Blog

Why is User Experience in Today’s Online World so Important?

UX DesignIn this booming technical world, we encounter so many online experiences while surfing websites, mobile applications, desktop software, and other web applications. The need to create a positive user experience becomes increasingly necessary to consider as all of these interfaces and interactions are being developed.

Why is UX Design so Important?
Although the look-and-feel and branding is of great importance, the UX Design process is of utmost importance to provide a positive user experience. Ultimately a positive experience means better business success. If the users’ experience is positive, then they are more likely to be satisfied and will return again as loyal customers. The goal is to impact behaviors to help users reach their goals by connecting users needs to solutions.

In my past experience, there has been so much emphasis solely on visual design when it comes to designing a new interface. Well, the times have changed, and the need to include a UX Design process is of utmost importance. Planning a technical project ahead is always a better approach.

It all starts with your users’  journey. You will need to establish who your user is!

Who is your user?
You need to understand who your evolving target audience is. A user persona captures your ideal customer profile from data such as demographics and goals, and then you need to predict scenarios of engagement. Once your personas are established, you can better serve your audience goals by catering to those specific users’ expectations.

User Research and Surveys
Another effective way to establish the success of your users’ experience is by observing and studying the interaction of your users during interviews. A successful user researcher can gain valuable insights to what works and doesn’t work for a layout and interaction.

User Journey Mapping and Flow Diagrams
The next step is to take the information that you gathered to create your user personas, and create flow charts that show how your user will travel through your new layout and interface. You can test these flow charts to see if your user agrees that the intended journey is a positive experience. If they have constructive criticism, then you can simply iterate the flow chart with better possible solutions.

Sitemaps and Wireframes
Organizing the hierarchy of your content is also key to a successful user experience. This sitemap hierarchy is a sample walk-through of your interfaces navigation, pages and sub pages, or layers. At this sitemap stage, establish if the organization makes sense and emphasizes the content appropriately, making sure that all content areas are included and addressed. Once the sitemap is tested and approved, wireframes can be created to establish the specific details and visual framework intended for your website, or application interface. Continue testing at this stage to optimize effective usability.

Prototypes and Design
After the wireframes are reviewed, tested, and approved, the design fun begins! Your designer can understand the overall scope of the projects goals by using the persona, journey mapping, sitemaps, wireframes, and branding, to confidently create appealing visual prototypes and mockups. These prototypes can also be further built out as interactive samples for review and testing, using special UX design tools such as InVision. All of these steps are absolutely necessary before handing off to the developers to create code.

A Collaborative Process for UX Designer to Work with Coder before Development Begins
Overall, UX Designers need to collaborate and communicate with developers early in the process to establish any technical constraints or opportunities at the planning stage. It is important that your project goals also fit into budgets, timeline and schedule. There is always project scope creep, so the more planning on paper and the more these UX Design processes are put into place, the more efficient and successful the results of your project outcome.

Is it time to revisit your application’s layout and usability? It’s an important step, and can be very effective to improve your ultimate goals. Think about how usability can be used to improve an experience for your users!

Suki Soltysik

Read More

Have You Considered These Mobile UX Design Essentials for 2018?

Mobile technology is continuously evolving and mobile UX design is constantly adapting to these new demands and changes. Here are some of the mobile trends arising for 2018:

Minimal User Journey
The fastest and most direct interaction is key for measuring success for your design. The main goal is for your user to leave with a satisfied experience.

Prominent Content Easily Viewed
The importance of your design is not just to be aesthetic and attractive, but it is also important that the content needs to drive a lead or make a contact. The content needs to be concise and needs to influence user to make the interaction. Less is more.

Animation for Hidden Interactions
The mobile interface needs to optimize the screen space, so using animation can help user navigate and interact through hidden screens.

Color for Drawing Attention
Proper use of color can help indicate progress, status, and emphasis for your user to better understand any notifications or directions within their experience.

Expressing Emotions
Users are used to feeling and expressing their emotions with their online experience.
Integrating emotion based responses and interactions may appeal to your users.

Video, Video, Video!
Video immerses your user through visuals and audio messaging, which inherently, is easier for your audiences to remember.

Voice-Based Interactions
Having the ability to dictate actions through voice creates for a convenient way to interact, versus the otherwise graphical user interface.

Location Based Personalization
The key is relevance. By personalizing your mobile outreach based on location, you can reach the members of your audience in a particular place or region with relevant information.

Quick Payments
This trend is to make payment fast and seamless with little to no effort to making a financial transaction. But of course, designers will need to keep in mind making sure users are making informed and intended choices, and verified properly.

Inclusive Design for Accessibility and Impairments
It is very important to design and create a fully accessible and inclusive online experience for users with visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive disabilities.

Stay tuned as I continue to follow more UX Design trends as they arise on the horizon!

Suki Soltysik

Read More

Your Design Palette Is All Around You

design palette in colorful sunset Take a walk, and you will be wrapped by nature’s perfect designs everywhere. This perfect harmony is above you, below you, around you, and throughout you. It is beauty all around you. The sky above is permeated with a vast wash of colors that change throughout the day, providing a calm sense of space and openness. This balance of atmosphere and color is very subtle, and minimal on purpose. It provides the necessary soft contrast to a backdrop of other natural elements that are more dynamic, with darker colors, rougher textures, and greater details. Nature’s landscape is in perfectly balance. Learn to appreciate the harmony of these natural palettes and embrace that “less is more” is the best tip for design. As a designer, do not try to force too many colors, too many textures, too much variation of stylistic elements, or fonts. Subtlety is best.

It is also particularly important to maintain empty white space in your design- that solid, or often white space, will be soothing to the eye and provides necessary structure, separating important copy, or details from other visuals. Too much clutter on the page only creates tension and disharmony. Learn to look. Notice the colors around you, and notice how they change throughout the day, throughout the seasons, throughout time, and weathering. The changes, no matter how drastic, still remain in perfect beautiful balance.

A fun experiment is to take a photo outside in nature, then choose your palette for your project directly from the colors of your photo. You will be surprised how simple it is to let nature guide your expertise for balance and developing a perfect aesthetic to the eye. Try it, and see if it works for your next design!

Read More
Contact:

Suki Soltysik
UX Designer
suki@sukidesign.com

 

My Tools
  • Usability Protocols
  • Persona Creation
  • Information Site Architecture
  • Journey Mapping
  • User Flows/Wireframes
  • Affinity Diagramming
  • Prototyping
  • Balsamiq
  • InVision Studio
  • Sketch
  • Axure
  • HTML/CSS
  • Dreamweaver
  • WordPress
  • Scrum-Agile Framework
  • Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Adobe Illustrator CC
  • InDesign CC