It’s generally accepted that the online perception and standing of a brand is defined by the end-user experience. User experience (UX) forms the foundations on which the values of that brand are delivered in the digital world. This means that the user interface, ease of use and speed of a website must all be optimised. Providing top quality content and products alone is just not enough in today’s competitive marketplace.
User experience (UX) focuses on fully understanding how users interact with a brand or an interface. It requires a deep insight into the needs of users, what they like and value their abilities, and also in some cases their limitations. Implementing the best UX practices will improve the quality of the user’s interaction and enhance their perceptions of a brand and its product and services.
‘User experience’ is the term that covers all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with a company, its web presence, services, communication channels and its products. Every interaction produces a user experience event, the goal being to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.
When it comes to the Internet, the importance of User Experience (UX) cannot be overstated, as a website that is hard to use, is slow or poorly laid out, will cause visitors to leave, whilst also, at the same time, degrading the standing of the associated brand. On a larger scale, (UX) is vital as its goal is to totally fulfil the user’s needs, aiming to provide constant positive experiences, that in turn keep a user loyal to the product or brand.
One way of ensuring that the User Experience (UX) is a good one, is to write copy that is simple to read and understand, includes clear instructions, is written by someone that truly understands the topic, bears FAQs in mind, and always addresses the user (by using ‘you’ and not ‘we’ in the text).
User Experience (UX) in the context of a website is nothing to do with coding, it is about the design of the site and all the interactions that take place on it. The UX design will, of course, need to be produced and that does require coding. However, the UX designers will not normally produce the code, their role being to ensure that the site provides an excellent end to end experience to any user.
In a website context, the role of the UX Specialists is to create user-friendly interfaces and ensure that all the interactions on a site are simple, straightforward and easy to understand. In global terms, they work with marketing, product management and development leaders to create solutions for problems associated with any user interaction
The end-user is the term given to the people who actually use a website, product or service. They could be an occasional user or be someone who uses the product every day. End users are the ‘hands-on’ customers who interface/use a businesses products, services and tools. They not only provide the best view of how well something actually performs, but they are also vitally important as most often or not they are also the customer.
UX design is the process of creating and designing products (digital or physical) that meet the needs of the user, are easy to use, and are a delight to interact with. Its importance is that a good UX can mean all the difference between a product that sells, or a website that is well used and visited, and a product or site that just sits, unused on the shelf.
The two are closely related, UX Design being about User Experience Design, basically the experience a user has when using something. UI Design – User Interface Design, covers the appearance of the interface the user actually reacts with. Both elements have to work together if a website, product or service is to be successful.
User experience design (UXD, UED, or XD) is all about ensuring that the user of a website, product or service, receives a good experience. This is achieved by improving its usability and accessibility, and thus its desirability.
Wireframe UX is the process of producing a visual representation of a user interface, stripped of all images and branding. This allows the UX Designer to more easily define the hierarchy of items on a screen and thus ensure they meet the needs of the user.
Before the User Interface (UI) can be designed, it is first necessary to understand what User Experience (UX) is required, that is, what are the wants, needs and abilities of the end-user (the customer). UI is the tool that transforms these needs into realities, whilst UX provides the research and evaluation of the user’s needs.
A good interface is one that is easy and clear to use. Such an interface not only reduces user errors, but it also makes all important information obvious and contributes to ease of learning and use. Good interfaces are also characterised by their consistency. This allows users to apply previous experience when completing new tasks.
The key difference between a UX researcher and UX designer is that the researcher’s purpose is to better understand the user’s needs, while the designer is responsible for a design that meets the user’s needs and goals.
There are many ways to improve the user experience for a website. The simplest include, using whitespace, providing good headlines, using lists and bullet points, making the pages look alike and consistent in appearance, using images that enhance the message of each page and most of all ensuring that the site is mobile friendly and fully responsive.
The UX design process consists of five basic phases. Research into the user’s needs and desires, Defining how these can be met, Generating the design, Prototyping the design and finally after sorting out any bugs, Producing the final working product (or website interface).