User experience (UX) is a newly forming field in the tech world. Recent trends show that businesses are leaning towards stronger user experience to set them apart from the competition. Whether it is easy-to-use apps, websites, or any other digital interfaces, businesses are beginning to understand the importance of easily-navigable technology. I mean, anyone can create a decent app or web interface these days… but who wants to interact with something that is hard to use? With all of the options available in today’s era, users can just go find another easier-to-use app or site offering similar products or services.
What to pay attention to when developing great UX
Focus on your user. Is he or she older and troubled by technology? Maybe less options and bigger text/buttons on your site are best. Or is your user someone that needs seamless access to large amounts of varied information? Make sure everything they need is at their fingertips from the start; don’t make them click around too much to get what they want.
Is there a guide to developing great UX?
Developing UX is interesting because there is no 100% “right” way of doing so. There are definitely wrong ways of doing it (and plenty of people will harp on this) but there really is no right way to flesh out the user experience. There are many people in the world who will tell you that UX should be done like THIS and that THEIR way is the best way to do it. The problem is that there can be more than one way to deliver a great UX. What is important is to glean the methodologies and understanding of why each of those methodologies is important. From there you can begin to build out your user centered experience.
Our tips for developing great UX
Though it’s clear that developing a great UX involves a little excavating to see what would work best for your company, here are a few tips I’ve found useful in developing our UX here at BMS:
Read. Read A LOT.
Don’t read fluff though… read subject matter with substance. News articles, blogs, guides, comments,
non-fiction and, most of all, read novels. User experience is all about understanding the
world around you, and if you live in your own little bubble of an existence, you’ll never be able to
understand the workings of another’s mind. Read what interests you, and read what doesn’t interest you.
Just for heaven’s sake, read.
Get out there & see the world.
Ironically contrasting the last point, my second suggestion is to go out. The only way to get a good idea for user experience is to go out and meet other people. Every user is different, but when we look past our differences, we can see a lot of similarities. Small details bubble up to the surface and we can then begin to better understand our target demographics that will build out great applications. So I highly recommend getting out and sharing a drink with a stranger (safely and cautiously though). Everyone has a story to share. Use these understandings for helping you develop an interface that will resonate amongst all of us.
Check out outside sources.
Below are some links that I find interesting—some pertaining to UX, others just interesting reads in relation to project execution. I recommend finding a blogger that you enjoy and feel is insightful. Read their publications regularly. I have a few personal favorites and I don’t always agree with everything they say, but disagreement makes me like them all the better.
– Personas: The Foundation of a Great User Experience by UX Magazine
– Captured by Quality by Signal V Noise
– 6 Common Problems with the UX Process, and 6 Solutions! by Smashing Magazine
– 5 Approaches To Creating Lightweight Personas by Usability Counts
– Prototyping Your Workflow by A List Apart
– Design Principles FTW
Find a mentor.
My final advice to you (and this is completely unrelated to UX) is to find a mentor. Whether it’s someone you know, a professor you liked, or just a blog writer. Find someone whose life views you are in line with and seek their advice regularly. You’d be surprised how much knowledge some people have.
If you have any further questions about developing a great UX, don’t hesitate to ask. As always, the whole BMS staff and I are here to help.