The 4 reasons why you can’t do without User Experience Design

The four reasons why you can’t do without User Experience Design

After trying to explain to grandmother what the User Experience is, in this second article we go deeper into the issue and try to understand why the UX is actually so important.

The explanation can be summed up in four important reasons, all fundamental for the success of a project, digital or not.

A good work of UX, in fact, is potentially adaptable (and useful) to any type of project that has as its final goal to create a tool that is easily usable by users.

Let’s see, one by one, the four reasons why today it is essential to devote oneself to the study of UX Design.

It helps to define objectives and targets

Any self-respecting project must always keep in mind the objective it sets itself and the people to whom it is intended to communicate.

As already explained in the previous article, an effective analysis of the User Experience starts from the search for tools that are already working, and then dedicates itself to the study of potential users who will use the product in the design phase.

Always keeping in mind where we intend to go and who we intend to reach is therefore an essential part of the analysis work of the UX.

It helps to test a project before its actual execution

The third aspect to consider, considering from the point of view of “User Experience Centered”, can be summarized in the word “test”. By test we mean showing our idea, just sketched, to anyone who can give us a critical opinion on the work done.

In this way, even before dedicating ourselves to the development of a new website or a new app, we have fundamental data on how our product will be perceived and on what critical points we should concentrate.

Saves money

Everyone will agree that creating something new (whatever the end product) is an important investment in terms of time, energy and money.

Starting from a good project approach, as mentioned in the previous point, allows us to have information on possible criticalities, before starting the production phase. In this way, we can avoid uncomfortable and often wasteful turnabouts caused by conceptual problems at the base of the project. In this way, we will avoid putting the entire “production chain” on stand-by.

Creates empathy and loyalty among users

People, especially on the Internet, are looking for tools to simplify their daily lives and often find themselves having to choose from a multitude of similar proposals. So what motivates a user to decide for our proposal over another? Among the different objectives set by a UX designer is the ease of use of the interface.

Users are now so used to navigating and interacting with applications, that they no longer bother to look at the contents of each page, but they scan quickly in search of the fastest solution to their problem. For this reason, we can say with certainty that a streamlined interface and good usability are the basic elements of user loyalty.

In all likelihood, a user who can easily complete a path that takes him from an initial question (need) to an answer (solution), within what could be our site, will remember in the future to reuse it, maybe even to recommend it.

Conclusion

The UX is certainly not an easy and fast process. Instead, it is a path of analysis and development that, if properly completed, allows our projects to gain and maintain competitiveness on the market in the long run.

Measurement of the UX: prompt the user with the polls

What do you learn by reading the article:

  1. What is UX?
  2. How to measure the User Experience: 4 moments to do so
  3. Tools of the survey: indirect and direct
  4. Surveys (including a short video for doing it with Google Forms)
  5. Examples of surveys and tips

What is the UX?

A definition of UX User Experience (user Experience):

The UX is what a person feels when using a product, system or service

What is the User Experience?

The UX design is a design process that is used to make a relationship pleasant, with personal value of trust and loyalty between people and products or services. The key principle of UX is to design centered on the users, then you need to ask the user his opinion!

Measurement of the UX: 4 the right moments to ask for opinions and feedback

To create a product that people want to buy, it is necessary that the relationship between people and your product/service is positive. Measure the satisfaction, listens to concerns, criticisms and needs of the people. There are 4 crucial moments:

1 – During the development

The request for feedback is one of the fundamentals of development agile. It is working on prototypes of the product and ask for feedback and confirmation. My suggestion? Ask the grandmother!

Ask people who may have more difficulty using your service/project (still in target… mine is a provocation), it is from them that you will receive more tips to improve.

2 – During the activity

During the activities of a service (such as SaaS, APP and e-commerce) to measure the satisfaction of users over time. Facebook for example, it sends periodically a request:

Facebook Survey: Henry, we are interested in your comments. Tell us about your experience on Facebook; in just 3-4 minutes.

3 – the delivery of the product, or after the first use

The standard for the measurement of satisfaction is the Net Promoter Score. The system is very simple: a question and a rating scale of 0-10.

The standard question NPS: would you recommend the product/service to a friend or colleague?

