UX Design: Turn Your Users Into Fans
Since I was young I have a very sensitive way of perceive the beauty of an interface. Although I have an Engineering degree, I used to work designing websites because I loved it. I believe technology and engineering on their own are useless if you also don’t have a skillfully crafted experience for the user of your product.
A few years ago when I was working as an intern at the Human-Computer Interaction Department at Buenos Aires Institute of Technology (ITBA) I fully understood the importance of a well designed user interface and the relevance of the user experience. We were a small team of five guys creating a product to securely guide people through a set of marked points around any city in the world. There were a web application and mobile apps. Easy task to develop, but the challenge was that our users were blind people. It was mind blowing for me, and I found myself thinking all the time, for months, how those blind guys would use our app, developing the product, getting in their shoes and receiving their feedback. The final result was great, one of my biggest experiences in my life.
I consider that user experience and user centered design have a huge value that allows us to think at the same time in the construction of a successful business and in building an outstanding experience for the user. Unfortunately, the importance of this discipline is unknown for many of the first-time entrepreneurs -and even more experienced ones too-. Not thinking about this could introduce a big risk in their business survival.
user experience and user centered design have a huge value that allows us to think at the same time in the construction of a successful business and in building an outstanding experience for the user.
Working on the UX is not drawing boxes arbitrary or defining the process flow based on its creator will. UX, as a key discipline in the process of a product development, has its own techniques and can be measured. There are a lot of studies and theoretical basis about its processes, and it’s a professional field.
Nowadays that the tech barrier is lower than in the past, and with the maturity of the average internet user, a product perfectly designed from its conception is a key factor in the differentiation of a business. Considering it as something that you could add or do at the end of a product development process is a very bad idea. Even worse if you definitely don’t consider UX at all. It should and must be contemplated from the very beginning of every product development process.
a product perfectly designed from its conception is a key factor in the differentiation of a business.
Building great experiences implies taking care of every single interaction of the user with the product. And you should know that a bad experience will turn a user into a detractor, they may even end up spreading the word about how bad is your product and why no one should use it, but a great user experience will turn your users into fans, adopters and advocates, becoming themselves a promotional channel for you, for free! To reach this situation your product must be functional, reliable and easy to use in a pleasant way.
If you are starting your own business, designing a product, you are a first-time entrepreneur, or you already have your product but have never stop to think about the importance of UX, you should be considering it in the short term.
There are many ways to start working on this according to your budget. Usability tests with users or experts, A/B testing, interviews, polls, user observation, card sorting, heuristic evaluation, iterative prototyping, Lean UX, are some of the multiples techniques that you should use to get a more professional approach to understand your users and build -or improve- a product, considering the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction for users achieve specific goals in particular environments, and turning your product into an addictive and successful business.
We’ll go deep into this techniques shortly, so stay tuned!
Juan Manuel Amorós
Co-CEO & Founder @ Redmint. Master’s degree in Computer Science from ITBA (Inst. Tecnológico Buenos Aires). Mentor & advisor in several startups. Tech startups’ fan boy.
Tags: Redmint, Redmintlabs, software development for startups, high quality tech teams on demand for startups