Why is User Experience so important?
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UX (User Experience) has become a popular buzzword. Moreover, it gets thrown around a lot when it comes to Product Development. Dev companies often devote a lot of resources to user experience. But, what makes it so important? In this article, we’ll go over its basics, its differences with UI (User Interface), and why it’s so important. Also, we’ll cover some UX FAQs and give you some insights. Let’s jump in!
User Experience Basics
What is User Experience?
Well, the name itself gives us a clue. UX revolves around the experience a user has when using a product. For example, how someone reacts when interacting with a website or mobile app. Yet, it does not just involve the product itself, there are other aspects to consider. These include customer support, sites related to the product, its community, etc. There are many facets to UX design, such as usability, visual design and accessibility.
UX Design vs UI Design
UX and UI are often interchangeable but, although they are connected, they don’t refer to the same thing. User Experience focuses on how to meet the users’ needs. Also, it analyzes how competitors are tackling them by researching the target audience. Meanwhile, User Interface follows up the visual aspects of a product or its aesthetic. As a result, UI is the general look and feel of a website or app. Further, it focuses on features, buttons and functions being intuitive. Good UI allows users to navigate instinctively. Also, it’s about being visually appealing to the user. This includes having intuitive elements, and a natural design.
User Experience aims at retention. It focuses on the user’s journey — i.e., visualization of a user’s path to achieving a goal within the app. Successful User Experience design is simple and user friendly. It’s about how the user feels about your app and how seamless the user flow is. Besides, it follows up how easy it is for users to accomplish their goals within the app. While UX focuses on how a website or app works, UI is pointed at how it looks.
Does UX Design require coding?
Strictly speaking, User Experience design does not need coding. But, it may prove useful to have some coding knowledge if you wish to become a UX designer. Knowing how to code will increase your job opportunities. Besides, it will let you communicate better with developers. Getting note of all areas involved can help you become a better designer.
How do you measure User Experience?
Measuring User Experience means you can see what is working and what isn’t. Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure results, including UX’s. With these, you can see how users interact with your product, while KPIs measure its success. Both metrics and KPIs focus rather on behavior or attitude. The first refers to users’ actions while interacting with your website or app. On the other hand, the latter focus on feelings about your product and/or your company.
Some relevant metrics to keep an eye on include engagement, usability, and retention. Among these, there are users’ adoption and conversions. Most important KPIs encompass success rate, time-on-task, and user error rate. Net Promoter Score (NPS), System Usability Scale (SUS), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) are also important. If you want to learn more about UX metrics and KPIs, you can take a look at this article. You might get interested in some tools to help you get and process the pertinent data. There is a vast amount of tools that can help you, depending on the most important data for your product. Google Analytics for user and website data and Google Optimize for A/B testing go well together. Also, there’s Survey Monkey for polls and questionnaires, and for usability testing, just to mention a few.
Why is User Experience so important?
Let’s get to the heart of the matter. The reason why User Experience is so important is in its definition. A good user experience revolves around fulfilling the users’ needs. So, it leads to better customer satisfaction and higher conversion and retention rates. The main goal of UX design is creating positive experiences for users. As a result, this will foster loyalty to your brand or product. Moreover, a good user experience also reduces development, bug-fixing and marketing costs. If you invest time in advance on researching your target, you’ll provide them with a better product. All this, in turn, means a higher return on investment. In short, User Experience affects your brand’s reputation, customer loyalty, and sales. These are quite important if you want your product to succeed.
How to design a great User Experience
Now that we know its relevance, we thought it would be wise to give you some pointers on what to do and what to avoid. Below, we’ll cover the principles of user experience design, some UX don’ts, and some of the latest UX trends. There are many versions of UX’s principles. Yet, in this article, we’ll focus on Peter Morville’s UX honeycomb. Morville is one of the founding fathers of informational architecture. His company, Semantic Studios, also has a main focus on User Experience. Peter created a UX honeycomb that includes seven principles. Let’s take a look at them.
The principles of UX Design
A product must fulfill a purpose or a need. So, you need to define why the product is needed and whom it will serve. It's important to define this before developing stages.
This principle refers to how the user journey should be efficient and intuitive. Your product should be simple and easy to use with a short learning curve.
Users need to be able to find information or do a task when using your website or app. It must be easy to navigate.
Your target audience needs to be able to trust your product. They need to believe that they will achieve their goals at the end of the user journey.
Visual aesthetics of your product need to be appealing to the user. It’s not only about fulfilling a need; the user should also want to use your product to fulfill that need.
Taking into account the needs of all users is very important. You should consider users with different disabilities or impairments when designing your product.
The sum of all the aspects mentioned above must deliver value to the users of the product. This principle is like the conclusion step. With all previous steps accomplished: is my product valuable?
What not to do in UX Design
Like everything in life, there are also some don'ts. Here are some examples of things you should definitely avoid. Below, you’ll find two general and two specific examples.
Great visuals but no purpose
Of course, you can offer something visually appealing. But, it won't make a difference if it has no purpose or function. If users are unable to find what they're looking for, despite the aesthetics, your UX design fails.
Long drop-down menus
Is your drop-down menu so long users have to scroll endlessly to find the right option? You might want to rethink your design. A good example of this is drop-down nationality menus. You should avoid this type of menu if there are more than 10 options.
WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” feature
The reasoning behind this feature was on point. People are prone to send messages to the wrong contact or send them before they're finished. Its execution, yet, not so great. As for now, WhatsApp warns other people when a message gets deleted. This might make the sender look a bit suspicious.
Netflix “Hover Auto-Play” feature
Back in 2015, Netflix launched a feature when content played automatically while hovering. This was a bit disruptive as you couldn't access details about a film or TV show without its trailer playing.
2022 User Experience trends
User Experience trends are always shifting and it is vital to stay on top of these changes. Here are some of the user experience trends we’ll be seeing in 2022.
Personalization itself may not come as something new. But, this trend has remained strong over the last few years. This includes, for instance, curated recommendations in streaming platforms. It also applies to pre-made playlists from music providers. These systems rely on demographics and behavioral data.
AR and VR
Augmented and Virtual Reality have also been around for a few years. These too aim to keep expanding, particularly for B2B purposes.
Data Visualization has become an expected part of the User Experience. Moreover, it improves the users’ interaction with the product. As a result, companies are focusing on showing users data in a pleasing and exciting way. Spotify’s Wrapped is an excellent example of well-executed data visualization.
Micro-Interactions are those small visual elements that can have a considerable impact. These can be a specific button, an animation or even data input. They can make the User Experience more engaging and enjoyable.
We have mentioned accessibility among the UX design principles. Well, there will be more efforts pointing to accessibility and inclusivity. For instance, contrasting color, and descriptions and captions for images and videos.
As we’ve seen, user experience is an essential part of product development. It saves both time and money by ensuring we give users the product that best fits their needs and desires. We hope this article helped you understand all the UX basics! Also, we expect to have given you insights into its principles and trends. Want to know more? Check out our article about UX on Product Design!
Do you think your product or service could do better with its User Experience? Or are you looking to develop one from scratch? Our talented and awarded team can help you to create an amazing UX-focused design to satisfy both customers and ventures. Get in touch with us if you're aiming to take your business into full digital transformation!