Everyone knows that user experience can be the difference between crafting a successful product or creating a nightmarish experience for users.
Indeed, using the power of remarkably attuned design and a perfectly crafted product, the creators of products can effectively entice customers, providing an unforgettable experience.
But what are the rules that product designers should bear in mind to provide an optimal user experience in the future?
Time to read this user experience article and find out!
What is User Experience?
Before getting to know what are the optimal rules to provide a stellar user experience, it is important to clear the air and allow everyone to understand what user experience is all about.
User experience basically refers to a human’s particular attitudes and emotions pertaining to the utilization of a specific program, device, system, product or service.
It actually includes the meaningful, emotional, and practical aspects of both product ownership and human-machine interaction.
UX/UI experts are mavericks whose mission is to create a remarkable user experience that takes a set of rules and effective goals into account.
The main objective?
To ensure that all users get the experience they deserve, whether they use an app, or a website, or any type of products or devices.
User experience is fundamental, and it has actually destroyed companies and forged global enterprises.
For instance, tech giant Apple became well-known due to the ability it has of creating products which have one priority: to provide a unique user experience that sets the Apple brand apart from the competition.
The Best Rules to Provide an Optimal User Experience
1. The Importance of Knowing the Audience
Everyone talks about the importance of user research and, in the world of UX/UI, it can’t be underestimated.
User research should always be the first step for any product designer to focus on when thinking about user experience.
By performing a thorough research of the target customer or potential client, designers can get to know what attracts customers, what they are looking for, what they expect from a website, app, product, service, what they hope to see first once they start using the product, etc.
In fact, if product designers plan to create a product that consumers will fall in love with, they should first analyze the behavior of those consumers.
This will ultimately allow UX/UI designers to provide added value to customers, always remembering to bear the benefits - not the features - of a product in mind.
2. The Attention Span Deficit
According to recent research, the average attention span is down from 12 quick seconds at the end of the twentieth century to a meager 8 seconds in our technologically obsessed, super modern times.
It may seem like a weird thing to know, but it can actually help designers think about a crucial aspect of the user experience: it must always take the short attention span of the world’s current product users into consideration.
What does this mean for the UX/UI aficionado?
They must make sure not to scare prospective users with too much information in too many different places.
Designers must forcibly be able to adapt to these new times, making sure users get what they are looking for as quickly as humanly possible.
How to make sure designers can provide information quickly and completely?
All they have to do is go for interface simplification.
They can even opt for functional minimalism while also remembering that all the information included should add value to all the users who access the product.
This ultimately supercharges the design experience, since it basically means that there is a trend for products to focus on images and design, rather than large swaths of text that won’t be read by today’s most coveted audiences.
3. The All-Encompassing Cognitive Load
Not everyone has the same ability to process information and it appears to be obvious that designers should take this aspect into account when crafting a user experience.
Cognitive load is a psychological term which actually describes the amount of thought a specific action or task will effectively require of the person enacting it.
There are different types of cognitive load:
- Intrinsic cognitive load
- Germane cognitive load
Intrinsic cognitive load refers to the difficulty that a user experiences when completing a specific task or instruction they see on a product.
What to do, then?
If designers understand that potential users are taking an inordinate amount of time to complete a specific task, they should understand why.
They should try to make the step easier to follow, or change the copy, or shift the design, always trying to come up with a crystal clear solution that allows users to complete the task requested in a short amount of time.
It should all be simple, easy, and intuitive.
What about Germane cognitive load?
What is it and how does it impact user experience?
Germane cognitive load focuses on the actual processing of information and the construction of schemas.
Products regularly showcase certain design patterns which are immediately recognized by users.
How to improve the UX, then?
By recognizing the schema of the specific product a designer is creating, making sure they craft a design pattern that gives users clues instead of confusing them.
Cognitive load is remarkably important since it can help product creators understand how to nudge users and how to avoid sending users on an impossible mission.
Besides cognitive load, UX/UI aficionados should also bear behavioral triggers in mind.
This means they must rely on psychological trickery, learn user trends, and trigger certain behaviors that lead to actual conversions.
4. Get a Prototype
In the world of Artificial Intelligence, this rule becomes easier to follow than ever before.
Creating prototypes was once quite the time-consuming process.
It left design teams filled with anger, feeling that they were wasting precious time coming up with umpteen prototypes.
With the aid of helpful AI, designers can now come up with a wealth of prototypes that can effectively allow them to devise something incredible.
Why is it important to create a prototype?
To make sure that designers know that the product actually works from a user experience point of view.
Prototyping makes sure designers can test different versions and visions for the same product without having to spend wasted hours with engineers, coming up with a concrete solution that may fail to be the end game.
Designers can take advantage of AI and use rapid prototyping to quickly create a product which will then be validated by the important set of actual users.
