Great design that uses cognitive and visual contrast not only makes you stand out, it can also influence the way people use your interface.
-Aarron Walter, “Design for Emotion”
Design is increasingly becoming a necessity in the digital life. Business owners, brands and customers are all talking about UX. It is regarded as the most critical factor in marketing a product digitally.
But what is User Experience? Let’s find out.
A blog by Prototypr sums up the definition of UX quite aptly:
“User experience (UX) refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, effective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.”
In other words, a UX covers all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with your company, its services, and products. It includes everything they see, hear and do when they use your website, application or online communication.
Hence, it is necessary that your company offers an outstanding UX. It will not only help in selling your product, but also build a trust in the user’s mind that will make them come back to your brand.
To develop a good UX needs, you need nothing but a deep customer understanding to offer users a delightful experience, not just digitally but also physically when they own and use the product. The prime requirement for this is to always meet the needs of the customer with simplicity and elegance so that your products are a joy to buy and joy to use.
Thus, a true UX goes far beyond just providing features that users want or meeting their checklist. It is about going far lengths to deliver excellent products and services that the user hasn’t demanded or expected but is delighted to use when delivered.
Your business too can offer a seamless, high-quality UX to your users. To do so, you should merge the services of multiple departments viz. engineering, marketing, graphics and interface designing.
Although User Interface is an extremely important aspect of UX design, it is different from UX and you need to be able to distinguish it. Similarly, UX and usability are also different.
Usability is a quality attribute of User Interface which covers if the system is easy to learn, efficient, and pleasurable to use. While usability is also an important part, User Experience is a broader concept.
Why is User Experience so important?
It is a commonly known fact that in any business Customer is King, especially for a business on the Internet, where the visitors can opt to leave the website and go elsewhere – most of the times, to a competitor.
This is a typical customer behaviour. In fact, even you must’ve experienced this when visiting a website that is slow, has bugs and is difficult to understand or take action, so you switch to another one that helps you achieve your objectives.
It is commonly known and experienced fact that if users can’t find the information that they’re looking for, easily or have trouble while buying products, they will leave the website. And they won’t come back.
This makes user experience a very important aspect of business growth.
As mentioned before, User Experience encompasses a wide array of disciplines mainly the Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) that help in building a good UX. The other important areas are:
- Project Management – a field focusing on planning and organising a project and its resources. It also includes identifying and managing the life cycle to be used, applying it to the user-centred design process, formulating the project team, and efficiently guiding the team through all phases until project completion.
- User Research – it focuses on understanding the users’ behaviours, needs and objectives by analysis and feedback.
- Evaluating Usability – understanding how well users can learn and use your product to achieve their objectives.
- Defining the Information Architecture – making sure the information arranged and structured in a specific way for users to understand it easily.
- UI – anticipating what the users might want to do and designing a simple, user-friendly interface by placing all elements in the right position such that they are easy to access, understand and use.
- Content Strategy – Writing and curating useful, informative and easy to read content that delivers the brand voice and tone and persona to the users.
- Visual Design – ensuring an aesthetically pleasing design on the interface with the right combination of elements and content positioning.
- Analytics – collection, reports and analysis of website data to keep improving the experience regularly.
UX best practices for creating a usable website:
Before a visual designer sets an eye on designing the UX of the website, there are a few things that first need to be in place viz. visual hierarchy, content grouping, spacing, positioning and size. All of these should be solved in wire frames.
Once you have all the above in place, you can follow some of the basic best practices to make sure you create a compelling UX for your site visitors.
- Allow mobile responsiveness
Nowadays, everyone uses a smartphone to browse the internet. Your users have already visited various websites and have evolved into expecting mobile- responsive designs.
This will immediately rank your website better on Google as well as get you more traffic and conversions. Hence, having a user- friendly and responsive website is absolutely necessary.
- Motivate with calls to action:
Calls to Action or CTAs are the buttons which will make your visitors take the very decision that you want them to take and convert as customers. Hence, it is advised to spend time and craft the perfect calls to action.
- Assist with proper navigation:
Intuitive navigation are the need of the day. You do not want your users to bounce off of your site because they were confused and lost while exploring your site and couldn’t find what they wanted. Hence, having a proper navigation system in place on your website is vital.
- Write for your users:
Content is one of the major aspects of UX. Placing the right content, in the right form along with a good design will make the UX of your website credible and trustworthy.
Examples of a good User Experience: