What is User Experience?
Besides being a design and development philosophy, user experience is the totality of what each user perceives while using your software. The technology, content, interactions, and aesthetics all come together to form the user experience. Usability, accessibility, design, development, content, marketing, and production – all these disciplines live within the world of UX. A bad experience in one of those categories will negate your success in others. Ultimately, users want software that helps them accomplish their goals as easily and successfully as possible. If a user is unsuccessful in accomplishing their goals, they likely will not return to your software. Even if they’re successful with a bad experience, they likely will not return. However, by offering the user an easy path to success, their happiness will typically create a strong promoter for your brand.
Even if you have thousands of users, we can help you categorize and group them into personas. Personas are representative personalities we reference during the design and development process. Researching and defining your users with personas eliminates the “but, I don’t like that” conversation entirely. Simply put: you are not the user. Pretending to be the user is dangerous to your bottom line; take the ego out of your design and development by putting the user first. It takes a lot to convince a team of people that their personal ownership of a brand may not be the best choice forward, but that’s what we do every day! A UX-focused company can still take internal ideas and incorporate them into the designs… in fact, by focusing on the UX, it’s easier to validate contributions with the user personas.
Lastly, we must make a bold statement: user experience without data is just guesswork. Sure, we can use vetted design systems and hope they work for our users, but UX-centered companies need to constantly test and validate their designs with real users and update them based on the results. This is an “iterative design” process, and it works very well in an agile development environment. While it’s important to do things right the first time, UX philosophy understands that variables often change resulting in the need for new designs. Here’s what this frequently looks like: gather data, design, test, iterate, test, iterate, etc. Even after we launch a project, we monitor the analytics and work with users to ensure a great experience.
While we’d love to dive into all the user experience concepts in our arsenal, we cannot put them all on one page. We’d encourage you check out the blog for more information on user experience.