User experience (UX) is how you communicate with your users through your product. A powerful UX allows you to keep your userbase satisfied and to focus efforts on continuing to build more functionality into your existing platform. This helps to ensure that you’re not spending all your time dealing with usability problems or training issues. If you’re not putting your users first, you’re setting yourself up to build a product that just isn’t relevant to them. Here are five signs you’re not putting the user first.
Asking Questions Too Late
If you’re not surveying your users throughout the design and development process, then you’re wasting time and money working on something that may not solve the user’s problem. Additionally, if you’re not asking the user what they want to see next from your product, its next phase will be determined by ideas generated in an office. By doing this, you’re going off of feelings, instead of actionable data from the people that use your product every day.
Not Thinking About Accessibility
Accessibility is a big topic. The digital domain is a huge space and you want to be as inclusive as possible. Look at your application using a screen reader or try navigating your application just using a keyboard and foregoing a mouse. See what that experience is like. If you’re not using WAVE or other types of accessibility assessment technologies, it’s possible that you’re alienating part of your user base. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking many key accessibility functionalities.
Chasing Design Trends
Design is always growing and changing. You can’t look at a website from six or seven years ago and not see the influence of Bootstrap and nowadays you’re always seeing the influence of Material UI. These concepts both established common “look and feel” practices for their time. However, when a client comes to me and says, “here’s the next great design concept,” you really have to pause and consider what the effect is of that design on your product. If it’s been built in such a way that it can jump from design to design, that means we haven’t really considered what the product is saying to the customer (which means it’s probably not saying anything at all).
You’re Not Looking at a Range of Users
My current client’s user group ranges from tech savvy 20-somethings to 70-year olds who don’t want to spend any time in an application. Make sure that your personas cover a wide range of users and that you’re getting equal feedback from each group. There may be a persona who takes up the majority of your user group, however, it’s important to get a fair amount of feedback from personas that are in the edge cases because by not incorporating them, you could be making their user experience even more frustrating. Look at the whole person, not just the way they use your application. By looking at the whole person, you take into account their preferences, personalities and experiences.
You’ve Made an “Other” Bucket and You’re Using it
When working on your application’s functionality, part of the job is helping your users easily find what they need. If you’ve created an “other” category that continues to grow, that means your categories aren’t encompassing what the application does. For some clients we work with, their categorization is a reflection of the departments in their company, meaning everyone gets a different part of their website – a different bucket to put their content in. What happens with this approach, though, is that there’s all sorts of shared functionality that doesn’t have a home, so it ends up going into an “other” bucket. Take the time to organize your functionality to help guide your user, not just in a way that’s most convenient for the company.
It’s good to have a foundational element of UX, but by considering these five tips, you can take your user experience to the next level. This will help move you and your product into the future.
About the Author:
Joe Dallacqua is a Senior Principal Consultant and has over 20 years of UX/design experience. He’s worked with Fortune 500 companies, startups and everything in between. Joe is passionate about using storytelling and UX design to solve complex problems.
From Legacy to Leading Edge: Advancing Healthcare Through Legacy App Modernization
The modernization of legacy applications in the healthcare industry represents a particularly acute concern, more so than in any other sector. This article explores why legacy application modernization is a significantly bigger issue in healthcare compared to other industries and outlines strategic steps healthcare organizations can take to address this pressing challenge.
How Can Banks Improve Products for Small Businesses?
Banks are recognizing the growing needs of small businesses are intimately tied to both technological advancements and shifts in consumer behavior. In doing so, they're beginning to tailor their business banking solutions to meet these emerging requirements. In this article, Delivery Executive Kevin Ashworth shares six tools that banks can use to improve their products for small businesses.
Harnessing Technology to Steer Trucking Companies Through Global Supply Chain Uncertainty
A brand new wave of global supply chain challenges is set to significantly impact trucking companies this year. Now, more than ever, companies need to leverage technology to help them navigate these uncertainties. In this article, learn five ways trucking companies can harness technology to manage the challenges they'll face in 2024.
Unlocking the Potential of AI in Enterprise UX
Generative AI use has become widespread for many teams, but have you considered using AI for UI/UX design? For these types of projects, using AI will allow for deeper learning, higher insight and more efficient creative and production processes. In this article, Principal Consultant Ken Otte shares aspects to consider when implementing AI tools in an enterprise UX team.