to make it effective, clear and noticeable. Skeleton is divided into three parts;
- Interface Design stands for presenting and arranging design components to enable users to interact with the functionality of the system.
- Navigation Design defines how the information is navigated using the interface design elements.
- Information Design defines the presentation of information in a way that enables comprehension and simplifies it.
Surface is the entirety of all the work and decisions we have made. It governs what and how the product looks and chooses the right visual elements. Surface has a Sensory design.
- Sensory Design. It concerns the visual appearance of content and controls, which guides a user to what can be done and how to interact with content and control. It should make things easier to understand, increase perceptive ability to comprehend what users see on the screen.
Traits of good UX design
User Experience (UX) is pivotal to the success or failure of a system in the market. It is accurate that UX began with usability (two are often confused), however, UX has expanded to much more than that and so we will cover all aspects associated with the UX. There are 7 aspects that describe UX:
Let’s look at each aspect and where it stands for the overall user experience:
If a product has no purpose, it cannot contest for consideration in a marketplace full of focused and useful systems. It is important to know that ‘useful’ lies in the mind of the consumer so non-practical benefits such as entertaining or visual appeal may be considered “useful”.
Usability is concerned with enabling users to competently and proficiently attain their end goals with a system. Poor usability is often associated with the very first iteration of a product – think the first generation of Symbian mobile phones; which lost to more usable Android mobile phones even though Android was not the first mobile operating system but it was the first usable one.
Findable describes the notion that the system must be easy to find and the included content must also be easy to find. Otherwise, no one is going to buy it and it holds true for all potential consumers of a product. Findability is central to the user experience of many products.
If you go to a clothing store and find that different categories of clothing are shelved at random, rather than being organized into sections such as Men, Women, Kids etc. you would probably find shopping at such a store a very unsatisfying experience.
Today’s consumers aren’t going to give you a second chance to dupe them. There is plenty of variety in every field for them to pick a credible provider from. Credibility relates to the ability of the consumer to have faith in the product that you bring to the market and that it does the job it is supposed to do.
Desirability is covered in design through branding, image, identity, esthetics and emotional design. The more desirable a product is, the more likely it is that the consumer who buys it will brag about it and create desire in other consumers.
Take Toyota and Porsche. They are to some extent both useful, usable, findable, accessible, credible and valuable but Porsche is much more desirable than Toyota. Not that Toyota is undesirable (they have sold a lot of cars under that brand), but given a choice of a new Porsche or Toyota for free, most people will go for the Porsche.
Accessibility is providing UI / UX elements that can be accessed by consumers of a full range of abilities – this includes those who are differently-abled such as hearing impaired, vision impaired, motion impaired or learning impaired.
THE PRODUCT MUST DELIVER VALUE! It must bring value to the user who pays for it or uses it. Without value, it is likely that any initial success of a product will eventually slowly die off.
It should be borne in mind that value is one of the key inspirations on buying decisions. A $100 product that resolves a $10,000 problem is one that is likely to succeed then a $10,000 product that resolves a $100 problem.
Cons of Bad UX Design
For most of us, a bad user experience means only a bit of frustration but in some cases, bad UX design can cause damage or even kill highly purposeful products. As technology penetrates every arena of our lives, bad UX may prove to be perilous in the future. Some of the cons of bad UX designs are:
It is used to describe a visitor on a website who leaves that page before finishing the desired action like exiting before signing up for a newsletter or downloading an incentive.
The aim of your product should be to attract, retain or engage users, instead of creating an experience that turns them away.
Negative Brand Perception
Consumers compare other websites to yours and if their mental perception differs from their mental model, they perceive your brand negatively.
Customer loyalty is extremely important in business. A bad UX not only loses your business but damages your reputation too.
Low Search Engine Rankings
With the advent of machine learning, search engine algorithms have become more complex, and are now bringing user experience considerations to the same level as content quality.
Having a bad user experience can prevent your product from maximizing its full potential in organic search results, reducing your conversion rates. It could lead to a low-quality Score which then increases the Cost Per Click, and you will spend higher in getting users.
Consumer engagement is achieved by providing a stellar consumer experience when they interact with your product. Users will abandon a product or app for another one if it causes them frustration.
From a business approach, you are giving your competitors an advantage, since your user-base has a high likelihood of switching to your competition.
UX can build up or bring down a business, especially in such competitive and saturated marketplaces. It has never been more important to guarantee you get this facet of design right.
UX will help you exploit your potential without estranging potential consumers. The world of UX design is vast and complex, but with the right decisions, you can transform your website, design and business. Smart designers understand the importance of developing winning UX and UI.