User experience, aka UX, is something that no one can ignore in today’s world. User experience can be defined as the way in which a user feels about using a website, an app, or any other product or service. Just a few years back, in the world of software development, the emphasis was only on technological and operational aspects. Today, most designers and developers also look at a product from the UX perspective.
What is UX and What is its Role in Software Development?
UX is a meaningful and creative activity based on research, behavior and psychology of the users. The term User Experience design has become extremely relevant and popular in this Information Age. User experience is majorly defined on the basis broader topics that include the user’s emotions, behavior, the appeal of a UI, and visual design.
In the world of technology, the task of UX is to bridge the gap between design and technology. Certain methods and techniques are applied to make it easier for users of the application or website to perform certain actions. In addition to help the users achieve some common goals, the UX also helps fulfill particular objectives of the organization. While a large part of UX is dependent on design, it involves not only for designing aspects but also more important developer aspects.
Key Ingredients of a Good UX
There are seven fundamental characteristics of every good UX: Usable, Useful, Findable, Credible, Desirable, Valuable and Accessible.
• UX makes design usable for the user by including design and development elements that simplify the task of using the website or app.
• Such elements make it easier for the user to use the product and achieve his goal.
• It ensures easy access to the most important features. Accessibility options also make it possible for users with physical disabilities to access the features they want to.
• A good user experience creates a favorable impression of the product in the users mind. This increases the credibility of the company also.
• It also adds value to the life of the user by helping him save time and money.
• It is desirable for the users – the user gets exactly what he wants.
• It is findable – the user gets all relevant information easily and quickly.
The Golden Rule of UX for Apps and Websites: User-Centric Designing
In the UX process, the needs of the user are of paramount important. It’s called User Center Designing (UCD). At each stage of UX process, a strong effort is made to understand needs, wants and limitations of users. It is problem solving process in multiple stages. Not only does it require analysis of design, but it also requires the analysis of user behavior in real life. UCD is based on asking the following questions:
1. Who are the users?
Users are differentiated on the basis of Age, Gender, Professions, and Geographical area.
2. What are the user’s goals?
Users’ goals are determined. They could be Professional, Entertainment, Educational, Informatics, Emergence services, Political, etc.
3. What is the user’s level of understanding?
User’s computer literacy, uses of system, educational level, Frequency of uses, etc, are taken in account.
4. What are the accessibility options of users? How user can access the particular product or service?
Options like smartphone, tablet, pad, desktop, laptop etc. are considered.
5. What information does the user need and in what form?
A system needs to be devised to provide accurate and relevant information to the user in his proffered format.
6. What is the user’s situation?
Developer and designers must ensure that information is made available to the user on demand and accurately in any situation.
7. What interfaces does the user use?
The options are touch, gestures or spoken or all of them.
By getting the right answers to these questions, it becomes possible to create the perfect user experience. This enables users to find information easily and accomplish tasks fast. The UX must be carefully designed and developers, keeping mind the needs of the users and the organization. A bad user experience can drive away the users, while a good one can help business reduce operating and redevelopment costs.