The people who respond with a score from 0 to 6 are detractors, people who don’t like the product. A score of 7-8 are indifferent, passive. The values of 9-10 instead of representing satisfied, the promoters of your product.

4 – At the beginning of the project

Verification objectives and strategies from the outset. The service 99designs.it to create your own customized logo, it does perfectly. The activation of a project it asks you to calibrate features with a slider that moves between two opposite characteristics.

How to best leverage the results of the survey on the User Experience?

Very simple: the negative opinions are the basis for implementing improvements. Are the main thrust to make products that people are willing to buy.

The positive opinion confirms the value of the design, but not only. Can also be used as reviews or testimonials.

Example of a satisfaction survey at the conclusion of a course of training in the classroom: the good results of the Net Promoter Score.

Another example of the results of the survey at the conclusion of a course of training in the classroom. LOVE! A survey carried out with getfeedback.

Survey tools to measure and understand the UX

We can group them into tools of direct and indirect.

1# Indirect Instruments: reviews and comments

The indirect instruments are all those that are used to analyze the tracks and the behaviour of the people after that has already taken place, the interaction without involving the people in an active way.

Then the whole part of Web Analytics, by tracking behavior and measurement of brand sentiment.

I dwell on the reviews, the most direct expression of satisfaction. People can leave a comment positive or negative. The council, therefore, to collect reviews and comments from all of the channels relevant to your business: Facebook, Google myBusiness, Tripadvisor, Amazon, forum, industry…

Comment and review on the platform the Master Club after my talk at Web Marketing the Festival in 2016. The opinion is positive but there is also a criticism: “it Would be very interesting to see the application on a Case History”.

2# Direct Instruments: User Test

The user test sessions are where you put your product (or your prototype) in the hands of the people, and observe how they behave – without interfering.

Very different from the interpretation of web analytics (or user registrations, such as those of Hotjar), because the user test people know that they be the subject of an experiment by the end of the specific and declared. I recommend using inVision: allows you to create interactive prototypes and to test them, and record the faces of the people.

It is important to eliminate all interference and observe the behavior to understand the true emotions.

While you test your product, the user says, which is GOOD but makes this face. Something is wrong.

The tools to do the Surveys

Surveys on the user experience are among the methods of investigation direct that I prefer. Some of the tools in order of my preference:

1- Getfeedback

My favorite. The free version allows you to collect 20 responses per month.

Advantages:

  1. the interaction and animations on the polls front-end are excellent, even from a mobile device. Answer it is a pleasure!
  2. the construction of the surveys has an interface that is excellent for use in back-end;
  3. integration with an email marketing platform allows you to easily distribute your surveys via email.

Disadvantages:

The paid version base it costs €35/month, and you can only collect 100 responses per month.

2- Typeform

The free version allows you to collect 100 responses per month. The paid version base costs 30 €/month, a collection of answers unlimited.

Advantages:

Answer piping: you can use the result of the previous questions in subsequent applications. For example: “What’s your name?” Henry. “What are you doing, Henry?” In addition, there are many ready-made templates, with the questions already written, easy-to-customize.

Disadvantages:

The interface in the back-end has a few bugs, and sometimes I can not save the work done (unfortunately, it will not save – no auto-save).

3- Google Forms

Advantages:

  1. totally free;
  2. integrated into the Google experience Suite;
  3. very easy to use and customize, there are also the issues;
  4. easy to insert images directly from Google Images with a CC license (and then usually very basic…).

Disadvantages:

  1. Its orientation is popular makes it quite stiff and limited;
  2. There are questions with logic (for example, if the rating is less than 2 shows the question: why you didn’t like?).

4- Survey Monkey

The free version lets you create surveys with 10 questions, 100 responses. The paid version base costs 25$/month and allows you to collect unlimited responses.

Advantages:

The killer feature is the bank of questions. Questions certified by experts, ready for any use (in English). Platform leaders on the market of surveys. Even here many of the models ready with questions already written.

Disadvantages:

A interface is pretty old school, not pleasant to be mobile, not pleasant in the construction of the surveys.

How to make a survey: examples of invitation to participate

Three examples of invitation with best and worst practices:

Case A: The Google Best Practices

Starts with Hello Enrico – so it begins well because it calls my name. Then there is a text, which is rather short and at the end: “Share your opinion in a survey of 4 questions”. Eeeeeasy.

