UX Design has now become an inseparable part of digital marketing strategy. Business owners, brands and customers are all talking about user experience. Though not in literal terms, they express their opinions about how this app is great, or not so great on several platforms including social media.
Defining User Experience
A blog from Protoypr 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, affective, 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-users 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 outstanding UX. It will not only help in selling your product but also build trust in the user’s mind that will make them come back to your brand.
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 design.
Many confuse UI with UX but it is necessary to draw the lines between them. 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?
Customer is the king, and in the digital age, customers are known as users. So, if the users are not satisfied with the experience that your website or app, they will turn to your competition. After all, who likes a slow and confusing website?
It is a well-researched 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.
So, a great UX is a non-negotiable element for business growth and success.
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”
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 through 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 is 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. To know more about visual design, read our article on how visual design influences UX design.
- Analytics – Collection, reports and analysis of website data to keep improving the experience regularly.
What makes a great UX design?
Before the UX process begins, there are a few things that first need to be well thought of. Visual hierarchy, content grouping, spacing, positioning and size can be finalized at the wireframing stage.
Once you have all the above in place, you can follow some of the best practices to make sure you create a compelling UX for your users:
- Allow mobile responsiveness
Nowadays, everyone uses a smartphone to browse the internet. Your website should perform equally well on mobile devices too. So, design your UX keeping a mobile-first approach in mind. Crafting a responsive website will help in achieving this objective. It will also help in ranking the website higher on Google and other search engines.
- Lead them to take decisions with calls to action:
Calls to Action or CTAs are the buttons that lead users to take the very decision and ultimately gain conversions. Hence, it is advised to spend time and craft the perfect calls to action.
- Assist with proper navigation:
Intuitive navigation is the need for the day. You do not want your users to abandon your site because they couldn’t find what they wanted or felt lost. 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. UX writing is the art of placing the right content, in the right form along with a good design.
To develop good UX needs, you need a deep customer understanding to offer users a delightful experience. It can be achieved both digitally – when they are using your app or 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 use.
Thus, a true UX goes far beyond just providing features that users want or meeting their checklist. It is about going the extra mile to deliver excellent products and services that the user hasn’t demanded or expected but is delighted to use when delivered.
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