UX Design – A methodical approach to building beautiful and thoughtful products that empower the users
In this fast paced digital world, it has become all the more important for businesses to stay relevant and unique in their consumers’ minds. It is no longer enough if the product performs its basic operations, but it is critical how seamlessly it functions. It is not just the look and feel which needs to be right but also the functioning of the whole system. These together create a meaningful and pleasant experience for the consumer and make them use your product again and again. This is where UX design becomes an integral part of your product development.
What exactly is UX Design?
UX connotes User Experience. UX design is planning the experience a customer will get when they interact with the product or service. It is the fundamental building block of every product, be it software, website or mobile application. This includes all the minute details including how the product feels in the user’s hands to how easily they navigate through the website/application to the delight it brings to the customers post using it. The main aim of UX design is to enable the customers to execute their desired tasks without any hassles. For e.g., while using a food delivery app, the customer is easily able to find the menu, place an order, and get it delivered within time with additional discounts. All this together creates a wonderful and successful user experience which comes from the good UX design implemented in the application.
Why do you need UX Design?
This term was first used by Don Norman, former Vice President of Apple in 1993. However, user experience has always been a fundamental element of all products and services. As technology evolves and the market gets more competitive, it is important to invest in better UX design for your products or services. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos lays great emphasis on customer experience. He attributes the rapid growth and ROI of Amazon to utilizing UX and continually refining it to give its customers the best experience throughout their journey. The Design Management Institute has found that design-centric companies (such as Apple, Coca-Cola and IBM) outperformed the S&P index (which indicates the industry’s average performance) by 228% over a 10-year period from 2003 to 2013 (Source: www.interaction-design.org). UX design also helps save a lot of internal costs and rework costs. McAfee started doing user research and building good UX designs and was able to save 90% in support expenses.
Disney+ broadly segregates the movies by their 5 brands which makes it easier for the user to search
A bad UX design can negatively impact small as well as large organizations that do not think about user experience first. For e.g. Mark & Spencer, a huge British retail company spent £150 million on their new website which had a good look and feel but started getting complaints immediately after the launch. Everyone was facing problems with the technical aspects like creating an account, resetting passwords, website crashing and much more. This really created a sour experience for customers and led to sales declining. As a result, M&S had to incur a loss of £55 million.
Bad UX design vs Good UX design – Relevant and necessary inputs/information make it more user friendly
How do we design a good UX?
To design a good UX, the end-user must be the focus at all times. Before starting the design, we consider the below 3 most important factors:
The product/service should be useful i.e. it helps accomplish the task
The product/service should be usable i.e. it should be easy and convenient to use
The product/service should be desirable i.e. it should be attractive and appealing
The steps involved in UX design are:
Analysis & Research
It is very important to understand consumer behavior and habits and create UX accordingly. As UX designers, we first gauge who will be the end-user and what is the exact purpose of this project. Then consumer behavior is mapped with the objectives of the project. This involves a lot of brainstorming, research and interactions with clients and customers to understand both sides. We first understand clients’ needs and what they want to build. We then understand consumers’ needs and what will appeal to them in this context. We also study the marketplace and competition to create a unique user experience.
Post identifying user profiles for the project, we start ideating how the application would work and how it would look. A lot of brainstorming happens to create multiple ideas and solutions. In this step, we create specification documents, scenario maps, user flows, sketches of the interface and wireframes. Wireframes are basically mock-ups of the user interface, how it would look and flow. Then some of the top ideas and user flows are taken to clients for consultation and prioritized accordingly. But all ideas are kept in the backlog so that it can be used later if required. Below are some of the tools we use at Dekko Digital:
This step involves creating prototypes with the prioritized ideas. We test the ideas to see whether they will work in the real world. The prototypes help put together all elements of the design to test the usability of the product. These are then taken to software developers to test the functionality. It is generally an iterative process where continuous refinement of the design happens. The entire prototype can be rejected or certain parts can be modified in order to achieve a better design. We also consult clients for their feedback on the prototypes.
Develop & Implement
Once we have finalized a prototype, the user interface (UI) is developed. This helps in making the user experience more appealing and attractive. This would include tying the backend programming seamlessly with the visual elements like buttons, font sizes, images, icons, etc. This is a collaborative effort of the designers and developers to build a complete serviceable product with achieving the intended user experience.
The complete product is tested for user acceptance and quality. It is evaluated to see if it accurately meets the end-user’s needs. It should follow the three important considerations as listed above, as well have the flexibility to improve in the future. It can be tested by the clients, product managers and sample users to give the final product a go-ahead.
These steps are not always followed in a linear manner. We can go back and forth to refine and develop better solutions without affecting the timelines or budget.
We at Dekko Digital, believe that a good UX design helps businesses grow manifold and aim to provide just that. We facilitate synergy between your business objectives and customers’ needs to enhance end user satisfaction for your product. This further boosts your customer loyalty as well as your business’s growth.