Introduction to UX

In Usability by Mark Cox

Most businesses understand what UX is but do not know how to use it specifically in relation to their own business. Since the beginning of the internet, websites have improved to allow more functionality and faster load times. What was once a static experience is now an interactive one. With customers so used to the internet, having a website which is not a pleasure to use will cost your business dearly.

We are running a two-day training course to get you up to date with the world of UX and how you can apply this to your business. For a brief on the course please click this link however this post will cover the course in a bit more detail.

Usability

In a previous blog post we discussed usability in terms of UX design but during the course we will discuss usability from the (ISO 9241) and explain how to reach industry-standard. The ISO 9241 is a multi-part standard covering human-computer interaction and has many parts to do with website design.

We also discuss how we can then quantify and compare two-designs’ usability.

With data driven sites and continuous research in the area, understanding the motivations of users has never been easier. The course covers these findings and shows the implications of first impressions, duration of visit, scrolling, screen resolutions and viewing and reading patterns.

If you are a web designer you will already have design skills, however we will show some basic design principles that should be considered, including consistency, using design to communicate ideas and Calls-to-Action.

Usability guidelines are a series of considerations for the home page, error messages, on-site search, campaign landing pages and forms. The government has created some guidelines, otherwise known as the Government Design Principles. These 7 digital principles list some of the basics for creating great user experiences.

The design of these pages is important so that long load times are not too high. People say that one of the biggest problems of most commercial sites is when a site takes to long to load – Article

The techniques used in user experience design are; running usability tests, creating customer journey maps, understanding the information architecture of a site and creating wireframes and prototypes.

User experience design originates from user-centred design. User-centred design is where the service the user is presented with matches the needs and wants at every stage.

In recent years the internet has not be constrained to desktops and laptops but is now on smartphones and tablets on a variety of different browsers and connection types. This is why UX takes a look at all the ways a website could be accessed. This takes into account accessibility issues such as people with special requirements or those who use non-traditional input devices. For example, using sliders on your website should be avoided as it can de difficult for people who can’t drag very precisely.

Saying every company can benefit from examining their user experience is true however there are some cases where this is more true than others. Complex sites need UX work especially in areas of information architecture and customer journey mapping. A site which does not have specific information architecture will find it hard when updating the site thinking of where to put content and a site without a clear customer journey map may confuse customer by not having sections where they believe they should be.

Start-ups should also focus on creating a solid user experience for its first iteration. This will attract user’s attention and make them stay with the product as it improves.

The Limitations of UX

UX design will not work for every user because all users are different. A successful design for one person might have the opposite effect on another. What designers can hope to do is promote certain behaviours from the user to improve use of the site.

Each website will require different experiences so the cost of running user experience tests will vary widely. If you are getting outside help for your site it is best to ask for a quote.

Another problem which might upset your boss is that it cannot be assessed via traditional metrics. Even though google analytics can compare two different designs with page views, bounce rates and conversion rates, unless you ask you will not be able to tell the user’s experience.

USIO

At USIO we have a range of UX tools and established processes that we can use to tackle your problem. If you have a concept or idea that you would like to bring to life, we can help. We can audit what you have through content audits or expert usability reviews of your website. We can help you design your information architecture (IA), customer journeys and page templates or can user test these with live customers in our in house labs in central London.

If however you are thinking of setting up your own UX department then we can help. Join us on our two day training course.

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