User experience design is a product-specific discipline. User Experience design is the language of interaction between users and the products they use. It is concerned with understanding each layer of user perception and decision-making. Before embarking on a product journey, it’s important to know who we are building for, what purpose does it serve and why they will choose what we create over existing products in the market. The purpose of a robust UX design is to simplify the user journey and help the individual find what they are looking for faster and without too many missed steps. That being said, the underlying principles of UX design are the same; they exist to ensure we create intuitive, memorable user experiences that keep them asking for more. Let’s see how:
Focus on the user’s needs
The primary focus of all things UX must be to simplify and enhance the product experience for the user. UX design must be the answer to the user’s existing problems. If the user is searching for a product, UX must simplify the discovery process, purchase, and actual consumption process. The best way to do this is actually to ask the user what they need and monitor the actual consumer behavior closely.
For Example, if a user wants to order food, make sure that they are able to do so in the shortest span possible by providing what is absolutely essential.
Define a hierarchy
Smooth navigation throughout the website/ app is the primary determinant of conversion and overall user retention. It’s not just important to provide what the users are looking for, we must all help them find it through logical design. Content must be organized in a way that prioritizes the right information in the right order on the site.
For example, in an eCommerce app, the logical categorization is based on gender, and the products are further sectioned based on utility, and so forth and so on. This is to ensure that users find what they are looking for in seconds.
Law of Familiarity
The law of familiarity in UX extends the understanding developed by the user in one platform to be used in another. Since users spend most of their time on their internet, they are familiar with the way other sites function. While the functionality should essentially be defined by the UX designer, if established elements of the user experience are kept constant, it enhances the usability of the platform in general. Popular gestures, icons and basic interactions must be consistent with other sites they use.
For example, Tinder introduced the swipe gesture. Now, all apps follow the norm as we’re familiar with the functionality that left means NO and swiping right means Yes. Another example here would be icons, we all relate that magnifying glass icon is for search. Or let’s say, the color Red is for ‘error’ while the color Green is for ‘success’.
User experience design must fill gaps in user satisfaction for all kinds of users, not just those who have been traditionally considered important. Consumer groups with learning and/or functional disabilities must be appeased and included in the digital transformation of products and services. User experience design must accommodate different linguistic choices and assimilate the differences that arise in translation.
For Example, Parramatta Park’s website is very easy on the eyes, not just for the average audience but also for visitors with vision issues. The clever color contrast, font selection, link styling, element sizing, code structure, alt tags, and background images make this an accessible website that looks great.
Remove redundancies / Less is More
In order to offer a product that is truly useful, UX designers must focus on the core functionality of the product without falling prey to decorative distractions. UX is increasingly following a less is more approach where the product delivers what is required and little else. Features for the sake of features end up confusing an audience that lacks the time to forgive design mistakes.
For Example, Inshorts did an amazing job using this principle. They provided byte-sized news content right to your phone. You could swipe through 100’s of news pieces and read the ones that interest you. Right on to the point, no-frills.
The principles of UX design are the driving force behind an intuitive user experience. Users flock to a product or service which is simple, efficient and memorable. The user experience must always be designed keeping the end user in mind- the site functionality must enhance the quality of his life and add value. The principles of UX design have been formulated keeping this purpose in mind. A strong implementation of the same is a strong ingredient for product success and market domination.