For so many individuals, start-ups and large organisations user experience design is still an afterthought which is likely to cause so many issues down the line. Without any research to back up ideas and assumptions, how will we know what to design?
The user experience should be considered right from the outset of the design process to ensure the final solution meets the user needs and expectations. The key principle when planning projects are that you must involve users in the process and create something they actually want to engage with– not what you think they will want.
We have put together 5 tips when planning a project you may not have considered.
The Focal Point
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of results in a system come from 20% of the causes, which when considered in context can have a profound effect on the user experience. For example – 80% of revenue comes from 20% of customers
““Universal Principles of Design states that approximately 80% of the effects generated by any large system are caused by 20% of the variables in that system.””
Have you ever noticed that you use the same features on your favourite app? It is likely that this app will have so many more capabilities, but have you never used them. The bottom line of the principle is knowing that, within any system, only a few main variables influence the results, and most other factors will return little or no impact which signifies a poor investment in time and effort.
The 80/20 rule can provide many benefits to your deliverables, here are some examples.
- You can quickly identify the top 20% of your current user issues so you can fix or improve them.
- By giving the customers what they want it will increase the number of returning customers to your brand.
- It stops the users from getting information overload. The 20% of features you have left will be better quality and provide a positive user experience.
Fix a firm foundation
The more planning that is applied to your website, the better the final outcome. Think like an architect and apply it to your website or app – start with a solid foundation, then consider a framework for all the features and then finally you can decorate it.
When adding the framework, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Use common practices and techniques as these have proven to work and exist for a reason – don’t confuse your users with something they have never experienced before.
We all want the customer’s data quickly so that we can better the user experience however, there might be an inclination to ask user to sign up/register and ask them to provide their life story before proceeding – Great, we have all their details but how many potential customers have we lost along the way.
Users shy away from filling out numerous forms when all they want to do is proceed to the website and browse your product or service. If you require a user to register or login keep it simple – social logins would be the best solution for this.
Talk to people
This may seem like the obvious thing to do but honestly, we hear of so many designers trying to re-create what they ‘think’ users will want. When talking to people make sure you approach people outside of your loop and see how they interact with the website or app. You will find that so many users think so differently about what was anticipated.
This sort of research is priceless. You should be using this feedback to see the way in which you can improve your user experience or help to make some crucial decisions within the business.
Make it idiot-proof
Go back to the basics and focus on oversized design elements, colours and labels (call to actions). These are the key features which will help guide your users –of any capability level– to their end result.
If your business proposition is easy to use online, it will reflect how users perceive your physical products or services. If the design is difficult to navigate through the user will quickly look elsewhere.
So, be consistent throughout your website or app, once a user has started to understand how to navigate, they will rely on this – if every page is drastically different the user will find it too complex and leave the site.