UX (User Experience) has become a popular buzzword. Moreover, it gets thrown around a lot about Product Development. Development companies often devote a lot of resources to User Experience. But what makes it so important? This article will cover its basics, its differences with UI (User Interface), and why it's essential. Also, we’ll review some UX FAQs and give you some insights. Let's jump in!
What is User Experience (UX)?
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 only involve the product itself; other aspects must be considered. 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.
User Experience vs User Interface
UX and UI, or User Experience and User Interface, are often interchangeable. While they have connections, they don't refer to the same thing. UX design focuses on how to meet the users' needs. Also, it analyzes how competitors are tackling them by researching the target audience. Meanwhile, UI design focuses on the visual aspects of a product or its aesthetic. The User Interface is a website or app's general look and feel. UI focuses on features, buttons, and functions being intuitive. A good User Interface allows users to navigate instinctively. Also, it's about being visually appealing to the user. This appearance includes intuitive elements and a natural design.
User Experience aims at retention. It focuses on the user's journey— i.e., visualization of their path to achieving a goal within the app. Successful User Experience design is simple and user-friendly. UX is about how the user feels about your app and how seamless the user flow is. Also, it follows up on how easy it is for users to achieve goals within the app. While UX design focuses on how a website or app works, UI design relies on how it looks.
Further, you may have encounter the question "does UI/UX design require coding?" Strictly speaking, User Experience design does not need coding. But, having some coding knowledge may be helpful 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. Taking note of all areas involved can help you become a better designer.
How to Measure User Experience?
Measuring UX means you can see what is working and what isn't, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure results in this context. This data shows how users interact with your product, while KPIs measure its success. Both metrics and KPIs focus instead on behavior or attitude. The first refers to users' actions while interacting with your website or app. The latter focus on feelings about your product and/or your company.
Some relevant metrics to monitor include engagement, usability, and retention. Also, it's essential to take care of adoption and conversions. Some critical KPIs are success rate, time-on-task, user error rate, and NPS. System Usability Scale (SUS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) are also vital. You might be interested in tools to help you get and process pertinent data. There is a vast amount of tools that can help you, depending on the most critical data for your product. Google Analytics for user and website data and Google Optimize for A/B testing go well together.
How to Design Good User Experiences (UX)?
Now that we know its relevance, we thought of giving you some pointers on what to do and avoid. Below, we'll cover UX principles, don'ts, and the latest UX trends. There are many versions of UX principles. Yet, this article will focus on Peter Morville's UX honeycomb, which includes seven principles. Let's look at them!
1. Usefulness. A product must fulfill a purpose or a need. So, you need to define why the product is necessary and whom it will serve. It's essential to clarify this before developing stages.
2. Usability. 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.
3. Findability. Users need to be able to find information or do a task when using your website or app. Your product must be easy to navigate.
4. Credibility. Your target audience needs to be able to trust your product. This audience must believe the product will achieve goals at the end of the user journey.
5. Desirability. The visual aesthetics of your product need to be appealing to the user. It’s not only about fulfilling a need; users should also want to use your product to fulfill that need.
6. Accessibility Taking into account the needs of all users is very important. You should consider users with different disabilities or impairments when designing your product.
7. Value. The sum of all the above aspects must deliver value to the product's users. This principle is like the conclusion step. With all previous actions accomplished: is your product valuable?
What to avoid in User Experience (UX) Design?
Like everything in life, there are also some don'ts. Here are some examples of what you should avoid. Below, you’ll find two general and two specific examples.
1. Great Visuals with No Purpose. Of course, you can offer something visually appealing. But it won't make a difference without purpose or function. If users cannot find what they're looking for, your UX design fails despite aesthetics.
2. Long Drop-Down MenuIs your drop-down menu too long for users to find the right option? In that case, you might want to rethink your design. An excellent example of this is drop-down nationality menus. You should avoid this menu type if there are more than ten options.
3. 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, is not so great. As for now, WhatsApp warns other people when a message gets deleted. In reality, this outcome might make the sender look a bit suspicious.
4. Netflix Hover Auto-Play Feature. In 2015, Netflix launched a feature where hovering automatically played content. This tool was a bit disruptive as you couldn't access details about a film or TV show without its trailer playing.
Why is User Experience 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 to create positive experiences for users. As a result, this will foster loyalty to your brand or product.
Moreover, a good user experience reduces development, bug-fixing, and marketing costs. You'll provide a better product if you invest time in advance in researching your target. In turn, this strategy translates into a higher return on investment. In short, User Experience affects your brand’s reputation, customer loyalty, and sales. These are pretty important if you want your product to succeed.
5 Great User Experience (UX) Trends
User Experience trends are constantly shifting, and staying on top of these changes is vital. Here are some of the UX trends we’ll be seeing in 2022.
● Increased Personalization. Personalization itself may not come as something new. But, this trend has remained strong over the last few years. This increase includes, for instance, curated recommendations on streaming platforms. It also applies to pre-made playlists from music providers. These systems rely on demographics and behavioral data.
● Augmented and Virtual Reality. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR, respectively) have existed for a few years. These, too, aim to keep expanding, particularly for B2B Models.
● Data Visualization. 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 pleasingly and excitingly. Spotify’s Wrapped is an excellent example of well-executed data visualization.
● Micro-Interactions. Micro-Interactions are those small visual elements that can have a considerable impact. These can be a specific button, an animation, or data input. These interactions make the User Experience more engaging and enjoyable.
● Inclusive Design. We've mentioned accessibility among the UX design principles. Well, there will be more efforts pointing to accessibility and inclusivity. Some examples are contrasting colors, descriptions, and captions for images and videos.
As we’ve seen, User Experience is essential to Product Development. It saves 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.