10 Tips on User Experience Design to Make You Invincible
Creating the UX your customers want and expect.
User experience design has become the cornerstone of custom development and has companies realizing it is vital if they want user-driven applications. The user experience encompasses every interaction they have with the company or product and the emotions they go through with each interaction. UX design plays a significant role in customer confidence and differentiating yourself from competitors. It is all about creating an ideal and flawless experience for customers because that experience can turn them into a brand ambassador or lose them for good.
There is no one definition for User Experience Design, but according to Wikipedia, “User Experience Design (UX) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.” A great product can only go so far if it does not have an appealing user experience because, in the end, it is all about serving the user in the most efficient way possible.
Here are ten quick tips about UX design you can begin implementing to create the product experience your customers not only want but expect.
Talk to Your Users
It is easy for businesses to start assuming they know what their customers want, and what problems they are having, do not fall into that pattern! The most important thing to remember is that you need to be user–centric and always be thinking about the user. You need to talk to users to find out what parts of your application they are unhappy or frustrated with and take into consideration what they would be excited to see if the future.
A very small percentage of users contact support centers, so it is essential to use outside resources on top of the data the support center collects to get a more balanced user perspective. This can include a variety of different ways to talk to your users such as creating beta groups to test out your product and provide feedback. Having current users fill out surveys can also offer essential insights for improvements. It is important to stay up to date with users expectations as social media interactions often reveal what consumers are looking for. On–site focus groups that have a group of users performing common tasks your application to give their honest feedback are always a helpful resource as well. Always remember to stay in communication with the user and keep their needs front of mind when developing.
Make the Experience Simple and Easy
This should be obvious when thinking about UX design since most definitions include ease of use, but many designers get caught up in making applications look like a precise vision they forget to make navigation easy. People do not want to jump through hoops, they came to your application for a specific reason, and they want their experience to be effortless. The fewer steps a user must take to find what they are looking for the better, and the more likely the chance they will return. Simplicity can make the most charismatic design.
Match People’s Expectations
We live in a fast–paced technology world; consumers are spending more money than ever on phones with retina display and different types of tablets. It is essential that your applications are keeping up with technology and meeting all the new expectation’s users have with each new step forward in technology. This includes making all interfaces responsive with mobile devices, making sure display quality is high, understanding where people are viewing your product from and under what conditions (think bandwidth and browsers). It all goes back to making the most optimal experience for each user and considering every circumstance.
Create a Need for Speed
53% of mobile users will leave a page if it takes longer then 5 seconds to load! UX design needs to encompass the entire user experience, and that starts with how long it takes for them to open your application. The last thing you want is to lose people to small technical issues; it is crucial to do routine performance tests to know how long it takes your site to load and how to make improvements. Keep in mind that you need to test performance under real-world conditions, using 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi, and then test while moving between these networks. The faster a page loads, the less users think they are issues, and the lower your bounce rates will be.
Use Recognizable Icons and Explainable Paths
UX design embraces being innovative and eye–catching, but it is always about usability and efficiency. It is critical to stay consistent in your use of icons – many of which have universal meaning – so be sure to use them for their recognized function, do not try to come up with a new icon to a simple, common task. Trying to create too many new things that users are not familiar with will only distract or frustrate them. Your users should know how to get from one page to the next with ease, and it should feel familiar even if it is their time using the application. Clear and logical paths will convert people into long–time users. Keep your differentiation and branding focused on other elements of the application experience.
Avoid “Click Here” Buttons
Your choice of wording for buttons is critical to the user experience. Button text should tell users what to expect when they click on a button – using a phrase like “Click Here” is not improving your user experience of a visual interface. Your users understand what a button link is. Doors do not say open me on them because people already know to open them; it is the same with a link. Users will often skim and not thoroughly read the text around a link, so it’s also important to make any text links easily identifiable and express where those links lead too in your anchor text.
Speak to Your Audience
As a UX designer, the language you use around your team versus that you use around your clients and users should be very different! Technical terms like heuristics or phenomenology are great to make conversations efficient within the development team but don’t forget that the rest of the company, clients, and users are not so familiar with those terms. Leave your technical jargon at the office. It is crucial to be able to showcase your vision and thoughts to anyone so that there is not a lack of communication or misunderstanding of what the application can do. The vocabulary you use allows you to connect with people, and that is key is creating an ideal user experience.
Reflect & Audit
It is easy to get into the cycle of creating new projects, assigning tasks, and reviewing immediate results. Don’t forget how important it is to take time to go back and do an audit of all previous user experience work. Reflecting on previous work brings flaws to light and stops problems from reoccurring. It is key to evaluate the level of work you are producing so that you can align goals, business growth, and objectives accordingly. Document and share your lessons learned with your creative and technical development teams so everyone can benefit from the lessons learned.
Prioritize Important Features
There is more competition today than ever before, and there will only be more tomorrow. Even though there is more competition, that doesn’t mean every application needs more features. First–time users get overwhelmed when there are too many different features and options thrown at them. Think about the primary objectives of your application and focus your time on a few key features around those objectives. It is also essential to try and focus on only one call-to-action per page and making that one call irresistible to users. If you can make the experience effortless and concise while keeping the focus on the purpose of your application, you will stand out from the competition.
What to Avoid on the First Experience
Consider a user’s first experience with your application like a first date; there are certain red flags you need to avoid if you want to see them again. For starters, don’t require a load of information upfront before a user can even get into your application. They want to use your application and form an opinion of it before they hand over detailed information about themselves. Going off that, do not ask for a rating after the first use, this will only annoy your user since they most likely won’t have a real rating to give yet. Similarly, when asking for permission from users only ask for what is actually needed to avoid raising any unnecessary red flags with them or irritating them which may lead to abandonment. It is crucial to make the first experience one to remember and as painless as possible to ensure that second date with the user.
Improving UX design is an on-going process that is critical to keep a competitive advantage. We hope these tips and tricks were helpful so that you can begin implementing them today and make the most relevant, effortless, and accessible user experience every time.
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