The definition of user experience (UX) is contentious. The term user experience is too broad and contains multiple dimensions. User experience takes different iterations even within the UX community. Multiple disciplines come under user experiences such as interaction design, usability engineering, and information architecture. The term “user experience” was coined by Dr Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher, to describe the importance of user-centered design- the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users.
Primarily user experience focuses on the ergonomics of human-machine interaction. At its core, UX practices are driven by a deep understanding of users’ needs, limitations, abilities, and expectations. The business objective of UX is to deliver products and services with elevated user interaction.
What is UX design?
In web-based systems, UX design is the process of design and development of products (digital and physical) that are user-friendly and interactive. UX design involves the study of user behavior, and their response and perception to a product, service, or company.
As websites have become more complex, a great UX design has become a necessity. Now there is a greater emphasis on improving the quality of user interaction to enhance the customer experience.
There is often the misconception that UI and UX are the same things. Although both branches focus on usability and improving the end-user experience, the approach, methodologies, and tools used to achieve these objectives are different. UX designs require strategic thinking and a conceptual approach to problem-solving. UX designers are analytical, they take data and analyze the data to develop user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing designs. Meanwhile, UI designs require creative thinking. A UI designer’s primary focus is a seamless, functional user interface of a website.
What are the factors that influence UX?
The many facets of user experience are aptly defined in Peter Morville’s Honeycomb diagram. The honeycomb includes the attributes that contribute to a meaningful and valuable user experience. Here are the facets included in the honeycomb:
A company’s product or service must be useful and fill the consumer’s need. Usefulness must be a priority when developing a product or service. If the product doesn’t fulfill the needs of the consumer then there is no point in creating such a product.
The design of products and services must be user-friendly. Easy to understand and easy-to-use systems are most likely to be adopted by consumers.
The visual aesthetics of a product design must be attractive. It should appeal to the consumers. A minimalist design that is easy to understand adds to the desirability factor of a product.
Content must be easily findable and navigable. The navigational structure must be set up in a way that makes sense. Necessary information must be easily available to users both on-site and off-site.
The features and design of a product must be accessible to users with disabilities. It should be such that both able-bodied and differently-abled users can have the same user experience.
The company and its products or services must be trustworthy.
What is the importance of UX in website development?
UX has a massive impact on how customers interact and perceive a business. A negative experience on a website can turn away customers for good. Improving user interaction through good UX practices can enhance customer experience and customer loyalty. Well-executed UX designs can keep visitors on the website longer and increase the likelihood of them converting. The better is the user experience of a company, the more loyal the customers are. Loyal customers act as brand advocates too. This may lead to greater referral traffic to the website.
Exceptional UX can streamline the customer journey, reducing the time from the awareness stage to a sale. A seamless customer journey can drastically improve the quality of leads and conversion rate. A good interaction can help turn prospects into happy customers. Happy customers tend to become repeat customers and become loyal to the businesses they support.
Good UX design can make user navigation easier, thereby lowering user frustrations. When visitors find what they are looking for quickly and easily, it contributes to lower churn rates. A lower churn rate is the result of greater efficiency in the customer journey. UX designs that are deployed for a business’s internal processes can help improve efficiency and productivity.
A website with an intuitive UX design contributes to greater customer satisfaction. High-performance websites attract more visitors and encourage them to linger longer and purchase more.
How to create a good UX design?
Understand the requirements and create user personas to gain insight into how an actual user might utilize a product or service.
Research and analyze competitors to stay updated on the latest UX trends. It’s important to understand how competitors are using design principles to their advantage and be inspired. The goal here is to be better than your competitors.
Gather ideas and create different iterations of the design. Draw sketches and wireframes and continuously evaluate them to reach the most optimal design.
Design prototypes to gather better insights into its usability from a user perspective. Create and share design specifications with precise instructions.
Implement the functionalities and connect the design with UI.
Evaluate the end design by performing usability tests. Create reports and implement improvements to ensure a seamless experience.
User experience can be a confusing concept. Every UX design begins with a deep understanding of the consumer and their behavior. At Alkye, we use our expertise in UX design to elevate the user experience of our client websites and help them improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.