If you’re a designer, you probably know the sign of a successful design is creating the ultimate UX experience. Whether it’s a product, an app, or a website, you’re always designing and developing with your user in mind.
For those of you asking, what is user experience (UX) design? It’s all about taking complex tasks, such as registering for Microsoft’s small business academy and designing the process in a way that makes it easy to understand and easy to follow, in order to accomplish their task.
But wait, if the end goal a seamless and simple user experience design, how exactly do you evaluate your success? In the following article, we’ll share with you the best user experience design practices to ensure you have the tools to effectively measure your success.
What is User Experience (UX) Design and Why does UX design matter?
UX focuses on the end user’s overall experience and refers to their perceptions, emotions, and responses to a company’s product, system, or service. It also takes into account the utility, ease of use and efficiency when interfacing with your design or system. This includes websites, apps, software, etc. Most people understand the concept of experience design and the philosophy behind UX experience, but why does UX design matter?
Simply, put your user experience design goal is to create a positive experience while fulfilling a user’s needs. So if you’re wondering, why UX design is important? Consider that this is a crucial component to successful conversions and maintaining loyal customers.
UX design is an essential middleman between the user and your company. It is often the deciding factor between becoming a loyal user, or leaving your site for a competitor. Within seconds of viewing your app, site or product, they should have a clear understanding of how your interface works and why it’s valuable to them.
How do you explain user experience design?
Think about this way: your house or apartment is laid out in a specific way that is familiar, functional and enjoyable. When you enter a home, it doesn’t make sense to enter directly into a bedroom or a bathroom. Rather, you probably want to lead them through a hallway or into a foyer. Why? People choose where they want to live, in part, based on functionality and desirability.
The same rings true for how you lead your user through your design. Ask yourself, who is your target user? What are they familiar with? What is your end goal, and what are your users' expectations? With these, you can design a process that guides users seamlessly through a series of tasks. Ultimately, your user experience design should balance aesthetics and functionality. It’s intended to help define your user's journey in a way that optimizes your business’s success.
Providing an exceptional and memorable user experience that attracts loyal customers are designed with both the ease of the process, and the overall experience. It’s all about balancing pleasure and functionality.
What makes a good user experience?
As a result, there’s not a single answer to what makes a good user experience? There’s no special formula or one size fits all for designing the ultimate UX experience. Each design is unique, which means meeting a particular set of needs, unique to that design. It all depends on your user’s needs and expectations, and the goal of that design.
During the design phase, you need to consider the why, what and how. When you’re asking the ‘why’, this is all about a user’s motivations. Does it relate to a task they want to perform, does it resonate with values or specific lifestyle? The ‘what’ addresses its functionality, and the ‘how’ directly impacts that functionality by balancing accessibility with aesthetics.
When asking what makes a good user experience? Your goal is to design a process that engages the user while guiding them to complete a desired task or action.
In order to accomplish this, you need a simple and straightforward design, with a clean layout and clearly defined process. The interactive portion of your design needs to entice users.
Elements to consider when engaging with the user:
- Clickable items
- Scrollable items or dropdown menus
- Typable inputs
- Calls to Actions
Effectively using these elements will increase conversions and reduce the amount of time it takes for your user to reach the end goal.
UX Design is User-Centered
It’s crucial to remember that the best results come from directly interacting with your users, and gaining insight from them. Get feedback from them, observe how they interact with your interface, learn from their hands-on experience and view the results from an objective standpoint. Ask your users, and yourself, questions about their decisions, thoughts, and feelings. Your users are your most valuable teachers, so pay close attention to their actions and reactions.
At the end of the day, you want to ensure the value and purpose is crystal clear as users are guided through a seamless and enjoyable experience.
The process of developing a successful user experience design can be broken down into a number of steps:
1. Your experience design target market
Who is your target market? Define a user portfolio or persona according to a specific demographic, including age, where they live, career, marital status, etc. Define their personality, traits, and interests. Are they creative? Outgoing? Environmentally conscious? And finally, what motivates them? Well defined and useful personas take time to develop, and they may evolve and change over time as your business or users grow.
2. Wireframes, prototypes, sitemaps and user flow diagrams
Wireframes, prototypes, sitemaps and user flow diagrams are the concrete steps that help you present your idea in the beginning stages.
3. Testing and Measuring UX Experience
Usability testing is an exceptional tool for measuring your success as it allows designers to take a step back and view a real user’s experience. Defining the particular elements that make for the best user experience design is unique to your users and goal.
Keep in mind that it’s an ongoing process that often requires several stages of revisions. In order to make strategic decisions, it’s important to gain insight into what the users do, rather than just what the users say.
This helps designers transcend beyond their perceived notions and ideas about what they believe defines a good user experience, and allows them to tap into how the user perceives the experience. When a user hits a roadblock because the functionality is off, or the value isn’t clear, that’s where you need to reassess.
What is the difference between UX and UI?
People often use UX and UI interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. UX design refers to user experience design, UI design, on the other hand, refers to user interface design. They are both essential to one another, but are part of different stages of the process and the design discipline.
If you’re wondering, what is the difference between UX and UI? Here are the cliff notes:
- User testing
- Data analytics
- Site mapping
- User satisfaction
- Output devices
- Action buttons
- User controls
- Input devices
- Visual design
From the simple distinction between interface design and ease of use, we can see that UX is not UI, but they do work closely together. User experience design takes place during the development stage and focuses on improving the quality of every interaction between a user and the company. This is everything included in the overarching idea of optimizing a product for effective and enjoyable use, such as hands-on research, strategy, content, wire-framing and prototyping, execution and analytics.
User interface design, on the other hand, focuses on the presentation and interactivity. Elements that focus on a design’s presentation. Customer analysis, design research, branding and graphic development, and user guides or storyline, are all part of the UI process. It also covers the responsiveness and interactivity of the design, including UI prototyping, interactivity and animation, adaptation to all device types, and implementation with a developer.
Although they are different parts of the process, they are both necessary and must coincide with one another.
Streamline your user experience design process with CloudApp
When you’re designing and developing products or services, you want to ensure you have created the best experience. This means ensuring a user can navigate efficiently and naturally throughout your design. This will greatly increase the likelihood of creating a repeat user, and increases the chances that they will complete targeted or directed actions.
Collaboration, speed, effective communication, and consistency are key during the user experience design process. It’s absolutely essential that you use the right platform to keep everyone on the same page.
There are endless ways where CloudApp can enhance your team’s development. It can be easily integrated with a number of other platforms and offers a variety of features for the ultimate tool to help streamline the process. CloudApp features allow you to create, annotate, and share screenshots, GIFs, video snippets, and screen recordings with others.
CloudApp is compatible with Macs and PC. Install the Cloudapp Mac App, Windows App, iOS app, or our Chrome Plugin today.