5 common mistakes in designing a User Experience (UX).
User experience is a broad topic, but to narrow it down, I am going to talk about 5 of the most common mistakes in designing a user experience that I have come across as a designer and user.
Process in Designing
Everyone’s process is different. It really depends on the client and at what stage and approach they are already in for the project. There are specific principles in every step of the process that should be followed for a successful user experience.
But, here are some useful mistakes that you should not follow.
1. Don’t mistake UX for UI.
They are two different roles.
User Interface(UI), is how the user interacts with the interface of the application or site and is a part of the overall user experience. UI design is used to create captivating interfaces that help create a good experience, one the user will want to come back to and share with others.
User Experience(UX), is, how a person feels when interacting with a system. There are multiple types of systems – websites, web applications, desktop softwares, and in modern contexts human-computer interactions (HCI). UX is more about the psychology of the product, whereas UI mimics UX through visual context. Designers who have this role, study and research how users feel about the system – evaluating the usability, value of each component and efficiency of the product.
2. Don’t skip user testing throughout the process.
This could make or break your design. You don’t want to find out after 500 hours of work that the whole concept doesn’t work and no one understands how to use it. I recommend creating a plan of how you want to execute the project.
This is where sprints come into play… Sprints allow you to create phases for your project. As each phase finishes, make sure to have a user base you can contact to test the design on multiple devices.
Note: Buy them coffee or send them positive wishes for their help. You’ll need them again later.
This way you can make small changes as needed and avoid having to recreate the entire experience.
3. Don’t design for individual platforms.
Unless the website, tablet, and phone all have their own uses, design for mobile first, as if this will be the user’s first experience of the site. Smallest to largest. You can always include more information on the larger scale devices. But, designing for mobile first, helps to confine the design and include only the practical components.
4. Don’t design for you, design for the business goal.
This is a typical mistake for a lot of designers, we want this next project to be beautiful and let our opinions be heard and visible. Unfortunately, to be a successful designer we must isolate the passion from ourselves. The only goal in this case is to guide the user through a memorable experience. The responsibility is to users not your ego. As a designer, make sure to always put yourself in the user’s shoes at every stage of the design process. Silence your ego and remind it you are designing for the business goal.
With that said, back to the process, here is one that is familiar and will keep you on track (from Web UI Best Practices):
- Create user journeys to map out how the site will be used by different user groups.
- Work on buyer personas to further understand how different user groups navigate websites and what they want from the site and the company.
- Identify difficult aspects of the UI in order to create initial wireframes for those parts so that it fits in with UX practices such as user mapping and journeys.
- Test on as many real-world devices as possible. If the project is big enough, conduct some field research with users (at the minimum, you should always run moderated or unmoderated usability tests).
- Carry out A/B testing to test various design elements such as colors, buttons, text, images, etc.
5. More is not more.
There is a reason why flat design and minimalism are so popular. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, but they allow the product to be simple and easy to use. If it isn’t easy to use, then you haven’t done your research and testing. Set the priorities in order to reach the goal you are trying to achieve. Follow the process and remember to keep the focus on the user.
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