Amusing users: A secret recipe
You can Google “how to UX” and find thousands of tips and tricks. Are they valuable? Absolutely. Are they useful? Perhaps. The fact is, you won’t get far if they’re irrelevant to your brand. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, and drowning yourself in trend research and implementation will cause a UX mess.
All the stars must align for UX, with constant realignment when some burn out and others appear.
To avoid getting lost in the haystacks, try forgetting about the UX research for a moment and go back to the basics.
Understanding the inner workings of UX
The gurus behind tech blogs will tell you that UX research is the first step in the process. But that’s not entirely true, is it?
Although research is critical, they keep missing the vital step before UX research: Understanding the business.
How can you research user behaviour, goals, motivations, and needs without understanding the business, its departments, and processes?
For example, many used-car salespeople have no idea how cars work mechanically. They know the car starts, and the previous owner mentioned something about a fender bender, but nothing screams “unsellable”.
In this scenario, they can research what, why, and how people enjoy driving forever and still get comebacks. Why? Because although customers like bells and whistles, and reps enjoy selling it to them, the moment that car makes a funny noise post-purchase, the experience is null and void.
The same goes for UX. You need to understand the inner workings of the company and its processes in order to ask the right questions during research.
Five key elements of usability in UX design
Web usability consultant, human-computer interaction researcher, and co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group, Jakob Nielsen, divides UX usability into five elements:
- Learnability: How quickly can users learn to use the system?
- Efficiency: Once users understand the system, how long does it take them to complete tasks?
- Memorability: Can users remember the different functions if they return at a later time?
- Few errors: How often do users perform tasks that don’t lead to the desired result?
- Satisfaction: Did the interaction trigger a positive emotional response?
While achieving usability is process-heavy, failing only takes a few seconds. If users struggle to use a website, they leave. If they don’t get the solution or answer they need, they leave. Even intranet usability can make or break employee productivity.
Point is, without usability, your UX approach won’t be the saviour you bargained for.
How to turn UX trends into UX successes
- Familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of the business, including any rebranding that has occurred since the last time you performed an assessment.
- Research and compile UX trends that align with the brand offering.
- Formulate UX research questions based on the combination of brand persona and trends you’re interested in.
- Perform UX research to learn more about users, their behaviour, needs, motivations, goals, and how they currently feel when interacting with your product.
- Put yourself in the users’ shoes by using a customer journey map and imagining the experience from their point of view.
- Keep the design as consistent as possible to maintain the brand persona and avoid user confusion.
- Create a sitemap to help you categorise content and use it as a navigational framework for future adjustments.
- Don’t get too fancy with navigation because it may work for you but confuse the nuts out of users.
- Keep copy short, sweet, and clear without jargon or higher-grade wording to make it more accessible and reader-friendly.
- Test, test again, and repeat using a staging environment that doesn’t alter the real thing and uses data to make improvements.
- Get constant feedback from users to determine the efficacy of your UX strategy.
If you’re stuck and decide UX design is not your forte, it is ours. Get in touch; we’ll do all the reviewing, testing, analysing, and advising for you.