In this article we will explore the importance of user experience (UX) in elevating your startup and how implementing good UX practices isn’t as hard as you think once you comprehend the basic principles of UX.
What is UX
User Experience is an umbrella terms with no commonly accepted definition and thus have often caused confusion. First let’s clear up one thing, UX is not the same as design. Incredible user experiences will utilize visual design, but it is only one component of crafting a great user experience. UX has many dimensions, and it includes different disciples such as customer interaction design, information architecture, visual design, usability all working together to make an intuitive and easy-to-use product that people love. Thus, the goal of a food User Experience is to recognize a tension point for your consumers and create an effective solution for the user.
Starbucks App for example realized that their main clientele for the app for frequent visitors who repeatedly order the same thing or rotate a short list of choices. For this reason, Starbucks uses Smart Personalization in their app for online ordering by understanding their order patterns and history. This was the user isn’t having to sort through their full menu before their morning coffee!
UX is understanding your user’s wants and needs
When it comes to design, not a lot should be left for guessing, instead research what your consumers actually need. One great way to gather this information is by asking for their feedback and then incorporating it back in to the design to ensure there’s a seamless journey for your clients where everything feels like it was thought through.
Much of UX research depends on understanding and listening to how your products performs in the hands of real users. Thus, it is vital you create an effective method to test your user experience and gather feedback from unbiased real users. We notice that most founders, mostly because of their own personal excitement, are guilty of leading the witnesses. They will ask questions like “Do you like it?” or “Can you find the home button on the top right corner of the screen?” that will result in very directed answers. These kinds of questions can actually end up hurting the product instead of allowing for constructive criticisms and honest feedback to help improve the process and the product for end users. Instead ask very broad questions which will allow for the user to navigate the product or service as if they were doing it alone. For example, if you’re testing the functionality of the navigation bar, don’t ask “did you find the contact button at the top right-hand corner of the website?” instead ask, “Can you send me a test query?” Once you ask them these questions, ensure you observe what they do. Record the screen and watch their user journey. Tell them to talk aloud about questions and problems they run into and any frustrations that might arise. Take notes so you can refer back to them when making amendments.
User testing plays a vital role in guiding you to make your product better. Your product isn’t going to be successful if it only caters to your wants and needs, the end users play a critical role in the success of your product, thus get their feedback as much as possible, especially in the initial stages of designing. Be sure to approach user testing with a clinical and scientific mind.
For the initial stages, you can implement the basics of user experience if you have a pretty good understanding of how people think and work. However, as your business grows, it is important you hire a designer(s) who can create visually appealing layouts and interfaces.
UX is a long-term fling
Instead it is an interactive process that needs constant improvement and finetuning. Freelancers might be cost effective for a project, but it is hardly the ideal situation for companies. We often hear about founders contracting freelancers for their “one-time” project, but this is very much a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
It is very, and we mean very, rare that whatever your design works out just right the first time around. Research indicate that it will have at least small components that will fail. Great user experience relies on constant measuring, testing, and analyzing how people view and use tour product. Therefore, it is not just about making an app, but amending it when necessary to best serve your clients. Apple for example, didn’t stop after they made Siri. They are constantly improving it cater to user feedback. If you ask Siri to schedule something for “tomorrow” and its past midnight but before sunrise, it will ask you whether you meant tomorrow as in “after your alarm goes off” or “the calendar after the current day”. This helps prevent planning error and ensures a more seamless experience for the users.