User experience (UX) is a combination of content and user interface. Imagine yourself as a restaurant owner. Your guests are the users and the food served is your content. The dishware on the table is the user interface that presents the content. The whole dining experience is the user experience. Just like having dinner in a restaurant, users are not only looking for products that are just “usable” or “beautiful”, they are also looking for other intangible benefits like efficiency, emotional satisfaction, sense of belonging or fun.
Good user experience is important because it makes your product accessible, interactive, and memorable to your users. Arguably even producers of most necessities are embodying the idea of user experience as they run out of ideas to compete on the tangible qualities of what they sell. To deliver a happy user experience, a user research prior to product development is necessary. There are also tools that can help you gather data from your users after product launch, such as Google Analytics, Flurry , and Facebook Analytics.
In this post we are sharing some tips for planning better user experience in Kdan Mobile.
Organize the Content Using the Information Architecture
When analyzing the structure and different elements of user experience, you need to study the information architecture, which helps you organize the information and facilitate intuitive access to the content. The information architecture consists of two perspectives: the task-oriented perspective and the information-oriented perspective. Both perspectives are based on users’ need and tasks.
The task-oriented architecture looks into the functions and the interface which a user needs in order to complete the task. In correspondence to the user activities, developers provide information and navigate the users to achieve their goal.
Let’s look at the right side of the diagram, which is with “Concept – Completion” in the Y axis. This part of the diagram focuses on the information side of user experience; it includes information architecture that provides guidance and help you arrange the content and information.
You can list out what information is required in the suitable format as indicated in the Content requirements. For example, file size is presented in number, date is listed in text, and file preview by thumbnail. After we settle down the content requirement, the next step is to make this content interactive, digestible, and accessible to the users. Elements such like page layout, page hierarchy, information taxonomies, paragraph length, icon design, and font size are hence crucial.
Your previous research on user behavior provides a good foundation for structuralizing the information architecture, but a little extra studies on cognitive load and decision making psychology are helpful too. It often is helpful to simply sketch out your ideas before creating the visual design.
Learn to Make a Wireflow
You might have heard of a website wireframe, which is a visual guide representing the structural framework of a website, but a wireflow is much preferred if you want to map out the interactive process. A wireflow includes the skeletal framework of a digital product, and it marks out the relations between each page/session.
A frequently asked question is how detailed should the framework be. Wireflow is a dynamic visual aid for your team communication, you can decide how much details to be included as your project progresses. Minimal details are required in a wireflow if you are building up a basic information architecture. However, if you are about to start the visual design, you might want to mark out the font size, button size, images size, and your page layout in both portrait and landscape modes.
Make a Checklist: The 10 Usability Heuristics Principles
It’s always a good habit to have a final checkup. The 10 usability heuristics principles for UX design can be a quick guideline. The 10 principles include:
- Visibility of system status
- Match between system and the real world
- User control and freedom
- Consistency and standards
- Error prevention
- Recognition rather than recall
- Flexibility and efficiency of use
- Aesthetic and minimalist design
- Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
- Help and documentation
We found Craft Design has a brilliant introduction to the 10 usability heuristics principles here.
Collect Data for Verification of Effectiveness
From time to time your team should re-examine the product design. Digital tools are not an excuse for us to hide behind the screen; focus group discussion and in-depth interview are good ways to reassess the current design and help you find the areas that need improvement. It is all about being aligned with the users’ needs and continuously optimizing the products.
A product can get meteoric fame, but there is seldom a shortcut in the process of building it. We have shared our experience in app development, design research, and UX delivery in this blog post series. We hope to have shed a different light on how to create user-centric designs and helped you work on your design development. Feel free to ask us any questions in the comment below.
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Feature image: Unsplash/ Pixabay
Also published on Medium.