Intro – The basics of user experience design
The world around us has entered a digital era, with various new technologies with applications. The number of apps and websites has grown exponentially, providing a vast scope for digital products in user engagement. With such a scenario, the concept and the key elements of UX design have come under the limelight.
UX design encompasses various elements that determine a user’s feelings while communicating with a product, keeping in mind the multiple aspects of the user’s psychological journey.
The focus of UX has always been on having an in-depth understanding of the users: their needs, values, abilities, and limitations. Key elements of UX design also takes business goals and other objectives managing the project into account. The key elements of UX design also promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction and perceptions of the product.
Amongst the most often asked question apart from key elements of UX design, people usually google what element of user experience design would the design strategy fall under? The answer is none! Design strategy defines the various aspect of the UX before initiating the design phase giving the UX designer/team a direction for the design, whereas the key elements of UX design are rather best practices that any UX designer/tam incorporate in their design to make it resonate better with the users.
Another question people often pose online is the types of user experience. Again, there are no user experience types, as UX is an amalgamation of many different disciplines that shape a product, service, gadget or even new technology we use in our daily lives. Even if I partake in this conversation for argument, one could categorise it based on the industry. Still, an experience is just an experience, whether you have it at your dinner table or your mobile phone.
Come on, folks. Its google! Not god. Also, one should not make up thing that does not exist just for the sake of curiosity or argument.
That being said, let us move on to the key elements of UX design.
Key elements of UX design
I am about to mention some of the key elements of UX design. One can think of these as best practices also, as these aspects typically influence the design process and are used as such in the industry majorly.
Does the product do something people need?
One of the key elements of UX design is usefulness. It is a bit too obvious, but the product, be it a website or an app, needs to be useful to the user. Otherwise, why would they use it?
Can the user figure out how to use the product?
One of the key elements of UX design is learnability. If one has ever played Flappy Birds, then he/she would know that no matter how good the game is, if one doesn’t understand the rules, they won’t be able to win. Similarly, if the user cannot figure out how the product works, they will never be able to use it. One way around this is by creating a UI Design that helps the users accomplish basic tasks the first time. It’s is advised to take advantage of already learned behaviour and pre-established ideas if the app is for a specific genre. If the system is complex, then maybe one should consider a demo mode to educate users.
Does the user has to relearn each time they use the product?
Another one of the key elements of UX design is memorability. Re-establishing proficiency is imperative to the users who return after a while.
Does the product get the job done?
One of the many key elements of UX design is effectiveness.
Several goals are set out at the beginning of the project. The product: website or app should be regularly tested against those said goals to keep it practical. A few ways to do it is through analytics, surveys or user feedback.
Does the product accomplish the user’s task with minimum time and effort?
One of the many key elements of UX design is efficiency. By refining the product’s user experience, the UX designer/team can help the user accomplish their tasks faster or with less effort than the competitor. A recommended way to do it is through A/B testing as precise changes can be made, making the UX more efficient.
Do users want the product?
One of the many key elements of UX design is desirability. Take e-commerce, for example, Flipkart and Amazon; both sell the same thing, but Amazon seems to be more popular of the two. It isn’t easy to pinpoint precisely what makes a product desirable. Desirability is often had to do with the organisation’s image and reputation, provoking a specific response in the user.
Is using the product enjoyable?
One of the many key elements of UX design is delight. Successful products usually have this aura of delightfulness that excites the user, making it a conversation-worthy topic amongst peers. It purely depends on how smooth or easy-to-use the product is or how it delivers on its promise.
UX design principles
Like key elements of UX design, UX design principles are also vital intents that help create an easy-to-use and pleasurable design as the UX designer/team selects, designs, and organises features for the product.
[Image – Modern-design-principles]
So let me give you a brief about these UX design principles –
Understand User Behaviour
An in-depth understanding of the user’s behaviour through interviews, surveys and analytic can help during the ideation and execution of a seamless UX that will be invisible to the user.
Let’s take the example of PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds Mobile Vs Call of Duty Mobile. Even though both are online battle royale for mobile, PUBG ruled the gaming scene until it got banned. The reason is simple – accomplishing tasks were more straightforward on PUBG compared to COD Mobile. That is the hallmark difference between great and good user experience. Make sure to think of functionalities as a process and help users achieve their tasks in lesser clicks.
Deal With Error Effectively
Errors are a part of the experience. However, any great design would manage errors effectively without frustrating the users. If not handled well carefully, users can abandon the website/app. On the other hand, establishing relevance can lead to delightful user experience.
For further clarity on UX design principles, please read our blog on The ABCs of Design Principles.
Excellent UX design makes the product/website easy-to-use, offering a delightful experience that does not confuse the user. The key elements of UX design that I spoke of in this post can help one create a foundation to ensure that the product has a successful footprint.
So what are the key elements of UX design? Ensure your product is useful, learnable, memorable, effective, efficient, desirable and delightful to begin with!