Are you working on your digital product’s user experience? Here’s a cardinal rule – do not base your product on what customers say they want.
Contrarily, good UX design decisions should be purely based on customer actions. That is, experience design should not be about how it feels, but about how it actually works.
Jakob Nielson has a valid point here.
Don’t Listen to the Customers https://t.co/UPXCJVetya The first rule of #UX design is: don’t base the product on what customers *say* they want. You must watch what people actually *do* when using your design.
— Nielsen Norman Group (@NNgroup) January 25, 2020
It is therefore important to conduct usability testing that can help paint an accurate picture of the flaws and the strengths alike.
ClickMechanic conducted an extensive user experience testing before relaunching its website. The testing resulted in an impressive 50 percent increase in conversions. The Daily Egg
Five Key Elements of User Experience Design
To help you begin, here are the 5 elements of UX design that can help engage users with your website and brand.
1. A Well-organized Information Architecture
Information architecture is the method of organizing and labeling websites, software etc., to ensure their usability and findability to help users effectively locate information and complete tasks. Information architecture helps build a structure that connects content with the functionality of the web platform.
Information architecture is the way that we arrange the parts of something to make it understandable. Abby Covert, How to Make Sense of Any Mess
Businesses tend to avoid restructuring their websites, sometimes because it demands additional efforts, and sometimes it seems a better deal to copy structures of existing websites. Either way, you are losing out on business.
The following four components need to be embedded for well-defined information architecture UX design.
- Organizing Structure: It defines the way you organize, categorize, and structure information.
- Website Labeling: This pertains to the art of presenting information in a simplified manner.
- Easy-to-go Navigation: The ease of browsing and finding a way to the intended information.
- Improved Search Systems: Defines the way users seek information.
Here are the three elements of information architecture that help create the best user experience design:
- Users: Involves the target audience, who are looking for specific information on the platform. To start with, you can also design the user experience of your MVP for some useful insights.
- Context: This narrows down to the information and its relevance that you provide to the target audience. Make sure that the message you are sending out to the audience is loud and clear.
- Content: Here you would have to ensure that every element of content, i.e., text, images, icons, and videos work in a unified way to engage the customers at every touch-point.
Information architecture UX is the center of a digital product that helps ramp up the SEO efforts and build better sitemaps.
We need to leverage our visualization skills to make sense of the bigger picture of a product’s information environment — rather than solely focusing on its interface. State of UX report in 2020
2. Interaction Oriented Design
Interaction between users and the products in terms of sound, feel, and aesthetics of the design is the core objective of interaction design. To be more specific, interaction design focuses on user behavior and how your design can personalize their user experience.
The rule of thumb when incorporating interaction design principles in the UX flow is to work on making things simple & transparent for the users.
Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent Joe Sparano
The four dimensions that define good interaction design, include:
- Words: Every design includes call-to-action buttons. The words that are used for these buttons should be simple, understandable, and most importantly, actionable.
FriendBuy increased signups by 34% by adding anxiety-reducing content and explaining key benefits next to their CTA. CopyBlogger
- Visual Presentation: This narrows down to the use of images and icons that depict the true intent of the words that go with them. The use of skeuomorphic design should be given preference as a part of the UX design process.
- Designing for Touchpoints: The design should be valid across platforms. Whether an individual uses an app, a desktop website, or a tablet; the user experience design should adapt to the needs of every channel and platform.
- Response: This defines how quickly the user’s action gets acknowledged. For instance, if a user is clicking on a specific button, the intended result should reflect without any delay.
3. Usability Aligned Design
Usability is a key element of user experience that enables users to effectively attain their end objective without confusing them in any way.
A relatable example – Netflix takes a backseat when it comes to usability. Their auto play feature is the culprit here since even the slightest hovering on the content thumbnail triggers the play-mode of the trailer. Many users have mentioned this flaw in their reviews. Such dark patterns only add to unsatisfactory user experience.
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For ensuring a good user experience design, you ought to consider implementing the KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) design principle. The key motive of this principle is to design an interface that is simple enough to be understood even by a six-year-old.
A well-designed platform makes sure that a user can easily understand your web design and can interact with it in the very first instance.
4. Visually Appealing Design
Visual design is an essential factor that affects the user experience design process as it determines the first impressions of the users.
You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. Taylor & Francis Online
Visual design plays an important part in reshaping the user experience design through layouts, spacing, images, videos, graphics, and colors. These UX design elements not only add to the aesthetic appeal but also make the digital space interactive.
Keeping the latest UX trends in mind, it is advisable to restrain from designing an overcrowded interface. Flatter design holds more power to convert over an eye-pinching visual element.
Here is a summary of elements to consider and the corresponding principles to create a visually powerful design.
5. Planned User Research
A great UX design starts with the users and ends with them. When designing to enhance the user experience, it becomes imperative to understand user behavior, preferences, mindset, and objectives so that the final design copy perfectly resonates with their needs.
User research is how you will know your product or service will work in the real world, with real people. It’s where you will uncover or validate the user needs which should form the basis of what you are designing. – Chris Mears, Founder, The UX Review
There are three types of metrics for user research in UX that your brand can consider when ramping up the user experience design:
Here are some additional metrics that will help your business make an informed decision based on your users’ needs and requirements.
Metrics of Success
Any type of research or study is worthless if you can’t accurately measure the outcomes. Therefore, it’s critical to measure user experience design success to derive value from research activities.
There are two ways of measuring UX design success – quantitative and qualitative.
- Quantitative methods include analyzing click-through rates, conversion tracking, and other analytical metrics. It provides a detailed understanding of user behavior.
- Qualitative methods include assessing the ability of users to navigate the UI effortlessly, and their ability to complete a set of tasks. It adds credibility to your research findings.
It’s advisable to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques in measuring design success.
Prototyping involves evaluating a prototype with potential users to understand how a user interface or the web application looks and behaves in a real-world scenario. A prototype gives you a good idea about how a particular product, website, or app will respond to user inputs, and what improvements can be made in the product’s design to make it feasible.
Prototyping proves to be a great way to keep a design project on track and helps you predict a possible course of user experience design activities. One tool that I prefer to use, which offers functional prototypes with single drag-and-drop is Mockplus.
Good user experience design is about making your product/website predictable and easy to use. It’s about offering a design that does not confuse the user when they proceed with their intended actions. The UX design elements mentioned above are a foundation to ensuring a successful footprint in the online space.
Working towards improving the UX design can drive significant traffic, appreciation, and revenues for your business. The goal should be to try and make every moment of the user-interaction count. Above all, your design is the silent ambassador of your brand.