7 Fundamentals of UX Design

7 Fundamentals of UX Design

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The phrase user experience (UX) is becoming more and more familiar amongst designers, developers, and consumers alike. UX is about putting the user at the core of the technology and making design choices to create an empowering experience.

A slip up in UX design can determine whether the target audience engages with a product or not. Yet, many designers ignore the basics, which has devastating effects on usability and experience. Considering these UX design tips will assist in building a user-friendly product that meets the high expectations of your consumer.

1. Understand needs and demands

When developing or updating a platform, first consider why you’re doing it, and what the benefits are for users. Yes, it seems obvious. However, there are plenty of examples of technology, not being what the audience needs, which means the designers and developers must have got lost a little along the way. Take Facebook’s partnership with HTC to release a branded phone where Facebook updates covered the users’ wallpaper. No? Never heard of it? That’s because audiences didn’t want a device that implied that they were obsessed with the social network. Do not lose sight of the end objective and ensure to comprehend the needs of your users fully.

2. Feedback

Audiences feel comfortable when subtly assisted along the user journey, and part of that support includes feeding back errors and information quickly and appropriately. When submitting a form, they expect to see a thank you message, or perhaps when a button is selected it appears a different colour. These small features play a big part in how a user confidently interacts with the technology.

3. Stick to the status quo

Although being creative involves thinking outside of the box, do not attempt to steer too far from a typical user journey. People expect to close a page from the right-hand corner, so provide them with that option. Fiverr decided to mix things up in its review sections by highlighting five-star reviews with just a star icon and the number five. This choice is misleading – if you’re quickly browsing through, you could miss the number entirely and assume it is a one-star review.

4. Responsive

Mobile traffic accounts for approximately 50% of web traffic worldwide. If this is not reason enough to ensure you have either a responsive design or mobile-specific site, then what is? Optimising for mobile is also rewarded by search engines so should see improved SEO results. Consider page loading times, navigation, touch screen elements, and mobile forms – all will impact UX design.

5. Consistency of user flow

Don’t make users jump from place to place. Think about the logical next steps in their journey and allow them to take those steps effortlessly. There should be synergy across all elements, pages, and applications to make the user feel empowered by the technology; otherwise, there is a risk of leaving audiences feeling stressed or confused. Sibelius is a popular music notation program among professional composers, but also notorious for its unsettling using flow!

6. Make interfaces easy to learn

The Magic number 7 (plus or minus two) is an idea from Miller (1956) where the average adult can store between 5 – 9 pieces of information at a time in their short-term memory. Apply this to a new digital platform to aid audiences in the learning process and create an intuitive piece of technology. If presented with too many steps, consumers will feel bewildered, so make interfaces straightforward and memorable. Google’s Drive service includes Sheets, Docs, and Slides – all of which host a very familiar-looking toolbar of options. The interface is incredibly simplistic with its usability and compatibility with Microsoft Office.

7. Expect mistakes

How many times have you accidentally clicked ‘cancel’ with your saving grace being the “are you sure?” pop-up, safeguarding you from abandoning your work. Imagine the frustration if that confirmation message was absent. Validation of actions is essential, as although users may not pay attention to them when they’re there, they will certainly notice when they are not.

Attention to detail is the difference between poor UX and masterful design. If you want more updates and tips on UX, checkout Are Hamburger Menus Good for UX? on HoloViews and follow us on social media:
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