Case B: Aruba Business

The text is very nice. The parties to improve: “We ask for a few minutes…” – it is better to specify how many. Have you thought of not to write it because it takes 20 minutes? then it’s too long! The other thing to improve: “Dear Customer”. My name or company name is in the registry, then it would have been more effective to place it as a customization on the invitation.

Case C: Survey on satisfaction post-event

After the visit to MECSPE in Parma I ask for a feedback. Starts hurting with *ENGLISH VERSION BELOW* – means that the data does not have a minimum of profiling. Would it be right to send the invitation in Italian to Italian and English to foreigners.

In the next part is written “Dear Maioli”. I didn’t feel it since middle school! The language is unnecessarily formal as all the rest of the text and of the survey. Finally, the call to action text BEGINS INVESTIGATION is really the minimum.

Measures the opinion on the service, the example of the survey of Facebook

Approximately 12 questions are oriented to the views that users have of the service. Each question begins with: “indicate how much you agree with..” and then a scale of responses from strongly agree to disagree. The formula is language neutral so as not to influence the answers.

Questions in the survey to Facebook

There is also the suggestion box, in which they ask me of things to improve and the reasons for it (optional). I responded that the research is to improve!Update: I have heard! few days ago, the research is out of date 🙂

Example: survey of Udemy at the end of the course

Udemy is a marketplace for the international education fee. Reputation, reviews and feedback are very important. Just finished the lesson, they ask me to rate: scale of 1 to 10, stars full and half – smart!). I decide that Chris Anderson deserves 4 and a half out of 5. In the screen next time they ask me the reasons.

The next step of the survey. Questions are very specific and targeted, [optional] is written VERY clear. Questions intense, with a great cognitive load, match the answers very simple: yes, no, I don’t know.

Do Surveys: 10 tips

Summary of practical tips to create and exploit a survey

  1. Ask the opinion with the timing.
  2. Declares the commitment that you require.
  3. Use the tone of voice suitable.
  4. Start with easy questions.
  5. Visual at the beginning / free text at the end.
  6. A question for the sentence.
  7. It does not distort, does not affect.
  8. Results: use reviews to promote your work.
  9. Results: use the criticism to improve yourself.
  10. Thanks you and rewards.

And you, have you ever created a survey to measure User Experience?

The results we have obtained have been useful for improving the user experience on your site or with your products/services?

Empty states: how to exploit small drawbacks to improve the user experience

Empty states occur when the content of a view cannot be shown. A list that does not contain any elements or a search that does not display any results, are examples of empty states. Although these states are not typical, they must be designed to avoid confusing users and to help them.

Normally we design an interface in which the whole layout seems to us well organized and pleasant. An empty state is the thing we usually design last, if we do it. In reality, empty states have great potential: even if they are intended to be only a temporary part of the project, they have a lot of value in communication and user involvement.

Users come across empty states mainly at first use, when launching the app, or in the presence of errors (so only in some cases). The empty states at first use provide an explanation on what kind of content there will be, an orientation to the user, an explanation of the actions that must be done for a certain view to appear.

The purpose of an empty state is to indicate the exact actions to be taken to allow the application to function as expected. So they are extremely effective, especially when you come across a problem that needs to be solved.

An empty state meets various requirements:

  • Helps in particular situations
  • Involves and retains
  • Pushes you to perform an action

The main goal is to teach you how to use your app and help you feel comfortable. You must find the right balance between friendliness and helpfulness. Especially when you show mistakes, you need to clearly explain why it occurred and how you can fix it. A pleasant app is not only a question of usability, it also involves the look and feel. Apps should not only be functional, reliable and usable, they should also be empathetic. Introducing elements of the brand, showing a sense of humour with positive emotions, greatly personalize your app and your product.

Spending design time on empty states makes your application enjoyable to use and emotional. Explain its benefits so that users know why they should use it.

Keep your views visually simple: concise copies, icons or clear illustrations and a button is usually more than enough for the purpose. If the empty state was triggered by a positive user action, press it with a positive message. Conversely, if the empty state is due to a user error, it is very important to explain in a simple way how to solve the problem.

Empty states are equally significant components in the design of a harmonious UX. User interfaces require a delicate balance of information and action, so empty states must be given a lot of attention.

