‘There are three responses to a piece of design – Yes, No, and Wow! Wow is the one to aim for.’ Any effective User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) being created by responsible and intelligent designers is meant to offer its users an exceptional experience that can lead to a successful app implementation.
The user experience (UX) in any application forms the pulse of the application. It is as important for the success of your application as the other major parameters like content and functionality. The basic difference between a successful app and an unsuccessful app is the quality of its user experience design. A perfect UX design focuses on user interaction and perception with the app, response of the app based on inputs, explanation of functionalities and user access control features.
While the web is filled with a plethora of information to guide towards an effective UX design, this handbook attempts to cover the most important aspects of UX designing under a single roof. Let us try to understand the different arenas of UX designing that can help in perceiving the concept in a better fashion. Here are the different topics that are covered in this guide:
- An Overview on User Experience
- Key Reasons Why UX is Most Important
- Major Deliverables of a Good UX
- User Interface and User Experience – The Basic Difference
- Best Practices for A Good User Experience
- Key UX Trends of 2021
- Handy Tips (Do’s and Don’ts) on How to Keep the UX Simple, Yet Smart and Efficient
An Overview on User Experience
The user experience (UX or UE) is how a user interacts with and experiences a product, system or service. It includes a person’s perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency. – Wikipedia
User experience is a prime component of a successful application since it mainly focuses on fulfilling user requirements. The main objective of offering an effective UX is to offer positive experiences that keeps users stuck to the app, with a successful output. It also attempts to enhance client satisfaction and loyalty with proper utilization, ease of use and effective interaction with the app. It talks about information that is adaptable, useful, good quality, usable, and desirable and concentrates of how users feel as they interact with the applications – be it website, web application, mobile application, desktop software etc.
User experience can have a varied scope that relates to a vast dimension of design and its key features must encompass the following characteristics – information architecture, information design, marketing and communication, interaction design, layout, brand, sound, text, copywriting, usability engineering, visual design, human computer interaction.
Here are certain considerations that help us determine that the user experience being proposed is of exceptional quality and will be influential in the success of the application:
- Smooth and accurate user onboarding to keep the users oriented and engaged
- Desirable UI to guarantee improved conversion ratio and attract more visitor traffic
- Satisfied and captivated clients, extending satisfaction to others, growing base
- Consumers enhancing their loyalty and retention proportion
- Getting in sync with SEO actions to safeguard web presence and enhanced traffic / downloads
Key Reasons Why UX Is Most Important to Any Project
- Increases visitors and retains customers
- Offers easy-to-use and smart designs easily understandable by users
- Increases rate of conversion, enhances sales and business growth
- Maximizes customer satisfaction/confidence, RoI and user visits/loyalty quotient
- Attracts visitors to spend more time on the portal
- Instils more confidence in users, assuring an awesome experience
- Spread of brand recognition will be fast and effective
- Futuristic opportunities will be more
- Cost effective and time effective
Major Deliverables of a Good UX
- 3D Interface: With high-speed browsers, providing a 3D experience is feasible and that is what a good UX offers
- Motion Graphic Design: Showcasing certain amount of animation or motion design is the main crux to entice and maintain clients
- Polished Scripting: Examining and executing how the app is chatting with the clients, in an elaborate way
- Responsive Nature: One of the greatest needs today, in the world of so many devices, is its responsive nature and for it to work efficiently, whatsoever
User Interface and User Experience – The Basic Difference
- UI takes care of bringing users to the applications with its user interface elements and UX takes care of keeping them glued to the application with its navigational aspects.
- UI talks about how it looks, UX talks about how it works.
- UI concentrates on design of micro interactions, UX focuses on macro interactions.
- UI is responsible for garnering user traffic, UX is responsible for keeping users engaged for a longer time.
- UI comprises of the ways in which users will communicate with the application. UX comprises of the experience that users will have while navigation.
Best Practices for A Good User Experience
- Garnering Onboarding Experience Through Prototyping, Feedback and Testing
The main crux lies in satisfying the customers and hence the user experience must focus on building a prototype that must be tested with users from beginning. User involvement is a must right from start so that there are no major changes later. Data must be collected and analyzed in such a way that it can be used further for testing. The entire onboarding experience must be monitored closely for better output.
- Declutter Your Design
Often, over enthusiasm leads to cluttering of design components and navigations in the applications. Though it may look attractive, it turns out to be confusing and haphazard for the end users. Too much information is not advisable hence always choose to declutter all design elements right from the start. Have minimalistic content and have interfacing to a minimal. A simple design will have the user in a comfortable and assertive state.
- Have a Futuristic Perspective
Technology is moving rapidly, and newer tools are coming up all the while. Whenever designers are creating user experience, they must keep in mind the ability of the design to adapt to newer tools and technologies. Hence, they must possess a futuristic view of laying down the design elements and the entire experience.
