Have you ever given up on a product or service because it didn't live up to your expectations? Or maybe you offer a product or service that doesn't keep customers coming back for more? Poor user experience (UX) design could be the root cause.
Research shows that as many as 88 percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a negative experience, and 90 percent of app users have stopped using an app due to poor performance. By prioritising UX design in the development of your product or service, you can greatly reduce the risk of losing customers due to poor user experience.
But what exactly makes for a great user experience? It's all about the kind of interactions a user has with your brand. A fantastic UX design allows users to easily interact with and find information on your product or service, inspires trust and value, and follows accessibility guidelines to ensure that it is inclusive and can be used by all. By meeting these criteria, your brand becomes more user-friendly and can enhance customer satisfaction.
Unfortunately, many companies struggle to meet their customers' expectations for a great user experience. They often prioritise their own agenda over considering how their audience will react to their content. That's why it's so important to work towards building strong, accessible brands that meet the everyday needs of our clients and their customers.
It's important to understand that UX design is an ongoing process, not just a one-time design for your product or service. There is no universal solution or standard user behaviour that will last forever. UX design is about constantly striving to improve the outcome of your product or service. This requires flexibility in both mindset and budget to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape. When done well, UX design can positively impact all aspects of your product or service, resulting in higher search engine optimization, better conversion rates, increased return on investment, improved accessibility, and ultimately, happy users and stakeholders.
As a UX designer, it's our job to create intuitive and enjoyable experiences for all. One way to ensure that designs meet the needs of both you and your users is through UX design optimization.
Optimization is the process of making changes to a design in order to improve its performance and effectiveness. This can include everything from reducing loading times to making the navigation more intuitive.
So, how can we optimise our designs for the best possible user experience?
It is our responsibility as UX designers to make products that are simple to use and intuitive for our customers. Keeping things simple is one of the most crucial guidelines to follow when creating a great user experience. The simplest designs are frequently the best. Stay away from adding extraneous features to your interface and maintain a simple, minimalist design. Here are some pointers for including simplicity in your user experience design:
Start by having a thorough understanding of your users' requirements. This will assist you in choosing the functionalities and features that should be included in your product.
Use established design patterns rather than creating something entirely new. Users benefit from feeling safe and in control thanks to familiarity, and you can concentrate on fixing the particular issues with your product.
Reduce the number of steps needed to finish a task. The fewer clicks or taps a user needs to make in order to complete an action, the better.
Use simple, direct language throughout the entire product. Make sure labelling and directions are simple to comprehend, stay away from jargon, and avoid using technical phrases.
Use whitespace and negative space to create a clean and uncluttered design. This helps users focus on the most important elements of the product and reduces visual clutter.
To determine if your design is simple to use and comprehend, test it out on actual users. By doing this, you can find any points of confusion or dissatisfaction and fix them before the product is released.
Our goal as UX designers is to provide our users with simple and pleasurable experiences. Following some guidelines that have proven successful in the design industry is one method to make sure we are heading in the right direction.
The idea of testing is one of the most crucial foundations. It's central to collect information and user insights through user testing, A/B testing, or even just gathering comments from coworkers. This will help us make better design decisions. This also makes it possible for us to ensure that our designs are not only aesthetically beautiful but also practical and simple to use.
Involving consumers as early as possible in the design phase is one great testing approach. This can be as easy as asking a small group of people for feedback after presenting wireframes or prototypes to them. Early input allows us to make design modifications before expending too much time and energy in one direction.
Setting specific goals and objectives for each test is another recommended practice. By doing this, we can make sure that we are collecting the appropriate information and that we can base our decisions on the findings. For instance, if we want to streamline the checkout process on an e-commerce site, one of our objectives would be to boost the quantity of successfully completed transactions. By establishing this objective, we may plan and carry out our test with this particular result in mind.
Generally speaking, testing is an essential step in the UX design process. You can create more intuitive experiences for your consumers by adhering to best practices and collecting data from actual users. So, the next time you're creating a new feature or product, don't forget to test it thoroughly.
The user should always be at the centre of your design approach. What are their goals and demands? How might your design aid them in accomplishing those goals in the most effective manner? Prioritising user demands is a crucial component of product development since it guarantees that a product's features and functionality satisfy the requirements of its target market. Companies may produce more valuable, user-friendly, and profitable products or services by recognizing and meeting the needs of users.
For prioritising user demands, the following are some best practices:
Conduct user research: Interviewing actual users is one of the finest ways to understand their demands. This can include usability testing, questionnaires, interviews, and other techniques for obtaining input. You can better grasp the demands of consumers by knowing more about the issues they encounter and the features they would value the most.
