UX Design is a very popular buzzword in today’s world of Product Development. But what does it really mean and how could it be beneficial for your product?
If we give it a thought, an experience is always accompanied with an adjective. For example, we say we had a terrible experience or a wonderful, horrible, frustrating experience and so on. We can use these phrases to define our experience for using a website or an app too. If I as a user have a positive experience and can navigate freely and intuitively through the website or app, I would probably end up spending more time on the website or app and spend more time evaluating the product and service. Instead of spending time fighting with figuring out the navigation, I would spend more time thinking about purchasing the service or product, which is ultimately what the business wants.
It’s important to understand that UX is not just about proper rectangles and which colors to use, but about understanding why we need those rectangles & colors in the first place and step into our user’s shoes to enhance their experience. It’s more about the ‘WHYs?’ than ‘WHICHs?’.
UX is not UI
Here’s a piece from Golden Krishna’s book ‘The Best Interface is No Interface’. This is what he describes UI as: navigation, sub-navigation, dropdowns, buttons, links, windows, rounded corners, shadowing, error messages, alerts, updates, checkboxes, and so on. And this is a list of what comes under UX: people, happiness, solving problems, understanding needs, love, efficiency, entertainment, pleasure, delight, smiles, etc.
There’s quite a difference between these lists, right?
UI design plays an important role in the huge canvas of Experience design, but it is just one piece. UX design is the journey to reach our ultimate destination- The End Product.
Experience Design is not just about looks
Good aesthetics alone can’t assure good usability. UX design is about how the product works, feels and looks. Usability is a very important attribute when it comes to product development that determines how easy flowing the product usage for our user. There’s no point in making a beautiful & aesthetically pleasing product if the user experiences difficulties in using it.
UX Design & Research is not expensive
We’ve all heard this at least once that UX Research is too expensive. True, an organisation can easily spend a lot if not properly planned. Many companies are deterred by this presumed cost and let go of this very vital step and do not realise its criticality in the process of product development.
In reality, good UX Designers have a number of options up their sleeve which aren’t very heavy on the pocket. Methods like heuristic analysis, user interviews, user persona creation, etc. can be carried out with as few as 5 people.
Looking at a bigger picture no business would like to have a bad design in the end at the cost of saving some initial amount that should have been spent on research.
In conclusion, we need to understand that UX is not an ‘add-on’ but a necessary step in the journey of product building. It is all about enhancing customer satisfaction by delivering a top notch experience. These days including UX design is not merely an option but an absolute must to help the brand grow as a whole.