Before we get started, let me say what’s next in line isn’t required to get better — it is simply a matter of applying what you've already learned about product design.
Let’s start with the four fundamentals: User experience, usability, experimentation, and reporting.
Interestingly enough, research shows that 60% of small businesses prioritize user experience over usability solutions within their product design processes. That should tell you everything you need to know about how important usability is in your business and the lives of your users!
In addition to the term “user experience,” we’ll use the term “UX” to refer to the user’s perception of a product.
We’ll do this for two reasons: First, we don’t like design terms that carry negative connotations, and UX is extremely broad; Second, it gives us a nice, neat acronym that’s easy to remember. One of the most fundamental concepts of UX is that we’re essentially selling ourselves to users. Think about it. We have an end goal in mind: To make users’ lives better. In the simplest terms, we’re designing a tool to accomplish that.
Empathy. This word comes from the Latin “empathy” and means “feeling and sensing what the other feels and senses.” As you’ve probably gathered, empathy is a core part of UX design.
Usability is the degree to which a user can accomplish a task or action. And can be improved with usability design. Usability is based on the physical interaction, cognitive processing, and cognitive clarity of the user in the experience. That means if you don’t try things out, if you don’t test them and see if they work, you will never know whether they’re effective or not. You’ll just know that they don’t and you’ll have to try a different approach. UX is all about the user experience. Once you understand that user experience is what you ultimately need to focus on, it makes things a lot easier. Most teams focus a lot of their attention on usability solutions but they tend to miss out on some of the more important elements of designing a great user experience.
Experimentation isn’t just an “e-word”; the experience of trial and error, if loved correctly, can be the best practice anyone can set in motion. Not only does experimentation require some legwork, but it also requires passion. Passionate UXers never stop thinking about what the end-user needs and doing everything they can to fulfill that need. Moreover, the effort to always think of the end-user is a mindset worth modeling. The customer shouldn’t just be something that you make money from or something that you serve — they should be everything. Users are driven by the evolution of technology — they crave the next best thing and want to experience it NOW.
Making sure that you know what’s going on behind the scenes is vital to UX design. Working as an online shop owner or running an online store is probably one of the most demanding online businesses you’ll ever run. How often do you come across a buyer who says something like “This product sucks? I bought it and I still don’t understand what it does”? To address these problems, you’re going to need to know a little bit more about how people are using your site. Your goal is to create a report of your users’ behavior on your site. What we want to see are the things they do on our website and how often they do them. When we look at things from a usability standpoint, we want to see what they do within a small, manageable time frame.
It is important that you remember these 4 fundamentals.
Until next time.