- Divide Huge Tasks into Smaller Portions
There are certain tasks that will have multiple action items to be performed by the users. In such cases, it is advisable to bifurcate them into smaller portions so that the user can deal with them easily. Else it may lead to confusion and a wrong divert. Yes, it must be ensured that the workflow does not get disturbed while bifurcating the chunks and the logic remains intact.
- Keep Your Design Components Lightweight and Compatible
While the UX involves multiple design elements, it is important to ensure that the entire design scenario does not turn heavy on maintenance and management. Hence, it is the forte of designers to keep the design elements light weighted and compatible with each other and other third-party components.
- Utilize Traditional Screens and Lingo
There are certain terminologies and screens that are usually implemented in almost all apps and users are well versed with those. Not using them only because they are quite common is not wise. It is better to use those terms like ‘Getting started’, ‘Get in touch’, ‘Search results’ etc. so that users can easily grab their meaning and proceed easily.
- Ensure Cross Device Interaction and Support for Cloud Based Design
A perfect user experience must ensure a smooth cross device communication right from the start of the project till its implementation. With a plethora of devices around the globe, there must be effective interaction between the devices through an effective design. Also, cloud-based services are the latest jargon today and all major design elements must support cloud-based technologies. This ensures all systems to be quick, stable, and coordinated with each other.
- Go in for Wireframing and Prototyping
These two elements are important for users to understand the design elements and ensure that they meet user requirements. Wireframing is one good way through which at a structural level, the user workflow can be ascertained. It gives a complete idea on how the system framework is and what body will be developed later. Prototyping through modern-day tools, can showcase a smaller version of the main modules so that users can feel how the system will be.
- Modern Interaction Design Will be Advantageous
Creation of interaction design elements is key to an effective user experience and that can be achieved by understanding the different interaction design components. Interaction design focuses on the user experience of interactive systems, frameworks, and digital products. This assists in understanding the perspective of user requirements versus the user experience design that is being designed.
- Microcopy and UX Writing Will Always Give a Better Viewpoint
Both these technologies show the little text or information that is applied on different components like labels, tips, forms, popups, and others. As the user moves around, these elements help and thereby instil confidence in users. UX writing makes copies that can communicate with models of users and perceive the applications in a better way.
- Use Pen and Paper Prior to Digitizing Design
Being a complete creative work, it is best if designers work out their design elements on pen and paper by sketching. This enhances the creative output of designers and helps them cater to user requirements in a complete manner. Making the most of this traditional style of design helps in offering best output in lesser time and with lesser efforts. There are minimal chances of deviating from user needs.
- Make Reusable Components and Use Them Often
Using components wisely, reusing them as and when needed is a good way to build a user experience faster and smarter. A little thought to which components can be reused would surely help in fastening the entire process of building the design. However complicated designs may be, there are certain modules that can be used again. Designers must wisely think of such modules and keep them handy for use, whenever needed.
Key UX Trends of 2021
A look at the latest trends of 2021, in the arena of UX development:
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Persuasive Storytelling Around Products
- Mobile-First Design
- Utilization of 3D Elements
- AR and VR Shall Continue to Wow Users
- Voice-based Assistance Popularity
- Abstract Data Visualization & Realistic Textures
- Microcopy and UX Writing
- Hand-drawn and Floating Elements
- Logging In Without Passwords
- Representation Through Videos
- Cross-platform and Ethical Designs
Handy Tips (Do’s and Don’ts) on How to Keep the UX Simple, Yet Smart and Efficient
- Do not attempt to overwhelm the users. Keep it simple, captivating and straight.
- Make use of required features and do not go overboard.
- Have a meaningful communication with users
- Design the UX with data visualization experts
- Ensure a connect between users and technological elements
- Keep yourself in the shoes of an actual user, to get the real feel
- Sketch more for better thoughts
- Ensure user research prior to design
- Audit and test regularly
- Keep registration portion crisp and short
- Let data drive the design and match it with user expectations
- Strike a balance between out of the box thinking, innovation and actual practical outlook
- Do not let all information out at one go, keep a little doubt to increase curiosity
- Make the design impressive at the first shot since it matters
- Maintain a natural and simple flow of elements
- Do not involve much scrolling and user more of shortcuts
- Collect data with high-end security
- Do not use much of jargons, use simple vocabulary
- Keep regular UX reviews and audits
- Be sure of having basic coding and analytical skills in the designer profile
Understanding the UX development part of a good design is like catching the right pulse. A good and effective user experience can turn tables and increase the success ratio, bigtime. At the same time, not having an effective UX can spoil the entire success ratio of the application.
This article has attempted to encompass all major aspects of User Experience and its intricacies, for readers to have a good idea about what UX is and how is it to be dealt with. Going through this comprehensive article is sure to offer readers more confidence into understanding User Experience, at length.