A new product design is a complex task that can mislead even a very experienced UX designer. Even a well-thought-out concept might be spoilt if implemented without thinking about users’ needs, the way they will accept and use the product. To make everything right from the very beginning, follow these basic UX tips that will help you gain a truly user-oriented experience in anything you build.
#1 Define the target audience: user types
First, determine who will use it and for what purposes. Some marketing specialists suggest creating a user profile that includes information about user’s age, lifestyle, habits, and social status. Actually, this approach works out well. Still, when we talk about UX, there is a better solution.
To prioritize the content and work out the structure of your product, analyze your users and group them by their interests, intentions or goals. You can be guided by such questions as: Why are people using your product? What are they looking for? In reality, the behaviour of users is unpredictable as some might be killing their time, while others comparing your offer with that of your competitors, or looking for something particular. You are recommended to take such facts into account. In addition, think about where and how users might interact with your product, and to which extent every single feature might be of any help or sense to them. Grouping users like this will give you a valuable insight into how your product should be built to fulfill their needs. Also, you can use behavioral patterns, which in most cases prevail over such parameters as age and social status.
#2 Do not guide the user…
…but let the user guide you. Having user groups at hand, you possess rather valuable information – use it to determine how people will engage with your product.
It is a common practice for custom software design and development to apply user behavior scripts that comply with design principles of the majority of products. Though the scripts are helpful, still why not step out of this path. Try to anticipate users’ behavior otherwise, namely let them show you the path they want to follow.
#3 Keep everything simple
Always put yourself in the user’s shoes and remember to keep everything as simple as possible. Indeed, users can always refer to the “Help” section for any assistance, but nobody wants to waste time on figuring the right thing out. Stick to intuitive navigation so that users deal with features and find a necessary piece of information there where it is expected to be. Once your product is ready, review your work several times. There is often something you can do better – improve the product leaving no room for confusion or frustration of users.
#4 Don’t ignore introductions
Pay special attention to the homepage or a splash screen as it welcomes users and introduces your product to them. The first impression matters. From the very start customers can see whether your product is suitable for them and fulfills their needs. This is the reason why you should keep the message clear and concise to leave an enduring impression.
#5 Follow the principle of responsiveness
People will not stick to one device using your product – consider user experience on all possible gadgets. Take into account that your product is expected to look and function properly on desktop and mobile devices as well as across different platforms. The easiest way is to resort to responsive design.
Responsive design implies creating optimized products with flexible layouts, easily adjustable to any screen size. The user wants to read the text without zooming, have enough space for tap targets, and access all the content without horizontal scrolling. Following responsive design, it is easy to meet all of these needs.
#6 Improve readability
Poorly placed content in a perfectly adjusted interface jeopardizes everything. It’s not enough just to construct a perfect experience-based structure. You also need to arrange the content in such a way so that the user feels comfortable while interacting with your product and enjoys skimmable reading to the full.
If you are not adept in content writing, you can still improve its basic readability. Pay attention to:
- Text amount. Too lengthy texts discourage readers. Bear in mind that the text size affects comprehension.
- Text structure. Text divided into paragraphs is much easier to read. Also, think about using bullet points in lists.
- Text formatting. Remember that underlined text resembles a hyperlink, and users might find this misleading.
- Text color. It is obvious but yes, a vivid text is easy to read only when it’s really big. Otherwise, stick to more traditional decisions, for instance, having black text on a white background.
#7 Provide integration with other apps and services
Your product is a solution to someone’s needs. Due to increasing mobility nowadays, people tend to prefer when the solution they use too often for their specific needs is integrated with other important services. Think about the application integration capabilities.
Recall the moment how convenient it was to share links or photos from the browser with any messenger on your smartphone, or how handy it is to open files choosing some suitable applications on your computer. Always put yourself in the users’ shoes and think about interoperability while designing your product.
#8 Think over call to action elements
Call-to-action elements do not only encourage users to do something particular but also help them navigate through the content. Let’s take a webpage as an example. Buttons and other elements with action words help users get where they want to. A poorly designed call-to-action element can have the opposite effect.
When creating buttons and other interactive elements, think about the message. To deliver it properly, look at the co-text of the message and some other important features:
- The background color of a call-to-action element affects the overall presentation. Examine the psychology of color and test different options to find out the best solution.
- Word choice is another important thing to consider. You should definitely use verbs that induce users to act but also think about emotions the words evoke. With the help of wisely chosen action words you can show that you care.
#9 Differentiate hyperlinks
If you add a link to another resource, make sure that users see and understand it. Add common visual cues to your links so that people can easily identify them. Since underlined text resembles a hyperlink, you may adopt a different approach and choose an eye-catching font color. Be careful anyway. People are used to the underlined blue text, and reinventing the wheel can cause a negative effect – it is better not to exploit user expectations.
One more thing to take into account is the length of a hyperlink. Be certain that it is long enough for users to identify it and comfortably click it. For instance, “Click here” is not as convenient to spot and click on and as “Read this guide to learn more about UX”.
#10 Scrolling VS clicking
When designing a product for any purpose, be it commercial, informational or any other, think what type of information scanning is better. Scrolling is now represented on the majority of websites and it is considered to be a new norm. Scrolling is natural and requires no extra action, it allows users to see more content in a shorter period of time. Applying scrolling, you can keep users in one place, thus ensuring greater visibility of the key elements, for example, call-to-action buttons.
Unlike scrolling, clicking requires taking an extra step and may lead the user from the current location to a new one. In this case, you may distract the user’s attention with the content in the parental place. Also, people who look for particular information, want to see it without leaving the current place. So there must be a reason for applying clicking. Think twice before making a decision.
As you see, all these tips promote the same idea – always strive to create better experiences for your users. To enjoy a positive outcome, try to look at your product through their eyes, follow the most natural approaches, and remember to keep everything simple. If you look for seasoned UX designers to deliver unmatched user experience to your solution, contact Softvelopers. Our specialists are always aware of the current design trends, know the latest technologies and always understand the needs of future users.