To UX or NOT to UX

User needs are the most important factor for a product. A good design is achieved due to a combination of multiple factors, such as the hard-work of the designers, developers and the supportive collaboration across multiple teams within the firm. However, many UX design projects suffer from some common mistakes. In this post, I have tried to summarize some of the mistakes and possible solutions on how we can tackle those issues.

  1. Designing for one size fits all

    Irrespective of the type of product or service that you are offering, no two sets of users can be called alike. In general, users come to your product or service and has a different goal and intention. If you are running a news website, your users may come from social media or search engines. However, their motives might be different: user A might visit your website simply because he or she saw the link to an article that seemed interesting, whereas user B might come across your content after spending some time using Google. In this case, user A’s experience, based on chance, varies from that of user B, which is based on research.
     

    Naturally, in order to optimize the user experience, the design should be modeled around specific cases or contexts. Dropbox, for instance, is one company that does it pretty well. Depending on how you first came across Dropbox, the service offered to you might vary. Thus, if user A learns about Dropbox as a way to store and sync documents to the cloud, his sense of Dropbox’s utility and merits will vary from that of user B, who might have come across Dropbox through a shared file or folder.As a result, instead of over-simplifying things by insisting on a common UX for one and all, consider opting for a context-sensitive design that ‘knows’ the needs of the users, and can offer a better and more relevant user experience.

  1. Product team and UX 

    This may be one of the greatest challenge to overcome of all. I am not saying that the product manager being anti-UX, it’s where they see the UX as about them. Everything will boil down to their preferences and wants.To combat such issues, its important to develop processes and research that help the product manager to see beyond themselves. The more user and customer input we can collect, the easier it is easier for them to distinguish them between the right and wrong user experience. Recently, we had a similar problem where we wanted to test a placement of the button and with simple smoke test and asking a random user, we could get instant feedback on which pattern makes more sense.

    Overall, UX and product managers can work incredibly well together. Product managers can own the road map, develop the UX designer’s understanding and play the role of the SME so that the product can achieve the users objectives and product manager’s objectives.

    It may take some time to bring together both the functions successfully, but with my experience it always works when we can be patient and use a data-driven approach with lot of user input than to start throwing a gauntlet and challenging the product manager to cross a line in sand.

  1. Crammed feedback 

    It is common knowledge that user feedback is a vital part of the overall design process. However, many time instead of regularly seeking feedback, the design teams just choose to cram all feedback- related entries right towards the end of the design project.Market research has a lot of benefits and its cutting the balance of collecting both user opinions and also simultaneously observing the actual behavior of the user. Also, any of the research should be done at the right time and not at the last minute so that as User experience designers they have enough time to analyze the issues and address them.

  1. Failing to See the Thin Line Between UI and UX
    (Excerpt from noupe.com) 

    There is a difference between user interface and user experience. However, a good number of designers are unaware of this fact.Take the case of the car dashboards. There is great attention paid towards user interface — the buttons are properly spaced, the display screens are easy to use, and so on. However, the case of user experience is defeated. In spite of all the modern technology underneath the dashboard, UX is unheard of.

     

    dilbert

    Why?
    Because there are way too many things that are going on in that car dashboard. Remember, a person will use the car dashboard while driving, and his or her primary attention will (and should) be focused on the road, not the dashboard. Offering way too many choices — N number of buttons, loads of display stuff on the screen, and so on — means that the user experience goes down the drain.

    Solution is simple. Bear in mind this motto: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! Good design happens when you combine user interface with user experience, and in order to accomplish that, focus on meeting the user’s needs, instead of firing a cannon-ball of features that may otherwise be unnecessary.

 

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