What is UX? To quote Wikipedia
“User experience design (UX, UXD, UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.”
If your users don’t like the design of your product or understand how it works, then no matter how good your product is, or could be, it won’t achieve the success you want it to. All business websites need a clear goal in mind when aiming to attract customers; this could be to sign up for a newsletter, leave their email address, buy a product, book a service, request information, or something else. It's important that everything on your site is aligned to make the journey to achieving the goal as smooth as possible. For this reason, the “User Experience”, or UX, is vital.
User Experience is something that will make or break your product. You might have built something that is technically the best of its kind. However, if it is slow, illogical or annoying to use, (or a combination of all of the above) then it’s unlikely it will last for long before being rejected by potential users for another product with better UX. This is an extremely important consideration to keep in mind, especially now as it is hard to have a completely original idea, for example Facebook / Myspace / Beebo were all very similar in concept but one, better designed option prevailed (guess which one!).
It is upmost importance to consider the quality of the experience as someone uses it. Apple offered the best user experience in the launch of their iPod and quickly decimated its earlier to market competitors. The rest is history, and a clear indication of why Johnny Ive’s role as Chief Design Officer at Apple was such a critical part of Apple’s wider product success.
User Experience is at the cornerstone of the Digital Skills Academy International BSc and International BSc Honours programmes. All of our participants study the principals of UX design in the shared modules. This gives them a solid foundation to plan, build and develop successful digital products and services.
The Digital Skills Academy recently teamed together to write a globally successful piece “Epic UX fails and the lessons we can learn” which went out on the respected Sitepoint website. Lead lecturers from the Digital Design, Coding and Digital Business streams all contributed key lessons learned from their extensive experiences from industry, startups and lecturing.
Photo credit: Japanexperterna.se via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
Unintuitive USB sticks, forgetful forms, poor layout, and disastrous upgrades are among some of the highlights of an entertaining article which aims to humorously but helpfully illustrate just how important good UX is for your company’s success.
Fortunately, sites like Sitepoint, and many others are dedicated specifically to showcase what good UX design is, and how to achieve it. UX Design Weekly and UX Mastery are two helpful starting points for curated lists of great tools and resources to help you stay up to date with the latest trends and resources. Many insights come simply from gaining industry experience, but you can also quickly gain this experience by user testing. To learn how to understand what users actually think of your site, rather than what they think you want them to say. This recent article on the Digital Skills Academy blog “10 tips for user testing your prototype” will also help give you some very specific ideas on how to gauge the performance of your products user experience.
It’s not just about the UX, you will also need to have a solid business idea, and a good marketing strategy, but if you don’t consider the UX of your online business then you may have wasted all your other good work. Thanks for reading, you’re welcome to share and comment on our social media channels on this topic.