In modern times, developing websites and applications that exert a powerful pull on customers and then retain them as well is not any easier than rocket science. In fact, user experience designers in the world of web development serve as architects who plan and delineate every single element related to the features and functionality of the website.
Even then, all this cannot be done in a single step nor is it a one-time feat. Reaching a spontaneous and winning user interaction necessitates several phases especially because websites and applications of today have become increasingly more convoluted as the industry’s expertises and tactics have progressed by leaps and bounds. The experience is no more one-way, rather it has evolved into something very productive and interactive.
So what is UX or User Experience?
User experience is the feeling that a user undergoes when interacting with a system. The system here could be a website, an application, or merely software. Today, many UX designers learn and continually appraise how users consider a system in terms of ease of use, their awareness and insight of what the system is worth, efficacy, and competence in executing required tasks.
UX designers go beyond the systems and take a peek at the sub-systems as well as the processes and procedures within that system. Say, they evaluate how users feel when purchasing from a particular e-commerce website which would also entail the ease with which they filled online forms, the effortlessness in making the payment, and so on and so forth.
Of course, the study of user experience is somewhat new. The very term user experience was thought up by a researcher by the name of Dr. Donald Norman. He was of the view that when designing websites, emphasize most on what users want and need.
How important is UX?
It is clear everyone's talking about user-focused designs. They validate the magnitude of enhancing user experience seems legitimate. If it has anything to do with your users' desires, you should work towards it by all means.
Many website designers and developers already know that ease-of-use and ease-of-access has always been a core element when creating websites. Of course the emphasis has been underscored a bit too much in modern times. Earlier, even the awesomeness of the website was enough to get it up and running. If their customers liked what they made, the developers were happy.
Interesting to note is that the whole concept of interaction revolved around visual aesthetics and the brand itself. Little thought was given to how visitors to the website would feel about using the site features. Again, as mentioned, very little science went into it but a lot of imagination and creativeness was incorporated to impress the client.
What in terms of UX has changed in this decade?
One would be compelled to say that the entire web has been transformed. The omnipresence of the web or the Internet have made websites very complex and full of elements, features, and characteristics that demand UX design to be successful.
To add to the complication, users today access websites in several ways including portable devices, a horde of browsers, as well as diverse types and nature of Internet connections.
Accessibility is the need of the hour. Clients want that their web-based products are made available to a word-wide audience and that too on multiple devices, including the ones with traditional connectivity and gadgetries.
What should you keep in mind when creating a website aimed at giving a good user experience?
It's a good idea to take a look at some tips and tricks to help you convey a remarkable interactive experience for your users. For that to happen, remember to consider the following things about your prospective website visitors.
1. One size doesn't fit all
User experience designs are situation and user dependent. Different users and circumstances call for different designs. A design that works for one may or may not work for another. Hence, the UX designers will have to design for particular experiences and endorse certain actions and performances. Yet, they cannot invent, force, or forecast the concrete experience itself.
It is not exactly the user experience that designers design, and neither do they reproduce the UX for one website for another. User experiences vary across websites, because the objectives, worth, manufacturing process, and merchandise on a particular website vastly differ too.
2. Requires modern metrics to gauge
Just like the designs of yesteryear's websites could be measured based on the number of clicks and views, bounce rates, and conversion rates, the effectiveness of user-experience design for today's websites cannot be gauged. At least not in a similar way. Designers can make use of postulation or even ask the end-users for subjective substantiation, but it is not yet possible to set up an application that automatically and precisely registers user experience information.
3. User experience does not entail ease-of-use
User experience and usability do not go hand-in-hand nor are they similar in letter or spirit. User experience tackles the way a user feels while operating the system whereas usability or ease-of-use centres more on the accessibility and competence of the interface.
But then, ease-of-access can be termed as a core part of user experience and plays a major role in pleasant experiences. However, let's not entirely disregard the human factor, consciousness, information structure and user-focused design philosophies at this point.
It is not necessary that all web systems will profit from a concrete assessment and design of UX. However, on the other hand you cannot even argue a lot against the motion. After all we do care about our websites and that they should be focused on users the most. But in a non-perfect world such as ours, our resources are inadequate hence we're more prone to prioritizing subjects and questions that will benefit most from not only the user experience designs, but designers as well.
Content Writer at Motor Trader