User Experience

User Experience and its importance

UX is all about catering the design of a products or service to fit the needs users.

User Experience Designers had to start thinking about how people interact with those same products. They make those interactions as intuitive and straightforward as possible.

Wireframes and prototypes are a crucial component of any design process. They allow UX designers to quickly communicate and test their ideas with teammates, stakeholders, and potential users.

Wireframes and prototypes can be as simple as a Post-It note of a single mobile screen to a high-fidelity digital mockup of an entire product.

UX Design can be divided into four main disciplines:

  1. Experience Strategy,
  2. Interaction Design,
  3. User Research,
  4. Information Architecture.

UX Experience Research Fundamentals

UX Research is all about thoroughly understanding who is involved with what you’re building. Three are the major ways that UX research help business:

  1. Increasing Customer happiness;
  2. Saving process costs;
  3. Uncovering opportunities to earn more.

Usability Tests

Usability testing is one of the most frequently used methodologies in UX research. Traditionally, a

moderator asks participants to perform tasks, observes where they run into trouble or questions, and asks

follow-up questions to understand their thought process. Usability tests can also be done without direct

moderation and can be done in person or remotely. Usability tests can be done on any live site or piece of

software, including competitors’ products, or on a prototype of any fidelity.

Usability tests can be used to help you choose between design alternatives. They are also particularly

effective for discovering issues that impede the experience.

Interviews

Interviewing is a widely used technique to gather qualitative information from participants. Just as it

sounds, you sit down with participants and ask them open-ended questions about their needs, goals, and

motivations. When possible, you interview them in the place where they would be actually interacting

with whatever you plan to build and observe their natural behavior. This is referred to as an ethnographic

interview or contextual inquiry. Ethnographic research is where you’re able to visit users in the field rather

than perform testing in a formal lab. However, you can also do interviews remotely.

Interviews are used to learn about different types of users and the way they behave and to gauge their

outlook or impressions of specific items. Interviews are especially helpful in creating personas.

Card Sorts

Card sorts are a particular quantitative method used to help determine categorization and hierarchy when

evaluating information architecture. There are two categories: open and closed. In an open card sort, you

ask participants to categorize elements you need to organize into whatever groupings they think make

sense and then label them. If you already have a set navigation or hierarchy, you give people the existing

structure and ask them to place elements within the buckets. This is called a closed card sort. Once you

have your navigation structure set, you can perform what’s called a tree test, where you ask people to find

particular elements using your navigation.

All these methods help you define and refine your organizational structure.

Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is a method where you utilize equipment that captures and analyzes where a person is

looking. There is also technology that can capture and analyze the clicking and scrolling behaviors of

users, which is usually referred to as click tracking or scroll tracking. These are especially useful for live

websites, software, and applications, but you can also do click tests of nonlive designs. You get a true

understanding of what actions users are taking without having to rely on their memory or ability to self

report. However, this type of research cannot tell you why users are behaving a certain way.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is a method where you create several different versions of something and compare

which one does the best job at hitting your goal. For instance, you may change a button to three different

colors and see which gets the most sign-ups on a page. If you’re only comparing two items, this is called

an A/B test.

You always perform multivariate tests on live sites or products. You’re always looking to optimize

performance, whether that means creating the most clicks, conversions, signups, or other action.

Desirability Studies

Desirability studies allow you to ensure that your visuals match your brand goals and evoke the desired

emotional response. There are several variations, but the most common is that you show participants the

variations of visual designs and ask them to select which words best describe each. The list of words you

give them is based on the words that best describe your brand goals and

Expert Reviews and Heuristic Analyses

Expert reviews, also sometimes called heuristic analyses, are detailed assessments of an interface, service,

or product conducted by someone trained in current user experience best practices. The reviewer will

compare the service or interface against the best practices and make recommendations to improve it

based on those criteria. A traditional heuristic review requires several UX professionals to perform reviews

and compare notes. Though in practice, there is usually only time for one person to perform such a

detailed assessment, which is then usually called an expert review.

Expert reviews are typically a fast way to ensure that whatever you’re building generally follows users’

expectations and industry best practices. The only thing you need to get started is access to the interface

you want to assess and a set of heuristics, or best practices.

Surveys

Surveys used in the UX research world are no different than other surveys; you craft a list of questions

designed to gather certain facts or opinions from a targeted list of people. Many user experience

professionals integrate various types of questions into surveys, such as text questions about demographics

or first-click or desirability tests. You can quickly get data that is either quantitative or qualitative using

surveys.

Expert Reviews and Heuristic Analyses

Expert reviews, also sometimes called heuristic analyses, are detailed assessments of an interface, service,

or product conducted by someone trained in current user experience best practices. The reviewer will

compare the service or interface against the best practices and make recommendations to improve it

based on those criteria. A traditional heuristic review requires several UX professionals to perform reviews

and compare notes. Though in practice, there is usually only time for one person to perform such a

detailed assessment, which is then usually called an expert review.

Expert reviews are typically a fast way to ensure that whatever you’re building generally follows users’

expectations and industry best practices. The only thing you need to get started is access to the interface

you want to assess and a set of heuristics, or best practices.

Diary Studies

Diary studies involve asking participants to record their behaviors or thoughts on a given topic at specific

points over time, such as asking people to record each time they use a specific app. You can provide the

same set of tasks or questions for them to adhere to at regular times (which is typically called a structured

diary study) or just give them guidelines about how often they should be checking in. You can collect the

data in any number of ways, from having participants take pictures to just sending email updates. Diary

studies can be used for anything from understanding the context of how something is being used in real

life to watching how behaviors change over time.

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