It is no surprise to say that for quite some time now, the business world has been thinking about its customer, its user, or its buyer at its core. It is thanks to this way of approaching products and services that companies are focusing more and more on analyzing, knowing, investigating, and finally satisfying their users as much as possible.
Software development and web development are no exceptions. Carrying out projects and developments is rarely done without having the user as the focus. For the development of software or a web, although many disciplines are necessary, there are two main actors that we can call: The developer and the UX designer.
Today we will try to explain the functions of the UX designer, some good practices, and why it is important in the development process.
What is UX Design?
We can say that user experience refers to everything a user experiences before, during, and after using a product. However, to talk about user experience design we must develop the subject a little more and touch on several concepts.
The user experience design or UX design is leveraged in several disciplines focused on the different stages, the different aspects of the user experience, and the different needs that each project may require.
To be better positioned, we will define two complementary concepts: User interface (UI) and usability.
What is the user interface?
It refers to all the elements with which the user interacts, what he sees, what he touches inside the web, the app or the software you develop. Here you will find visual and graphical elements with which you will shape the user experience.
What is usability?
According to Jacob Nielsen, considered by many to be a master when it comes to usability, he defines it as a quality attribute for the ease of use of something.How easy it will be for a user to take advantage of all the features a product has.
let’s talk about user-centered design or UDC. It is the way to cover the whole design process focusing on the user. How will they feel when using your product or service, how easy will they find the information they need, and how enjoyable is their navigation. It is the way you will seek to satisfy the needs that your user has.
Once we understand that we must pay almost all our attention to our users, we can talk about UX design, and to start we will quote a master in this art, Peter Morville.
7 factors of UX design.
- Useful: If your product is not useful, you shouldn’t even bring it to market. Look for it to have a purpose.
- Usable: This aspect refers to the user’s ability to use the product effectively and efficiently.
- Findable: In addition to referring to the product being easy to find, it talks about how the information within the user experience also has to be presented in such a way that it is not at all complicated to find.
- Credible: It is impossible to lie to users in today’s world, a product that they cannot trust, or whose information is dubious is destined to fail.
- Desirable: This aspect points to the design itself, its aesthetics, its image, the brand, and its identity. The emotional design that attracts the user and makes them promote your product
- Accessible: To make the experience usable for all users, even those with disabilities. Thinking in this way of designing is not only inclusive but often leads to an easier experience for all users in general.
- Valuable: This aspect has a double meaning, to make your design valuable for your business and at the same time valuable for the user.
The UX design process can vary according to the resources you have, the time you have, and the team you have. In turn, depending on the company, integrating UX design into software development can be complicated if you are not used to it. However, there are some steps to follow to perform a good UX design. It should be noted that all the work of a UX designer usually goes hand in hand with a development team, and their processes may be different or not always go hand in hand. It is always recommended that they work in harmony and work side by side.
UX design process:
This is the cornerstone of a good UX design, its objective is to discover how the user thinks, what he needs, his motivations, his discomfort, his goals, and what he is looking for. If you don’t know this in-depth, the whole approach to the design and development of your product is destined to fail.
Avoid going out to design or develop based on your own feelings or assumptions without research.
Analysis and planning
Objectives of your product, what you want to achieve, your goals, analyze how the information will be arranged, as well as what information will be displayed.
In this stage, you will also seek to diagram how the steps will be followed when executing the development and design of the product.
It seeks to put together a mock-up or sketch of what the product will look like. Show its functions and basic navigation, here you can also add all the graphic aspects, such as brand identity, color range, etc.
Here we test with real users, analyze their feedback, and monitor their experience and activity. There are several testing tools, such as attendance tracking, and heat maps, along with surveys and interviews with those who tested your product.
The UX design aims to facilitate the user experience, make it enjoyable and solve the problems you have, but in the end, what it seeks is that your product is successful and therefore your business is successful too.
Generate a good experience, that the user remembers and is involved with your product and your brand, not only extremely useful for the user, but also for your business, the satisfaction they have with your product can lead them to choose you over the competition.