Five questions about User Experience

Here are the Five questions about User Experience we are going to discuss today.

  1. What is user experience?
  2. What is user experience design?
  3. Responsibilities of user experience designer
  4. How to identify great user experience design?
  5. Why do we need to focus on user experience?  

 

1.What is user experience (UX)?

UX stands for “user experience”. When we say “user experience”, we are referring to how humans interact with the Internet or the physical world.

You can encounter a designed user experience everywhere. On the surface, everything from the way you interact with the software product to the position of the switch and its shape are examples of elements that build the user experience. When you use the product, all your interactions with the product become your experience.

Everything around us has a user experience-from touch screen kiosks in the subway to high-end coffee machines that allow us to make delicious coffee. The ability to use a mobile phone or wearable device can improve the user experience, just like interacting with a car through a digital touch screen and voice commands, making it easier for you to drive a car.

Therefore, the success of a product depends on how users perceive it. When using products, people usually use the following methods to evaluate their experience:

  • Does it bring me value?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is it comfortable to use?

Whether an individual becomes an ordinary user loyal to the product depends on the answers to these questions.

In short, UX is everything that affects the user’s interaction with the product.

  • User experience is about feeling. It goes beyond human-computer interaction (HCI) and emphasizes the human side. People classify an experience as a personal moment.
  • The user experience depends on the context in which the product is used. UX involves understanding the larger context of user actions and discovering the role the product plays in their lives.
  • The user’s experience will change over time. The user’s experience with the product is dynamic. For example, when a new product hits the market, or a new user tries a product, they may feel confused and feel complicated because they don’t have any background to expect something. Later, when they are more familiar with the product and rely on the value of the product, their experience will become more and more positive because they will become emotional.

In technical terms, UX includes the practical, empirical, emotional, meaningful, and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Peter Morville’s UX Hive is a tool to help you find the best points between effective user experiences in different fields.

Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb

  • Usable: The product needs to be simple and easy to use. It should be designed in a way that is both familiar and understandable.
  • Useful: The product must meet demand. If the product does not fill the perception gap in the user’s life, then they have no real reason to use it.
  • Desirable: The visual aesthetics of the product needs to be attractive. Design elements can evoke positive emotions and appreciation.
  • Discoverable: If users find a problem with the product, they should be able to quickly find a solution.
  • Accessibility: Products or services should be designed so that even users with disabilities can have the same experience as others.
  • Trustworthy: The company and its products need to be trustworthy.

When product design takes into account the six external elements, it will bring value to users, and maximizing the value of users is the ultimate goal of the user experience.

2. What is user experience design?

In short, user experience design (UXD or UED) is a process of designing useful, easy-to-use, and pleasing physical or digital products. But it is much more than that. There are 5 points to consider here:

1. User design is more than usability

A common misconception is that user experience design is about usability. It’s easy to understand why-usability means that the product is both usable and useful.
Usability is a quality attribute of the user interface, which covers whether the product is easy to learn, efficient to use, enjoyable, and so on.
Indeed, usability is one of the most important factors in the user experience, but limiting the user experience to this element will frustrate your product.

2. User experience design is not visual design or UI design

User experience design is often mistaken for visual or UI design. This is because, for many people, the word “design” is related to colors and graphics. But user experience design is different.
The user interface (UI) is defined as the communication medium between humans and systems. With the increase in the use of personal computers and mobile devices, this term is often considered to refer to the graphical user interface (GUI)-the look, feel, display, and interactivity of a product.

Although UI is clearly an important part of user experience, user experience designers do not create things like visual or interface designers. User experience designers design the functions behind the visual effects-this process makes the product better for users to use. User experience fills the gap between how things appear and how they work or perceive.
As you can see in this graphic, UX encompasses all aspects of product design and use, but UI is mainly limited to visual and interactive design.

