Rush hour traffic. The DMV. The product sticker you can’t peel entirely off. A website that won’t submit your form no matter how many times you click the button. What emotions do these things stir up in you? Want to pull out your hair and scream? These experiences are terribly inefficient, cumbersome and outright annoying. Multiple factors go into situations like these. The outcome? A bad user experience (UX) from start to finish.
A bad UX, although not always explicitly apparent, can have rippling effects on your brand image, employee retention and growth, and strength of your business. Failing to call in the importance of a user experience is failing to acknowledge a key stakeholder in your business model: the end user. New to this topic? Let’s explore.
Ease of Use
Humans by natures are opportunists. We like to maximize our results with the least amount of effort. The core principle of user experience is that is must be easy, natural and logical to use. When products fail to provide an ease of use in the human-computer interaction, the products fail. No matter how many design hours went into creating an aesthetic interface, the artwork is in essence no longer adds any value.
This image below demonstrates this principle. The design going into the walkway took account for right angles and the grid system. What they disregarded and failed to realize was the ‘shortcut’ path. We, as opportunists, will avoid the extra steps around the corner to get to our intended destination faster.
How this applies to you: Reduce the number of steps it takes to complete actions in your product or service. Find shortcuts for your users before they need to make your own. Remember: Companies with highly effective UX have increased their revenue by 37%.
Companies with highly effective UX have increased their revenue by 37%. Click To Tweet
Designing the Experience
Looking the part does not mean the performance will live up to expectations. Take this ketchup bottle below. The model on the left is pretty, in a classic shape and carries the weight of the glass. It’s cute, retro and a classic. Yet, how many times do you sit there shaking the inverted bottle up and down until the amount of ketchup on your plate goes from 2 drops of the liquid to half the bottle drowning your onion rings. The squeeze bottle doesn’t fight against gravity, won’t shatter when dropped and will easily fit into the refrigerator door.
How this applies to you: As much as it may curb your artistic motivations, sometimes less is more. When designing your product, your blog or your website, design for your users, not other designers.
Stamp of Approval
We all use products, websites, and services every day. Years of experience as merely living as humans have formed preexisting notions of how things should fluidly work. Anticipate it and design for it. Bringing this issue to light at the beginning of projects can save you countless dollars in customer support and necessary redesigns later down the road.
How this applies to you: You don’t need to hire a UX Designer to advance your product (but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?) Take a critical look at how your users interact with your product with outside user testing and product focus groups. Even better? Before sending product into the interwebs, send it to Uncle George -who can never seem to figure out anything tech and always asks you at family gatherings to “fix” his Gmail- first. Now we’re talking.
If there’s a ‘trick’ to it, the UI is broken. -Douglas Anderson
Need some assistance with your clumsy interface, messy design or frustrating workflow? We do that. Let us know how we can help with your user experience.