UX: From Trend to Must-Have
There are currently over 1 billion sites (1,152,976,620, as I’m writing this sentence) on the world wide web. Having a digital presence has become mandatory for a majority, if not for all institutions, businesses, services, and products. And if you want to keep your site alive and kicking, you need to invest in it.
Invest how? It is no longer enough to have a functional or beautiful site. In fact, UX design (or user experience design) is something which is of the uttermost importance if y0u want to create a top quality website. Why? Users need to be able to seamlessly interact with your site or platform and, here comes the tricky part, enjoy that interaction.
How many times have you come across a website that is beautiful to look at but doesn’t deliver when you try to figure out where to go or what to do? We all know what it feels like: extremely frustrating. Consequently, we will most probably never use that website again.
Designing the user experience is no longer an option if you want your users to enjoy your website and keep coming back for more.
So, what is UX design?
UX design embraces all aspects of the experience a user has when interacting with your site, its services or products. And while it is impossible to design the complete experience a person has at a certain moment (there are way too many variables out of your control), UX design can ensure that all the remaining variables that you can control, are taken into consideration.
UX takes into account usability, accessibility, consistency, utility and the pleasure provided by the interaction between the user and your site. It involves several processes, from researching to interviewing, testing, wireframing and prototyping, among others. Its purpose is to increase the quality of that experience for the user, while making sure your business’s goals are met.
Think about your site like a store, or a restaurant. The food may be amazing, the place may be gorgeous, but if the service is bad, or the food takes too long (or even too little), the overall experience will not be a positive one.
UX will consider not only how clients (users) get to the restaurant, but the entire experience from the moment they enter, to the moment they leave. It will consider if the tables are spacious enough for them and if they can navigate the restaurant without bumping into any chairs.
It will make sure the waiters give them the right amount of time to look at the menu and make their choice while having all the information they need about the food if they have any questions. UX will also make sure the bill is presented in a pleasant, clear and transparent way, and make sure all payment methods are available and easy to use.
UX is centered on the users, their needs, their desires and their emotions. The ones they have and the ones they might have. Its main goal is to make the user happy.
Because a happy user, will remember you! Happy users are not only more likely to return to your platform or site, but also to remember it while talking with friends or colleagues. If you like a certain site or a certain product (you might not even remember its name!), you will look for it a second time and make sure you share it.
Think twice before dismissing UX design as an “unnecessary feature”. It could determine the success or failure of your website or platform.
Article originally published at /article/ux-no-longer-trend-its-must-have.
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