Sustainable UX design practices
While going forward, It is always better to leave behind unwanted dead weight which don’t add value anymore. Keeping that in mind, this blog article aims to bring into light, all the lesser important UX design practices which most of us believe to be important at first glance.
Also this blog article tries to be pessimistic about some commonly circulated design practices and introspect them in terms of the value generated out of them.
1.Remember Users Are Gods
User Research is very crucial, as what users think always matters and what we designers think, never matters. It might sound odd, but users actually end up using the outcome of your work and so that is the case.
If we build UX design based on our own assumptions, then we ignore the expectations of the actual end user. User research is the most logical way to identify user intentions and deliver design expectations accordingly. There are a multitude of user profiles in the real world and it is very essential to consider those during the designing process.
It is always better to draw a user persona in your mind that represents the broader user base of your design. This tip helps you overcome all the mental hurdles that a designer usually faces while designing the User interface. It also helps you to arrive at some logical decision points such as reducing the complexity of the user design and finally arrive at the most user friendly design.
- The primary step is collecting information about the users such a demographic information, age, gender, etc.,
- Involve in discussions with client and know about the target for their competitors.
- Approach a test group of users and ask them to try the first version of the product.
- Try to get feedback from them not based on what they say instead pay attention to what they do.
This approach helps you to connect better with the users and understand them well for future projects.
2. Refresh Your Toolkit
UX Design like any other professional field expects the experts to upgrade to new tools that are released regularly. Tool addiction or favoring the usage of a particular set of tools would greatly reduce your productivity as well as creativity. It is important to note that new tools are released in response to the suggestions of other designers based on the problem they experienced while using those tools.
I don’t argue that you should use all tools, try to have your own favourite list of tools but ensure that the tool list gets updated by the set of newly released tools.
3. Balance - Appearance and Experience
Great Appearances are often distractive and greatly divert the user from getting the expected Experience. So, Appearance and Experience should weigh equally, when it comes to achieving good user engagement. If more focus is given for appearance then user experience should also be improved such that the chord strikes a balance.
Clients always encourage you to come up with an end product that looks good and that attitude cannot be blamed as well. Still, you should not allow yourself to get sidelined by the client’s expectations for long. Remind yourself on what you are developing and the kind of user experience you want to deliver to your end user. Finally it is always better to zoom out and have a look at the perceived overall goals of your project.
Ask this question, ”How this is going to improve User Experience”?, to get the right balance of appearance and experience.
4. Unload the Dead Weight
Good Design is all about the possibilities of simplification and still achieving what it is meant for. When there are more things on the platter the user gets confused and derails into things of lesser importance.
But how can one identify what are the parts that can be removed ? That is one difficult yet important question to be answered by a good designer.
At this juncture, rely on past user data obtained in usability tests and real user inputs which are obtained during the initial demo phase.
- What aspects of the design are not even noticed by the users ?
- What makes them discomfited?
- What looks more obvious and implicit to them?
- What is the great wall that stands in between them and the target goal ?
In addition try to answer the below questions too,
This would greatly help you to unload the dead weight and greatly increase the user experience.
5. Upgrade your Knowledge
As per an old saying, “What one have learned is a mere handful; What one haven't learned is the size of the world”. If a designer is egoistic about his skill set and fails to upgrade himself, then he becomes obsolete over time.
There is always scope for improvement in what you do and it is not just about reading a seasonal blog article. It is very important to have hierarchically planned education through designing courses offered via coursera and Edx or other online education platforms.
If you set aside 3 hours of your precious time every week then by the end of the year, you would have become a better designer than the previous year. Along with the “array of experiences” that you have gained over time working on real time projects, both would make you a highly skilled and successful designer .
On an ending note, I like to end this blog article with the satisfaction that this pessimistic journey of introspection would have helped you uncover some common UX design myths and greatly increase your UX design outputs in the forthcoming projects.