To create a successful User Experience, there are a few key principles to keep in mind throughout the process. It is also important to note that different projects may have different needs and requirements in which these principles may not always be applicable. Understanding the importance and context of these guidelines can help you decide what methodology to incorporate in your next project.
1. UX is a Social Endeavor: Interaction with a computer was once a solo affair. The internet changed all that. Social interactions in the virtual world are now a key feature. Everything from how a person behaves on their own, to how and from whom they buy things is a social interaction. Remembering this as a UX Designer will keep your design elements relevant and connect the social experience with your UX.
2. UX is a Conversation: The conversation between a company and the user is the ultimate conversation. In fact, it might be the only one that matters. As UX professionals, our aim is to create a dialogue with potential and current customers; Within this dialogue, we are able to uncover more about their user needs and we will have the proper insight to create more effective solutions in which we find out their needs and meet them in full fluidity. Therefore, UX becomes a service that must be continually updated to the changing climate of our audience.
3. UX is a Continuous-Cycle: Experiences can change over time, results and key insights are rarely revealed all at once. Users might not always have a good experience with changes to design or features. Ensuring that every step and transition is smooth and frictionless, can greatly improve the user’s first experience. This goes a long way to ensuring that users come back for more.
4. Context is Key: The modern digital landscape has made it far easier to create products and content, necessitating design solutions to follow in-step with this pace. However, in some cases, solutions are created for something that may not have been a problem in the first place. The missing piece in this situation is context. The nuances of context are key to the success of UX Design. As UX designers we need to continue to evaluate whether or not the solution we have crafted is going to actually solve the user’s problems. Will the solution truly fit into the context of the user’s life and experience?
5. The Experience needs to be Designed for the User: Sometimes a designer can lose focus and start designing more for himself than the user. This inadvertent bias can create a widening gap between the ideal user experience, based on the user’s needs and goals, and the resulting solution that gets implemented. Know your user, and always keep the perspective of the user in mind throughout the design process.
6. Great Experiences are simple: Sometimes, less really is more. Clarity is more important than quantity, and keeping your experience clear and clutter free is an effective way to reduce friction and maintain user focus. However, a simple solution may often be reached after much work and reduced complexity over several iterations in a project. Keeping a simple solution as a top priority can help guide decisions to stay away from overly complex and ineffective solutions.
7. Great User Experience Needs Control: There is nothing worse than feeling like there is no choice. If a user feels as though they are out of options, frustration and friction will occur. Having a thorough understanding of user needs for control and flexibility in certain tasks can really tip the scales toward a seamless experience.
8. Psychology is a vital aspect in UX: Many UX activities such as research and design patterns have origins in proven psychological facts. Understanding your user is not just about demographic information but it also involves psychographic information. As UX designers we need to understand the psychology behind things such as user actions, motivations, and cognitive biases. Additionally, we need to understand the impact and effect our design solutions can have on our users and overall user experience design.
9. UX requires a holistic approach: The experience you create is more than just selling a product. With the holistic approach, the entire user journey needs to be taken into account. This includes every interaction a user may have with a company and its brand, from a website to a brick-and-mortar store. Understanding the organic process of the user’s journey will provide better insights into what points along the journey you can enhance to keep your users engaged.
10. Great user experiences can feel invisible: There is an old saying; when you’ve done right, no one will be sure you did anything at all. A successful user experience will guide the user to their intended destination, keep them engaged and informed throughout the process, and help them accomplish all of their goals with minimal friction. If done correctly, the interface is less of a hindrance and more of a seamless intuitive process.