3. User experience design is about people

UX is a design method that takes into account all aspects of the interaction between people and products or services. It is rooted in an in-depth understanding of user behaviors, needs, goals, motivations, and the environment in which they use the product, and the ultimate goal is to provide solutions that satisfy those aspects of the user experience. User experience design is the art of service-creating value for people.

User experience design cannot adapt to every user’s situation, because as human beings, everyone is different. What works for one person may have the opposite effect on another. User experience design is to provide your target audience with the best and most effective solutions.
Therefore, in order to create a good user experience, designers need to be empathetic to the people who use the product.

4. User experience design is not one size fits all

From smartwatches with micro screens to the widest TV screens, content should be developed for display and interaction within different screen sizes. But designing for different devices is more about adjusting content so that it can be displayed on different screens. It involves a lot of complexity: designers need to maximize the user experience of each device, so users believe that this app is actually designed for their device, rather than simply stretched to the screen.

5. User experience design is a continuous process

With the development of new technologies and newly received feedback, the user experience design of the product will evolve over time. With the development and changes of products, user experience design also needs to be updated

5. User experience design is a continuous process

With the development of new technologies and newly received feedback, the user experience design of the product will evolve over time. With the development and changes of products, user experience design also needs to be updated

3. Responsibilities of user experience designer

The role of a UX designer is complex, challenging, and multifaceted. Although the responsibilities of user experience designers in different companies may be different, an effective user experience design team designs and builds user experience through information architecture, interaction design, information design, and visual design.

What do UX designers really do?

When a UX designer creates a new product, user research comes first. User experience designers define the target audience—they are the most important users of the product—and the goals and needs of the audience.
Next, UX designers meet these needs by focusing on the following aspects.

  • Visual design: Create an effective visual hierarchy for the user interface.
  • Information system structure: By analyzing key tasks and defining user flows accordingly, the goals of the target audience are met.
  • Interaction design: Optimize the interaction between human and product interface.
  • Usability: Analyze how people use the product.
  • Content strategy: Adjust content and overall product strategy.

User experience designers also spend a lot of time working together. Design is a team sport. For user experience designers, it is very important for user experience designers to effectively communicate design decisions from the beginning of the project to the implementation process.

The ability to understand the motivations of developers, product managers, marketers, and other designers is essential for UX designers. Their work affects many different areas, and they should be able to work effectively with all departments to create a successful product. For example, a user research report written by a user experience designer may contain a large amount of qualitative data about user behavior, which can help the marketing team develop its content strategy.

Finally, user experience designers spend a lot of time on prototyping. Prototyping is an important part of the UX design process. It is used to create sample products that can be tested and adjusted before the final version is produced and released. The prototype can be anything, from low-fidelity sketches representing different screens to a high-fidelity pixel-perfect interactive interface. The goal of the prototype is to test the product (and product idea) before the final solution. It helps solve usability problems and can reveal areas for improvement to better meet customer needs.

Use Adobe XD to create prototypes faster. This is the first all-around solution for designing and prototyping user experience.

4. How to recognize a great user experience designer

Jared Spool, an expert in the field of user experience design, said: “Good design when it is done well, it becomes invisible. Only when it is not done well, we will notice it.”

Looking at some examples of inefficient UX design and examples of efficient UX design provides three important lessons for UX designers.

1. Provide sufficient information

Let’s take a car dashboard as an example. The state of user experience design in most vehicles today has been widely criticized as unintuitive. Automakers have been slow to implement design quality that other industries consider standards.
Bad user experience: tell the user that the car is broken
The system tells the user that there is a problem with the vehicle, but does not provide any information about the source or solution of the problem.

Effective user experience: Tell users what the problem is and provide information to fix it.

The car dashboard explains the failure of the vehicle and communicates it with a language that most users can understand, without the need for additional clarification.

2. Avoid visual confusion

The news industry is a perfect example of an industry that has undergone a digital transformation in the past few years. Most news companies are moving from print editions to online platforms and are focusing on attracting visitors to spend more time on their websites.

