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If you would like your products to achieve such an outcome with customers, you’ll have to be deliberate about designing and executing a great User Experience for them.
What Is User Experience?Your product’s User Experience (UX) is simply how your customers interact with it, and their perception of how easy and pleasant it is to use. User Experience Design (UXD) is the process of planning the flow of your customer’s experience with your product. User Experience Design tends to be part of the process of building websites or mobile applications. It helps organizations to create sites or software that’s easily navigable and solves their user’s problems. But UXD is also applicable to physical products and services.
Creating A User Experience That WorksHow do you design a product that provides your customers with an experience that they’ll appreciate? Here are three steps you can take to achieve just that.
Understand What The User WantsYour customer’s engagement with your product may be split into two components: the actions they took while they interacted with it, and the emotions they felt while doing so. Your goals are to enable users to take actions that solve their problems and to leave the user with positive emotions when they take those actions. The first step here is to define who the ‘user’ is (i.e. their persona), and what they want. You can find these things out by researching your target audience and understanding what they want in a product like the one you’re planning to create. Also, look at products similar to what you want to make (yours or those of your competitors). Examine the steps users go through in engaging with those products, and note how easy or difficult it is to take the right actions, and what emotions users may have while doing so.
Sketch An Outline Of The User ExperienceWhen you and your team have researched your customer persona and how they work with similar existing products, you’ll be in a good position to create an outline of a sound User Experience. This exercise, like the previous one, should involve members of your design team. Work with them to sketch the UX outline. It’s often good to have several persons providing their own unique perspective on the project. First, draw a flow chart of the various stages of the User Experience you want your customers to have, and the actions they’ll take at each step. While doing this, draw from the knowledge you’ve gained from your research.
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Here’s an example. Let’s say your product is an app for paying utility bills, and you imagine the series of actions a user would take to pay their electricity bill. The flow of actions could look like this:
- Log in to the app
- Click ‘Pay Electricity Bill’
- Click DisCo
- Click Pay
- Log Out
Test, Assess, And ImproveYour design and development teams will have to work together on this so that the former can note the need for slight changes where they arise. There are at least two ways you can execute your initial UX design. Both involve designing multiple UX plans and testing them to see which one is better. If you’re working with limited resources, you could make several User Experience outlines and ask your colleagues and friends for their opinion on them. Don’t just ask them to choose from the options you present them; you’ll want them to share their views, so you’ll note the designs’ strengths and potential changes you can make. But if you do have enough to work with, you do an A/B test. Create two products, each with their own UX, and test them with preliminary users. Check for which one gets better traction, and learn from the feedback on their usability. Note the outcomes of the test, and evaluate them with questions around overall usability, ease, and flexibility, and on how well it solves the user’s problem. Come up with changes to the product’s UX based on your findings and the feedback you’ve received, and implement them in the next version of the product that’s made for the wider public. Final Words If you’re going to design a great User Experience for your product, you’ll need to be aware of what they want, and build something that’s an improvement on currently available solutions. But it doesn’t all stop with pushing out a product to the market. Continue to work with customer feedback and your own perception of the product’s performance, and you’ll get it closer to perfection. Featured Image Source: The Latin Way
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