Way back in 90’s, creating web applications used to rely on business goals and mere assumptions about the users. Now the world has changed dramatically, digital technologies have brought users at the center causing businesses to focus on User Experience first.
UX (User Experience) is not just a fad; its popularity is increasing day by day with the increase in digitally enabled businesses. Retail, E-commerce, Healthcare, and even Banks have moved their focus towards improving the user experience and are looking for partners who can provide exceptional User Experience Design Services.
So what is User Experience after all? UX is the art and science of studying, designing and evaluating the experiences and feelings of people while they interact with a digital product. It involves understanding users’ needs, motivations, journeys, interactions and using that to tailor the product design accordingly.
UX is critical as it ensures a smooth journey of the user to satisfy his/her need that directly results in a business achieving its desired goals. But if users struggle to know how to interact with the product, they would immediately sway away and it would be hard to woo them back.
A good UX design can lead to a significant ROI. A research report by Forrester “The Six Steps For Justifying Better UX” states that on an average every dollar invested in UX brings $100 of revenue.
But as stated earlier UX is both an art and science and it still stands as a mystery to many due to its relative newness and continually evolving definition.
A good UX strategy would aim at making the user experience seamless and delightful. Here are 5 key elements that form the core for designing a winning User Experience.
Utility: Is the product solving the right problem?
The reason why users come to your site is to satisfy a need or solve a problem, that’s the goal of your users. Hence, designing a user experience revolves around understanding the user’s needs or pains to form a design strategy that helps to solve those pain areas. Therefore, the utility of the product should be the first factor while starting with design.
People would only pay for your product if it is useful and truly helps to solve a user’s problem. Moreover, the design strategy should aim at delivering the experience that motivates the users to take the next logical step towards the desired action.
To understand users’ needs, UX researchers leverages several techniques such as stakeholder interviews, heuristic reviews, role-playing, persona mapping etc.
2. Ease of Use: Is the product usable?
Utility is about building the right product, and usability is about building the product right.
Usability involves understanding how seamlessly a user is able to use your product to solve his/her problem.
Do you remember a decade ago how the intranets used to be? Most of us would have had a hard time finding where to order office supplies, submit an expense report or searching company policies. Usability is about finding the issues in the user journey and fixing them, ensuring the user is able to complete the desired task in the most efficient and seamless way.
Usability involves improving the products learnability, discoverability, and the ease with which users can traverse their journey.
Usability encompasses usability testing, which is a technique to evaluate product usability by testing it on real users by assigning the users tasks and observing them in the process of execution. This helps to find out the design related issues which are further used by UX Teams to make design related changes and ensure the user journey is smooth.
3. Desirable – Is the user delighted to use the product?
So far we have talked about elements that involved rational aspects of user experience, but desirability is about triggering emotional quotient to leave a lasting impression on users. For decades we have been addicted to games, inspite, of their poor usability in understanding instructions, navigation procedures and or even login procedures, just because they are highly enjoyable and trigger an emotional pleasure.
Making a product desirable would involve delivering a delightful, enjoyable and engaging experience to the user. Design techniques such sliding interactions, hover states, or even scroll events are used to delight the user and build an engaging user experience.
Although, businesses have transformed to keep users at front, achieving business goals still remains the prime objective of every business. Hence, designing a user experience is not only about creating a great UI and engaging interface or meeting users’ needs, a good UX should aim at meeting business goals as well to show a tangible ROI.
There are several tools used for this purpose such as business model canvas or service model canvas that help to find a perfect balance between the users’ needs and business needs. Although, this evaluation is moderated by a UX professionals but it is done by the business analysts, product owners or managers.