App User Experience: the 5 mistakes not to commit

Let’s start immediately from the fact that there are now hundreds, thousands, millions of Apps that crowd the stores and there is only one thing that counts, even more than the usefulness and effectiveness of that APP: the User Experience (abbreviated UX), that is the baggage of emotions, feelings that an App arouses in the user who is browsing it.

While capturing the attention of potential users is a fundamental step, especially for the marketer, keeping it is the aim of the designer who, with a series of visual precautions inside the App, can win over the user day after day, without making him regret the download. It is no coincidence that these two figures – marketers and designers – are often linked by a double thread: they are two absolutely complementary figures in the user’s journey towards his satisfaction.

In this article I will introduce you to some of the most common mistakes you can keep in mind when you find yourself commissioning applications that are not only functional, but also beautiful and clear.

Don’t Make Me Think

Every time a user launches an application, he must be able to navigate it without divergences, distractions, obstacles and to do so he must respect some golden rules of UX and UI. One of the most popular books by Steve Krug, a well-known expert on Web Usability, is entitled “Don’t Make Me Think”, which is the key expectation of the average user when browsing a site or an App: don’t waste time.

Most people “on the other end” of an App or website, in fact, are trying to do something and want to do it quickly, without having to think too much or concentrate. Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that the human mind in some situations activates a kind of automatic pilot that must achieve the result with the least possible waste of energy. The great thing is that cognitive mechanisms like this are innate, do not change from person to person, from generation to generation, but are “long-lasting”. And they can be of enormous inspiration.

The human brain’s capacity doesn’t change from one year to the next, so the insights from studying human behaviour have a very long shelf life. What was difficult for user twenty years ago continues to be difficult today –

J. Nielsen

Apps are now more and more part of our daily life but the “mobile” ecosystem is an ecosystem that is very different from that of the “web” and for many is still quite obscure. Don’t worry, this blog wants to guide you to the discovery of this world, with guides, tips and insights ad hoc.

The 5 User Experience errors that your designer must avoid

As we have already said, the success of an App depends on many factors and the most important one is the user experience. Here are the most common mistakes that your UX/UI designer should not make:

Machinose onboarding – the onboarding action must not generate any interruption and must only transfer the value of your App to the user. Simple yes, but not neglected: as on a first date, your app will have only one chance to win over its user. If it doesn’t succeed, there won’t be a bunch of flowers to repair the damage!

Navigation menu too long or too short – When users see a range of options in the navigation menu, they tend to leave it. This is partly explained by Hick’s rule that “the time it takes to make a decision increases in proportion to the number of alternatives”. On the contrary, menus with very few options end up confusing the user, giving the impression that the App is useless and/or that there is a lack of content and interaction.

Complicated interfaces – The best user interfaces are the self-evident ones, i.e. those that are so clear and coherent as to generate automatisms. Having an extremely captivating App can undoubtedly be a great result, but keep in mind that the time users spend contemplating aesthetic details is very limited. Users pay much more attention to interaction and evaluating how easily your app can solve their problems. The advice is: simplicity first of all, so entrust yourself to a professional who doesn’t load your App with too many design elements.

Icons too creative (read: unknown) – The use of unfamiliar icons is unfortunately one of the most common mistakes made by UX designers. For example, replacing the famous icons of the thumb up or thumb down with more creative or personal versions will have the only effect of making users feel lost, lost in a tower of Babel where everyone speaks a different language. Nick Babich’s advice to UX/UI designers is absolutely lapidary: “If it takes you more than 5 seconds to design an appropriate icon for something, it’s likely that that icon won’t communicate that meaning”. In short, for icons as for other graphic elements, reinventing the wheel is absolutely not recommended!

Interface without visual hierarchies – Understanding content is about how user interface elements are presented. A call to action without strong visual signifiers loses all of its appealing power. The more important something is, the more it has to attract the user’s attention (contrasting colours, bolder or larger text sizes).

Concepts that are logically related to each other are, in fact, a good idea to make them visually related as well.

If you want to get a culture on this issue, I recommend starting with Steve Krug’s 20 tips on usability. If you want to move from theory to practice, you can contact us at any time. We would be honored to develop an App for you with a captivating, intuitive and simple User Experience right from the start!