5. Test with Potential Users
Most people assume that what they know and feel can be a barometer they can use when it comes to designing a user experience.
They think they know how to become a user experience designer without the help of actual users.
This idea couldn’t be more wrong.
What to do?
Both developers and designers must get together and test the product they are creating with potential users to make sure user experience gets to a whole new level.
How many users should test the product and be part of this user experience strategy?
The more users, the better.
Because allowing users to test a product will basically make sure that designers get a plethora of comments, suggestions, and possible improvements that they can use to fine-tune the user experience.
Without having this solid base of focused feedback, it will be impossible for designers and developers to gauge what is lacking, what could be added, and how a simple change can affect the overall user experience.
Testing is the only way for designers to create products which defy consensus and take concrete usability testing into account to offer the right user experience solution.
Testing with numerous users will allow designers to know that the user experience is just right for that specific set of potential users that will have to utilize the website, product, app, etc.
This process will take huge amounts of time, and it will mean that designers must go back and forth in search of perfection.
However, it is the only way to come up with a user experience that’s worth the name.
This is a fundamental rule for a great user experience in 2019.
6. Predict the User’s Possible Mistakes
Behavioral predictions may be hard to make but they are a crucial aspect to bear in mind for those who want to know how to become a UX designer.
Indeed, mistakes are part of life but they’re also part of user experience.
How to make sure designers can predict the possible mistakes of future product users?
By designing with an empathetic outlook.
This will allow designers to expect the unexpected and predict a number of mistaken clicks, misguided redirections, and other unlawful little errors users are prone to make.
Designers should always consider these probable mistakes and design accordingly, making sure they provide a user experience that covers the unthinkable.
Moreover, user experience mavens should not forget to include valuable instructions.
It is important to fully anticipate the possible queries of users, giving them the answers they want before they need to ask the questions.
It is all about providing directions and clues, making sure the product doesn’t become unusable in case users make a slight mistake.
7. The Power of Intention
One of the most important rules that all designers should take into account is about being intentional with their design.
This means that designers should avoid creating a dull and barren scenario that will fail to attract users.
They should get ready to insert creative elements into the product so as to make sure it is appealing to users.
To create a user experience that is not only well-crafted but also eye-catching.
The more appealing the UX/UI, the better.
Because - at the end of the day - users have to be lured into the product.
They must want to use it, find what they need to find, remaining completely engrossed and entertained.
Product creators must kill boredom on a consistent basis, inserting specific visual elements that destroy the conventional aspects of UX, promoting an intuitive user experience that breaks the mold.
Experts shouldn’t forget to create a realm that actually pleases the end user, making sure product users return because they have actually enjoyed the overall user experience that was provided with style and visual pizzazz.
8. Take it Personal
We live in the age of custom-made, tailor-made, and UX/UI must always take that into consideration.
Product creators should ensure their product takes personalization into account, creating unique experiences that set their product apart.
This can also be about establishing a connection with users through specific design cues.
Let’s say that some designers have created a perfect user experience.
However, the product fails to stand apart from the madding crowd.
That means the designers wasted their time.
What to do to make sure to create an enticing product?
Go for unique personalization!
Users must be in for a personalized ride - something which makes them feel special.
Indeed, they want a user experience that takes their needs and concerns into account.
The advent of AI will help with this.
In fact, once technology progresses, it will be possible to provide a user experience that takes both the personality and mood of the users into account.
This will allow products to automatically change shapes, colors, and even the locations of copy based on the personality and current mood of a specific user.
In the future, personalization is going to be king and all UX/UI experts must follow suit or risk being left behind.
9. Be Goal-Oriented
Goals are part of the definition of a UX/UI designer.
In fact, all design should be goal-oriented and UX/UI should obviously do the same.
Whenever, wherever, designers should always avoid having a single-minded, I-know-better attitude and get to be fully goal-driven.
Being goal-oriented with design allows creators to craft the best possible user experience.
The users of a product want it to be intuitive and fast.
They are using the product to reach a goal, and to get something done.
Therefore, designers should focus on that goal and come up with a design solution that effectively walks the users through the path, from A to Z.
Being goal-oriented can make designers change the typeface, or the size of the font, or the location of a specific page, or the place where a link is inserted, etc.
Whatever it is, if designers never forget to focus on the goals of the end-user, they will be providing a service that not only aids users but takes their user experience to a whole new realm of helpful guidance.
From developing a product that takes personalization into account to the importance of testing products with future potential users, product designers and UX/UI experts must bear certain rules in mind every single day.
They must actually go through a new round of UX design training, taking advantage of these key guidelines to produce gems and supercharge their user experience career.
By following these rules, designers will not only become able to do a better job but also create the dedicated user experience that product users deserve to enjoy in the future.