We’ve all heard of UX design, but what does it mean? Why is it important? And why does every designer need to know about UX? This article will guide you through some of the most important principles and laws of UX design and explain why every designer should be familiar with them, even if they don’t specialize in UX design specifically.
What is User Experience?
User experience is a broad term that refers to our emotional and behavioral responses as we use a product, system or service. A positive user experience encourages customer loyalty, repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising. The term user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products. According to some experts, good user experience should be simple, useful, satisfying and memorable. A bad user experience can result in customer dissatisfaction or even loss of customers.
Principle #1 – A good user experience depends on content quality
A good user experience starts with a clear idea of what you’re trying to communicate. Whether it’s a single page or 100,000-page site, there has to be a well-thought-out editorial strategy guiding its creation. It all starts with quality content and ends with your users’ understanding that content. Remember: If you don’t have anything useful or relevant to say, no amount of design will make up for that fact.
Principle #2 – Solve problems, don’t just avoid them
If your design doesn’t solve a problem, it probably won’t be used. Great user experience design helps people accomplish their goals quickly and easily. Think about it: would you use a bike that didn’t allow you to move? How about a car without an engine? No matter how pretty or smooth something looks, if it doesn’t solve your problem, you won’t use it.
Principle #3 – Create designs that are consistent, clear, and predictable
Your users should never be surprised by something they see on your site. It should always be clear what will happen when they click on a button, hover over a link, or enter a specific page on your site. This means you should make all user interface elements consistent and clear throughout your site. It also means you should avoid surprising users with something new or unpredictable when they complete a task, such as adding an item to their shopping cart.
Principle #3 – Use technology appropriately
Technology is not a cure-all, but can help enhance usability, information architecture and user experience. It’s important to understand that implementing new technology is not just about following trends. Rather, it’s about what will work best for your users and supporting your business goals. You need to choose appropriate solutions, rather than simply using new technology for its own sake or worse—because everyone else seems to be doing it.
Principle #4 – Learn from others
While it’s important for designers to experiment with a variety of techniques, it’s also vital for them to observe what other designers are doing. A good place to start is by looking at work from other designers in your field. Once you see what’s working and what isn’t, you can begin experimenting on your own by taking new approaches and improving upon past concepts. Your goal should be innovation, but learning from others is essential for making that happen.
It’s important that UI/UX designers are aware of these basic rules, but ultimately, creating great user experiences comes down to knowing your target audience and speaking their language. You need to know what they like, what motivates them, and how you can help them achieve their goals. Good design means thinking like a user. Keeping these laws of UI/UX design in mind will help you do just that—keep it simple and keep your users happy!