Utilise user personas: These fictionalised depictions of your target users are known as user personas. You can better understand the demands and motivations of your usual users by establishing extensive profiles of them. You may then prioritise which features and functionalities are most significant to them using this information.
Create a user journey map: A user journey map shows the steps a user takes to utilise your product to achieve a goal. You can pinpoint problems and potential improvement areas by sketching out the user path. This can assist you in deciding which features to prioritise first.
Apply a prioritisation framework: The MoSCoW technique (Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, Won't Have) or the Kano model are two frameworks that can assist you in prioritising user demands (Basic, Performance, Excitement). These frameworks can assist you in ranking features in order of user importance and potential product impact.
Involve users in decision-making: In order to make sure that consumers' demands are taken into account, it is crucial to include them in the decision-making process. User testing, focus groups, and other kinds of information collecting can be used to accomplish this. You may make more informed decisions about which enhancements to prioritise by soliciting feedback from users.
As a UX designer, it's easy to get caught up in the big picture – the overall design and functionality of a product. The user experience, however, can be greatly impacted by the little things, so it's crucial to keep this in mind. Small elements might appear unimportant on their own, but when combined, they can have a big impact on a product's overall usability and attractiveness.
One best practice example of paying attention to the little details is the use of microinteractions. Microinteractions are brief, frequently single-purpose interactions that aid in informing the user or performing a certain task. These user interactions might be as basic as a loading spinner that lets the user know the system is functioning, or they can be as sophisticated as a procedure that requires several steps to finish. By giving the user clear feedback and direction, you may contribute to improving the overall user experience by carefully creating microinteractions.
Using error handling and messaging is another recommended practice for paying attention to the little things. When an issue does occur, it's crucial to give the user a concise message outlining what went wrong and how to solve it. This may lessen annoyance and increase the user's faith in the product.
Finally, it's crucial to think about the product's overall aesthetic and how it influences the user experience. This covers both the layout and spacing of elements on the screen as well as the usage of unified design elements, such as colour palettes and typography. You can contribute to a more enjoyable and smooth experience for the user by making a design that is harmonious and appealing to the eye. Make sure to follow accessibility guidelines when designing: a study of one million websites by WebAIM showed that 86.3 percent of websites fail to live up to those standards due to too little contrast. Having a font that is not legible will ultimately result in user frustration and work against your website.
As it contributes to the creation of a seamless and intuitive user experience, consistency is an essential component of design. It is simpler for users to comprehend how to navigate and interact with a product or service when design elements are consistent.
Consistency in design has many advantages, one of which is that it gives users a sense of predictability and familiarity. It is simpler for people to comprehend how to use the product or service when they come across similar features or patterns on various pages or screens. For digital products, where consumers may be travelling through a lot of information and need to be able to locate what they're searching for quickly and simply, this is particularly crucial.
In addition to improving usability, consistency in design can also help to establish a strong brand identity. You may design a coherent and identifiable visual language for your business by using consistent branding elements like colours, typography, and artwork. As people start to recognize and connect your brand with a certain look and aesthetic, this can help to increase user trust and credibility.
So how can you create designs that are consistent? Here are a few examples of best practices to keep in mind:
Establish design guidelines: One of the best ways to ensure consistency in your designs is to create a set of design principles that outline the essential components that should be used uniformly throughout your products or services. Colours, font, graphics, and other visual components should all be covered in these rules, along with instructions on how to apply them.
Use design systems: A design system is a collection of reusable design elements. You can make sure that features like buttons, forms, and navigation are consistent throughout your product or service by implementing a design system. You won't have to design these components from the start for every new project, which might save you time and effort.
Pay attention to hierarchy: Consistency in design also involves creating a clear hierarchy of information, so that users can easily understand the most important elements and how they relate to each other. This can be achieved through the use of typography, layout, and other visual design elements.
Test and iterate: To keep your designs consistent and simple to use, it's crucial to regularly evaluate and test them. Consistency is an ongoing effort. You may continuously enhance the consistency of your products or services by getting consumer input and incorporating it into your designs.
By following these best practices, you can create optimised designs that provide a great and enjoyable experience for your users. Remember, the goal of UX design is to create something that feels effortless and intuitive for the user – so it’s worth putting in the extra time and effort to get it right.
Want to take your UX Design to the next level and delight more of your site’s visitors? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you create a great user experience for your product or service.
By Gabriella Fritzson Senior Art Director and Max Ringi UX Designer