8 User Experience Principle
Human-Oriented Design is worth it.
We have always instinctively appreciated brilliant design, whether in physical objects or digital products, but until recently there was relatively little recognition of the business value of design. That’s changing. Design is now increasingly seen as a differentiator and growth driver, and great user experience correlates with better business performance. Digital transformation specialists have responded to the potential opportunity in design-driven growth by broadening their approach to UX.
There are many facets of design to consider when developing or transforming a design, so no matter how experienced we are as UX engineers, there is always room for improvement. In order to increase peak performance in UX, it’s important to keep honing those design skills. At ThePixel, we keep these eight design principles front of mind to challenge ourselves to continuously innovate UX.
Data should underpin design decisions
When product teams want to find answers to the “Why?” and “What?” questions, data-informed decision-making has the answers. Not only does a data-informed approach to fundamental or strategic design decisions yield better performance, but it often results in more innovative outcomes. For instance, studying user behavior patterns enables design teams to create more tailored products based on that information. Qualitative research also plays an important role in finalizing designs.
Create Meaningful Experiences through Problem-Solving
So, you have already know your user persona in the face. You’ve collected all the necessary information to see the ultimate image of an average person from your target audience with the eyes closed, just using your imagination. You know their needs and desires.
Now, it’s time to conduct detailed user problem-research. You know your people, so it’s now must be easier to determine and understand their problems. What issues do they face on a daily basis? In problem investigation, there are no small or big problems. There only core problems and their symptoms. Regardless of the problem “size” and “significance,” if there are problems your target audience meets every day — you need to develop a solution that solves them. It’s one of the most important things that makes a product successful and your brand admired by a target audience.
When investigating your user problems, differentiate a core problem and its symptoms. The main task of user experience designers is to define a core user problem since, through solving it, you will eliminate problem symptoms too.
In such a way, you can get insights like their primary goals, the craziest desires, and the most significant values. It will help you better understand what kind of person you’re creating the design for. Moreover, it will help you come up with ideas about in-app animations, user onboarding videos, and UI illustrations that improve UX, spice up your design, and reflect the user’s personality.
The most popular and effective methods to determine user problems are the next:
- Email surveys
- Interviews with real users
- Field studies (imply that researchers investigate target users in their natural environment where they are most likely to face a problem, which your product is expected to solve).
- Focus group (a group of 3-12 target users who are led through a discussion about different topics, problems they face, and so on)
- Usability benchmarking (thoroughly scripted usability research that is conducted with several persons, using precise measures of performance)
- Moderated remote usability studies (usability studies conducted with the help of screen-sharing, session-recording software, or other remote control capabilities)
- Camera studies (users are given a tool that allows them to record aspects of their lives, in which they are supposed to use your product the most often, and describe what they commonly need to solve their problems)
- Customer feedback (open-ended or close-ended data collected from the web or mobile app users through a feedback link, button, form, or email)
- Clickstream analysis (usually means researching the record of screens or web pages users click on and see when using a product; this method requires your website to be equipped with specific research and recording tools).
I have met (and liked) the following practice in several UI/UX design companies. They conducted precise end-user persona research followed by detailed problem investigation and after that, prepared a well-designed and structured PDF document with all the results of studies and ultimate information about a target audience for their clients (those guys recommended an online Jot Form PDF editor as a convenient and free tool, however, you can choose any other alternative for this). When delivering a product design for their clients, they also added this document as a bonus. It is a great way to increase customer satisfaction and retention since they can use this information for creating their future products aimed at the same audience).
Predict Scenarios of the User Behavior
Try to predict possible scenarios of user behavior with your product. In which context will they use it? When and where? What problems may they encounter, and in which cases? Forecast the best and the worst scenarios of the user experience to come in readiness to eliminate and smooth any product infelicity.
By modeling the worst-case scenarios, you can also predefine your brand’s response to critical situations. If the user faces a specific type of issue with your product, you can prepare a solution to it or include a smoothing UI design element at a certain step of a journey. For example, you can display a short user guide on how to solve this problem or a funny illustration or GIF that asks the user about forgiveness and suggests repeating the aimed action later.
Creating scenarios is one of the most helpful UX design practices because it allows you to be a step ahead of the negative user experience and eliminate it or at least, soothe it at its root. It also helps you notice important details about what the user feels and experiences with a final product.
Create a Prototype and Test It
Now, it’s time to create a prototype based on what you’ve learned about your target users, their problems, and behavioral scenarios. Implement all use cases in a working prototype that looks like a final product.
With all data collected previously, it will require minimal effort for you to design a product prototype. It will help you check different hypotheses or scenarios and conduct user tests to create an even better user experience.
Have you probably thought that it’s the end of this guide on how to create a human-centered design? You’re almost right! It just includes one more and the last point: testing, testing, and testing once again. A genuinely human-oriented approach means continuous user testing, thousand of iterations, and improvements.
Does it sound like a nightmare for UX designers? I guess that yes. However, a human-oriented design is worth it. Even today, in the digital era of technology disruptions, it’s so difficult to find a really human-centered design. So, you have a wonderful opportunity to be the first in your niche to offer a product with a hyper-intuitive user experience design that builds human connections with your target audience.
ThePixel is a website design, seo and digital marketing company located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Our website designs are custom designed for your unique brand and online presence. Since 2008, ThePixel has worked with hundreds of businesses to design, develop and launch their perfect website that lasts for years.
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