UX is the abbreviature of user experience.
So, what is user experience?
User experience a design process to create and improve the product, taking into account the user needs during all the journey.
Including the user during the design process will allow bases the ideas on facts rather than assumptions. In this way, the success of the product will be increased, creating useful products, easy to use, nice, even pleasant interaction.
“The facts are the base of user experience; due to this, it will improve the product results.”
Maslow’s pyramid shows human needs; similarly, we can value the UX level of a product, on this hierarchical pyramid:
Starting from the bottom, we find the next levels:
- Functional: Product works, this is essential and entirely objective.
- Reliable: It works consistently; it is necessary and objective.
- Usable: It can be used without difficulty; it is needed and objective.
- Convenient: It works as the user expects; it is desirable and subjective.
- Pleasurable: It generates emotions; it is desirable and subjective.
- Meaningful: Integrated into the user’s life, it is excellent and subjective.
How do you level up?
You should align the business goals with the user needs.
“Know the user needs and align them with business goals”
How to discover the user needs?
Interacting with the user.
The key does not only have in mind the user but be near, collaborating, receiving feedback directly from the user, from real users.
In this way, we will know what the real needs of the users and what they think. Avoiding the problems that they found to get their goals or that could frustrate on their try.
“Observe, ask and learn from the user”
There are different methods to get information about the users: interviews, contextual observation, focus groups, user journeys, personas, empathy maps, card sortings…
When you know the users, you start to define the structure, information architecture, wireframes, prototypes and design.
But it is not the end of the UX process; it continues during all the project. User testing allows us to get feedback from our progress, to be sure, validate our ideas, getting new ones, and optimizing the product.
It is an iterative process where analysis, design, prototyping and validation is done continuously.
“Test and validate with the user during all the process”
It is recommendable to share insights with all the team. Collaborate and solve any doubt during the development.
When all the team empathize with the users, always you will get a better user experience.
Even after launching the project, it is essential to measure it to know if we reach our goals. Using web analytics and validating with the users to get their product feedback
What is UX composed?
UX is compound by different fields, sometimes they are mixed, or even the same person is responsible for several of them:
- UX – User experience – How the user thinks and feels
- IA – Information Architecture – How the overall system is organized
- UI – User interface design – How the screen is organized
- IxD – Interaction design – How user and device act and react
- VxD – Visual design – How the system looks
- CS – Content strategy – How the content reads
What benefits it has?
From the user point of view:
- The product satisfies their needs; it is useful and efficient.
- They enjoy more using the product.
- As a consequence, it improves their mood, even their happiness.
“The more user satisfied, more use of the product”
From the business view:
- It is an investment that saves money, avoiding unneeded features and preventing errors.
- It improves user satisfaction.
- It generates loyalty and gets more users.
- It assures the success of the product.
If it is well done, it could create engagement between the product and the user. The users enjoy the product and are more loyal, sharing their experience with others, getting more happy users 😀
When to apply UX?
The benefits are huge that can save many hours and money invested on the product, to avoid fails if the product doesn’t reach the basic user needs.
“UX always give benefits“
Some time ago, you didn’t hear anything about UX, but the user was in mind even indirectly. UX allows you to validate if the proposal is right, base on real facts and not on assumptions. Moreover, it will facilitate us to improve our product continuously.
All we are users.
From this morning, you woke up and have interacted with a thousand objects and interfaces. Most of the actions are unconscious; only sometimes we are aware of the user experience, it uses to be when something doesn’t work or when it is excellent and make us happy.
For example, an alarm clock that we can not turn off and create bad humour, versus a new mobile application that wakes up with a relax music where the volume increases progressively.
Improve the UX process have straightforward benefits for both the users and the company. It validates that the product will work and be used. Then, I recommend dedicating some time to think about the user experience. To get it, you will need experts that know which is the better approach and how to use your resources.
In conclusion, UX is dedicated time to know your product and users, applying common sense to get the best of the product. If we are good observers, empathy with the client and users, and we find a way to solve their problem effectively, we will create a successful product.
Where to learn more…
- A project guide to UX Design for user experience designer in the field of the making, Russ Unger and Carolyn Chander
- The UX Book, process and guidelines for ensuring a quality user experience, Rex Hartson and Pardha S. Pyla
- User experience design, Wikipedia
- What is UX Design? 15 User Experience Experts Weigh In, UserTesting, Spencer Lanoue
- Pirámide de Maslow, Wikipedia
- Designing For A Hierarchy Of Needs, Smashing magazine, Steven Bradley
- Are You Meeting the User Experience Hierarchy of Needs?, UX movement
- Building an enterprise UX team, Invision App Blog, Rachel Daniel
- 2015 UX Trends Round-Up: Part Three – UX as a Business Strategy, User Zoom, Alexandra Quevedo