I was attempting to make a donation to a website so my niece could do some noble thing for school. I don’t remember the exact activity. Hey, I’m busy and trying to do my good deed. The form was long with too many fields (I know you need some information from me, but do you have to ask me for my grandmother’s dog’s favorite color?).
Forms are often a source of contentious UX faux pas.
Long forms that have too many fields or a reset button that’s dangerously close to the continue button or long forms with quick resets are a recipe for disaster.
So I abandoned the transaction.
Poor Sarah didn’t get my donation to do her…umm…basketball free throw hopscotch contest to help kids in Africa purchase new shoes, all because of this poorly designed form that immediately ruined any sort of positive UX.
A Gas Mishap (It’s not what you think)
On another occasion, an experience at the gas pump on a five degree day, my fingers were freezing and I had to push really hard to get the buttons to work on the worn buttons so I accidentally hit the wrong one and had to start over completely. This caused me to kick the pump, which caused my frozen toes to swell.
Cause and effect: The aforementioned bad user experiences gave me a desire to solve everyday problems that users like myself face.
What is UX Design?
UX design is simply the interaction between a human and a product or interface that is easy to use and even pleasurable for others to interact with. Some call it human-computer interaction (Me interacting with the computer at the gas pump by kicking it is NOT an example of this).
The Importance of UX
People want to find the information on a website without going through numerous steps. What this means for companies is that their potential customers are able to purchase what they want (or even purchase what they didn’t know they wanted) with ease. But on a more individual scale, I want to feel like I’m making a difference in the world as a UX Designer. Ok, it’s not curing cancer, but I want to help people to enjoy their lives.
The UX Design Process
A UX Designer goes through the process of gathering information (researching with clients), planning & creating a template (wireframing / designing the product), then pushing it out for a client to try. This process is then repeated all over again (iterating).
In this process, UX Designers are required to be empathetic to their clients to determine what they’re looking for (and often educate them that they really don’t want 16 tabs in the header bar — and make them think it’s their idea). They also need to analyze the research they’ve done. They have to be able to be creative and efficient in their designing process, and also be organized, deliberate and kind in their communicate with the engineers and developers.
UX in Everyday Life
UX is everywhere. It’s at the gas station. It’s even on your ketchup bottle. Poor UX design caused me to want to help people to experience the tasks they face in life with more ease and efficiency. I’m motivated to get out there and create something that makes peoples’ lives easier.