The term “User Experience” is usually a confusing concept for designers and developers, and often misunderstood. You will come across many articles online regarding this term, but today, we will give you in-depth information on how to create a good user experience. As user experience is not a topic like those you can master with a 5 minute read, we would be breaking down this topic into the following episodes so that you can understand the value it holds, the design thinking process to solve problems, and the latest trends being followed in the industry today for a good user experience:
- Episode 1: User Experience and Why it Matters
- Episode 2: Design Thinking and its techniques
- Episode 3: UX Best Practices
Episode 1: User Experience and Why it Matters
In my experience so far, I have come across many people who follow the design rules exactly the way they were conveyed by a client. The winning aspiration of such teams is earning revenues. But, there are those who believe it’s their responsibility to move a step further and not give the customer what they want, but provide them with such an experience that they never thought about, but recognize it as it was something they exactly needed for a stellar performance when they see and experience it. The aspiration hence differs; either you play to play, or you play to win, and those who do the latter, are the ones who are able to create long term relationships.
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User Experience (UX) is the experience your product creates for the user in the real world. You can say, it’s the sum of every interaction of a user with your product. From the very first interaction, maybe a signup form, to the point of exit, the complete experience is what UX is all about. It is often measured by the ability of users to achieve their goals without any disturbance.
Why it matters?
Every successful product provides a great user experience. Whether it may be a coffee maker, a mobile application, or an air conditioner’s remote, every product has a user experience. Imagine a button to turn on/off the led light the biggest in size on an AC’s remote, and the buttons to change the temperatures lie on the bottom corner with their tiny size. Have you ever seen such a remote? I am sure you haven’t. The experience of a person using this remote would be unsatisfactory, and probably the product might fail. The reason is simple; the most interacted buttons of an air conditioner’s remote are the power and temperature buttons, and to achieve these goals, the user is facing trouble as the design is poor and the experience is unpleasant.
Different needs and expectations
Users are different and have different expectations. While some may find it easy to use a product, others may face trouble. This makes it essential to keep in mind all the personas that would be interacting with your product and design the user journey accordingly. For this, it’s important to understand the users. Some of these questions can help you in doing so:
- What key problems will your product solve?
- Which group do you consider as a ‘primary’ target audience?
- What are your users’ needs?
- How have they responded to a similar products in the market?
- Is there anything missing in your product?
- How will users interact with your product in different situations?
In UX, the tiny things you often ignored, make all the difference. Your product improvises with real data. Take Facebook for example, the demand for a dislike button since ages led to ‘reactions’ being announced; which is not what the users demanded, it is something that the users actually needed. Similarly the newsfeed feature of the social platform; personalized for every user to provide them the most relevant information for a stunning user experience, unlike how it was 5 years ago. The competition in the software industry is intense, and to provide a stellar product, the product features and functionality, design, user experience all add up.
In the next episode, we will talk about design thinking and the techniques involved in the process. In simple words, the design thinking process, when you have a problem statement upfront and you need to provide a solution that will help to solve it.
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