Conflicting visual ratings and a large number of advertisements are the two most common problems faced by users when visiting news sites. These issues frustrate users and slow them down.
Poor user experience: preventing users from reading valuable content
Many news sites are looking for ways to maximize revenue. Adding more ads is a natural response, but in most cases, this is flawed for the user experience. In the example below, you will find an old version of the CNN website. You can hardly see the news content because the ads occupy the page.

Effective user experience: focus on what is important to visitors

In order to highlight the most valuable content to readers, news organizations put readers’ online experience first. This method emphasizes readability because the user’s attention is limited. The following example shows a clear visual hierarchy, where the most important content is the most visually weighted, minimizing distracting elements, such as flashy advertisements.

3. Eliminate friction during user use

Friction is anything that prevents users from achieving their goals. It reduces conversions and frustrates potential customers, thus abandoning their tasks. A common example of friction is a login wall-a page that requires users to log in or register before proceeding. Let us take an online shopping checkout process as an example.
Bad user experience: mandatory registration without providing value
Usually, e-commerce websites and applications use login walls at the checkout counter. The login wall has an important interaction cost because users must spend time creating a new account and remembering the credentials they purchased. Forcing registration too early may cause more than 85% of users to abandon the product. Even Amazon feels guilty. It forces users to register before allowing them to purchase selected items, so many users leave the site.

Effective user experience: provide guests with options for checkout

The registration process can often be simplified as a guest checkout option. For e-commerce applications and websites, it makes sense to ask for billing information at checkout, but don’t force users to register before allowing them to purchase selected items.

Postponing account creation until after the purchase is complete, giving the business a great advantage. Once users have successfully completed their purchase, they may appreciate a good experience and are more willing to create an account (especially if some data they provide during the checkout process will be automatically populated in the account creation form).

4. Reduce user uncertainty

For example, let us look at an online purchase form. Paying online with a credit card is easy, right? Yes, no. Yes, because most users are familiar with this experience; no, because no two credit card forms are the same.
Bad user experience: users are not supported
In an ideal situation, users only need to fill in the necessary information and successfully complete the payment, and then they can easily fill out the form. However, in the real world, this is often not the case. Take a look at this example.

When it appears in this form, customers may have the following problems:

  • What payment cards are accepted? Can I pay with American Express?
  • What is “name”? Is it the name on the business card or your full name?
  • The format should be used for the due date (MM/YY or MM/YYYY)?
  • “security code” what is that?
  • What happens when I press “Next”? Is this the last step of the payment, or can I check all the data I entered?

Effective user experience: visualize what you need

Sometimes, in the user experience design process, a simple improvement can increase revenue by millions of dollars.

There are many ways to reduce user uncertainty through design. Here, you can see a modified version of the form in the previous example. As you can see, each field has an appropriate label, and the form has dynamic context help, such as card type, which is only triggered when the customer enters the first digit of the card number.

Here is another good example. The form visualizes the results of user actions and clarifies what data is needed.

5. Why do we need to pay attention to user experience?

The user experience of your product will play a key role in attracting and maintaining customers. People experience your product emotionally. Unfortunately, negative emotions are more memorable than positive emotions.

When your product experience leaves a bad impression on users, they will quickly move their business elsewhere. Therefore, a poor user experience usually means the bottom line of your business. On the other hand, the most effective user experience will win the interest of users-most importantly, their loyalty.

A good user experience is important to a good business

The business case for user experience is a question of survival. Today’s users have high expectations of your brand, which means that every product must provide a good user experience. The company has never invested more money to ensure that their users, customers, and customers have a positive interaction with their products. They see UX design as a bottom-line investment. Forrester Research reports that, on average, every dollar invested in user experience brings a return of $100, or a return on investment of 9900%.

Summarize

User experience is critical to the success of products and businesses. Promote the user experience throughout the development process. Let customers need the core of your design. User experience is that users have the best experience. Continue to get feedback from customers to ensure that you are on the right path and never stop your pursuit of a good user experience.

 

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