USER EXPERIENCE IS A FEELING
To put UX (User Experience) into words is tricky. It has to do with an emotional reaction- a gut instinct. In a broad sense UX is an investigation of humanity’s nuanced and swiftly expanding relationship with computers. UX analyzes how a user feels when interfacing with a website, a web application or desktop software. Though feelings are not quantifiable, UX attempts to understand what drives us, evokes and inspires us.
UX dictates design, like a blueprint, and happens during a project’s discovery phase. Designers gather data using competitive analysis and analytic software. This info is then applied to wireframes, user flow charts, and prototypes. But at it’s core, UX is about a user’s reaction to interactions and can be experienced in two different ways:
These are knowable interactions a user has with a website such as clicking a button or scrolling the page; like the hover effect used on the CTA. It’s a voluntary action like opening a car door or ordering from a restaurant. If a website’s interface is user-friendly and efficient the active interactions will be positive. But, how do you create positive active interactions?
Creating engaging content is the best way to keep users enthralled. There’s no trick. Quality content is guaranteed to make meaningful interactions.
Simple Navigation encourages the average user to interact with a website. Most visitors are impatient and won’t stick around if things are too complicated.
Calls to action (CTA) grab the user’s attention. A creative, strategically placed CTA increases user interaction and achieves business goals like: acquiring emails, promotions, and more. It’s a win-win.
GET USERS TO
These are instinctual responses a user has with a website. It’s like watching a sunset. Most people don’t analyze why they are moved by a beautiful vista, they simply enjoy it. Human factors like science, psychology, information architecture and user-centered design principles play major roles in creating a positive user experience.
But, because humans are a jumble of past experiences and opinions, their perception of things vary. It’ s important to keep in mind that perception is truth to the perceiver. If a person thinks sunsets are dumb, it’s pointless to try and change their mind. So, UX designers rely on best practices (pre-set development and design standards) when building a site, adhering to what is generally accepted. Most people enjoy sunsets, but you can’t please ’em all. So, here are a few good UX Best Practices to design by:
Design through understanding. The better you know your users, the more informed design decisions you can make.
Simplify your content. Don’t bog down users with info when they first visit your site. Keep content on the homepage simple, like an overview, then provide more detailed info on other pages or posts.
Don’t give users too many options. Users need to be able to understand and complete an action. If the process is too confusing, or there are too many choices, they will quickly become overwhelmed and leave.
Use narrative to design an emotional experience.When you choose images to tell your story, it can pay off to focus on what sets your brand apart from your competition. This will make your story more personal, and help your users identify and connect with your site over others.