User Experience; what it really means.
User Experience is referred to as "a person's perception and response that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service". It is essential to design in a way that users would enjoy using a product.
If users enjoy using a product, they would use it again. They would easily prefer it over competing products. It has been estimated that 68% of users leave a website because of a poorly designed UX. Simply put, bad UX drives customers away.
We all understand how a Steering Wheel works on a car, even kids do. It is such a simple solution. But, before the wheel was invented, earlier cars were steered using something called a Tiller.
A tiller or till is a lever attached to a rudder post (American terminology) or rudder stock (English terminology) of a boat that provides leverage in the form of torque for the helmsman to turn the rudder.
The Tiller was a complicated mechanism and as such very few people could drive earlier cars. The Steering Wheel was first used in Automobiles in 1894. Since then it was rapidly adopted and replaced tillers. The Steering Wheel offered a better User Experience.
Designing a UX for a website or an application involves a number of different specializations.
Tips to accomplish a good User Experience
Good User Experience is accomplished through taking some strategic decisions. Most of them are quite easy to implement if you are aware of them. Here are a few principles we used here at FlexiSAF to design the UX For distinction.ng.
1. Focus on the User
It makes sense to have good knowledge of the target user. One way to do that is to create a persona i.e a fictional representation of your target user. It contains information about a user like t heir age and relevant personal preferences. When you understand your target user, you can tailor your application to their needs. The User should be the cardinal point of your decision making.
2. Prioritize Performance
Users would leave an application or website that is too slow. Optimize your application for speed. Some of the ways to go about this is to leverage caching, reduce http calls, compress files e.t.c. Indicating loading where necessary so that users would not be left wondering.
3. Keep it Simple
Simplicity is the ultimate sophisticationYour aim is to help the user solve a problem, you want to make that very easy to accomplish. Make frequently used actions more prominent and try to avoid unnecessary detail.
Have a clear understanding of the problem at hand then propose a very intuitive solution
4. Adopt an Iterative UX Process
At any point of the development process, it is necessary to know how users would feel about your application. It is therefore good to collect user feedback and keep refining the application to suit users. At any point in your development cycle, take a step back and evaluate how the final User Experience of the application would turn out.
6. Design an awesome User Interface
A good looking User Interface helps User Experience. To design an awesome user interface here are a few pointers
- Use an appropriate scheme
- Align elements on the page to a grid
- Take care of Hover States, Active States, Loading States e.t.c
- Beware of the blank slate and onboarding.