Focus on UX design and not only the UI
Nowadays with so many options online, it is important to design neat and meaningful user experiences and create competitive products. Learn how the UX design process can help you succeed in the digital world.
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
There is a confusion between the terms UX design and UI design. UI Design is about how a digital product looks (branding, colours, typography etc.). UX is a combination of strategy, research, design and testing in order to create an interface that brings value to customers.
On every project we need to follow certain steps to design the right experience for the right customers.
These steps are discover, define, design, evaluate.
Let’s assume that we have a new project to work on as a team. We need to design and develop a new digital product, for example a website.
What can we do to identify actual needs and create a desirable experience for our customers?
At first, we need to discover the goals of the project and our target audience. This can be done with any form of research such as online surveys, field research, interviews.
The most important thing is to balance user needs and business goals.
Methods: user and stakeholder interviews, field research, competitor reviews, usability evaluation, analytics reviews.
We have now discovered our target audience, their pain points and needs. Next step is to collect our findings and make them meaningful.
Our decisions about the features and the content of the digital product should be based on research outcomes.
The end result would be to translate the findings into user stories.
Methods: empathy maps, user story mapping, user journey mapping, archetypes.
At this point we need to create the information architecture of our website.
- How is the information structured?
- Which paths do users take to navigate through our product to find what they want?
- How easily can users find what they want?
To answer these questions we have to create structures and test them with users to validate our ideas.
What we want to achieve, is to create a product with easy navigation and meaningful content.
Methods: User Flows, Card sorting, Treejack testing, Sitemap
Now it is time for our product to take shape. Design wireframes with draft content. ls important to test design concepts with potential users and iterate.
Don’t forget that design ideas shouldn’t be based on assumptions. We should validate our decisions based on user behaviour. We only need to test with 5 users.
Testing 1 user is always better than testing none
The last stage is to make the design concept beautiful and reflect on brand values.
Design the icons, fonts, colours and micro interactions. We do everything to create a memorable experience.
User experience design is never complete. After product launch we should continuously measure and improve the overall experience.
We should start again from the Discovery phase to find problems and follow every step until we Design the right solution.
Methods: Analytics, Usability testing, Accessibility evaluation, User Interviews.
What you gain if you focus on UX and not only the UI
- Discover user insights and solve real problems.
- UX teams are responsible for creating desirable experiences for users. Many companies fail to include users in the design process. Without customer input, organizations risk creating interfaces that fail.
- Apply usability guidelines so products and services are easy to learn and efficient to use.
- Inclusive design is a general approach to help ensure that products and services address the needs of the widest possible audience and are accessible to all.
- Focus on writing useful content that doesn’t distract users.
- Evaluate the product after launch based on data and user behaviour.