How does your iPhone actually work? And how do you reserve a seat on the plane? Everything has been thought about. The user experience is designed in advance. For example, an ordering process may not be too complicated. We call this User Experience (UX) design. It is not a buzz word, but a characteristic trend of today, where the experiences and experiences are paramount.
What is UX design?
UX design is therefore a hot topic, because it makes or breaks a product or service. But the lack of it is often mentioned. But what is User Experience (UX) design? This concept is all about the user experience. That is on the one hand the ease with which an action can be done and on the other hand the feeling that a visitor gets with the use.
The purpose of UX design in the business world is to increase customer satisfaction and to make the customer (or visitor) loyal to the service. To that end, account must be taken of how easy it is to use the service, whether it is useful and how it interacts with the product.
A classic called "Bad Day" from 1997 that displays a moderate user experience (fake by the way)
At UX design we think not only of user-friendliness, but also of performance, ergonomics, marketing, design and aesthetics. It may seem that User Experience design is only meant for the internet, but that is not true. Because we are increasingly moving from a service economy to an experience economy, the experience is also important with physical products. Consider the experience you have with an iPhone, or your ride in the Vogelrok in the Efteling, or the sound of the slamming car door at a BMW. Everything has been thought about and designed.
Yet the emphasis is clearly on online, because products and services are becoming more and more digital, not the other way around. Especially with websites, apps and a personal environment, user experience must be paramount. This applies to all digital channels.
The importance of user experience for companies
Why is a good user experience so important for companies? The main reason is obvious: because as a company you want a customer to return, to become loyal to the company and to have confidence. If a good relationship develops between the customer and the company, the customer will promote the company (word of mouth).
You will also see that the conversion is increasing. This indicates how many visitors ultimately become customers. A high conversion means a better profit. Then it is certainly wise to invest in a UX designer.
For the company itself, user experience design also delivers something: production can be increased. If an employee of a company is annoyed by the failure of a green and yellow system, this is at the expense of productivity. Anyone who has ever reported to the police station knows exactly what I mean. But if the system is designed efficiently and is easy to use, employees are much more eager to get started. Productivity goes up that way. This also applies to customers: if customers find your product handy, they will probably come back.
In short: the user must know exactly how to use the service, website or app. For example, you can display a website very nicely, but it is of little use to you if the visitor has no idea how to use it. This is especially important in web shops: the customer must know exactly how to place an order.
What exactly does a UX designer do?
You probably already get a good idea of what a UX designer does. A UX designer creates user experiences. That happens in a few ways.
- The UX designer analyzes the current user experiences. This way wishes and bottlenecks are known. That is possible on the basis of user experience tests. We will return to this later in this article.
- In addition there improvement plans set up, focused on optimizing the customer journey. This can actively contribute to the conversion optimization and the generation of leads.
- The designer also advises developers and visual designers in the field of user experience. So this is really about managing and sharing knowledge.
- Coordinating user experience initiatives is also part of the designer's duties. He collects ideas and develops them into one concept. Ultimately, the concept is worked on for so long that it is ready for implementation. The designer is responsible for this entire process.
- Before an idea is implemented, the UX designer works in proposals prototypes and wireframes. These are a kind of construction drawings of a web page or application screen. You see the overview of the various components in wireframes.
The tools of the UX designer
The UX designer has a number of tools to design the best possible user experience. We list a few:
1. User personalas
User personalos create imaginary users, including name, face and properties. The idea must match these personas. We sometimes call this a benchmark person. An alliteration helps to remember: Impatient Onnie or Daddy Peter.
2. A / B tests
With A / B tests, a test group tries out two variants of an idea. It is possible that the group is split up and that both groups test one of the two variants. We sometimes call a test with several variants an A / B / n test.
3. Card sortings
Card sorting is often used to design a navigation structure on a website. This is a method whereby respondents must logically group cards with topics. In short: what exactly belongs together? For example, drop-down menus may arise.
Wireframes already passed by in this article. Think of it as construction drawings of a page or screen, where the various parts become visible. You get more insight into the navigation and layout of a page or an app. No attention is paid to graphic aspects, but only to the frame.
5. Mock-ups and prototypes
User Experience designer can use mock-ups for demonstrations, tests, evaluations or promotions. These are models of software applications that are still in an early design process. If the mock-up works well, this is called a prototype.
6. Customer Journey Map
A Customer Journey Map is a visual representation from the customer's point of view. It emphasizes the expectations of the customer and what is needed from the website or the company.