When you are gut-hooked to an app, where you love it so much, that you actually dwell there day in and day out. So, what hooks you so much to that app? A deeper look into it will tell you that it has got something to do with ‘User Experience’.
Well, then what is ‘User Experience’?
I think it would be better to hear it from the man who invented the term.
In 1993, Don Norman coined the term ‘User Experience’, which also rightfully makes him the first person to have ‘User Experience Architect’ affixed to his job title when he was working for Apple.
And here is what he has to say “I invented the term because I thought Human Interface and Usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a system, including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.”
Okay, so how does it differ from User Interface (UI)?
Firstly UX is not UI. If you have understood it to be the same, well, it’s not. I think we might have to call in Don Norman again to tell us the difference in his own words…
“It’s important to distinguish the total User Experience (UX) from the User Interface (UI), even though the UI is obviously an extremely important part of the design. As an example, consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.”
What it means is that the total user experience is a broader concept, where it goes far beyond giving customers what they want.
On a simpler note, User Experience means understanding the emotions and attitudes of the users and offering them an application that is easy and pleasing to use.
Today, many designers get carried away by focusing on the advanced aspects of UX designing, overlooking the common best practices, leading to fatal errors that could possibly militate the worthiness of an app.
Here, we list out some of the most common mistakes designers tend to make while designing UX.
Mistake 1: Putting User Research in the Back-burner
You don’t design for yourself, do you?
You design for the end users. And when you design for end users the most crucial part is to thoroughly understand them through solid research. If you put research in the back-burner, it means that you are totally ignoring their needs.
- Conduct qualitative and quantitative research to understand users
- Try and rectify problem areas
- Constantly test usability till you get it right
- Create hypothesis for testing issues, and test them diligently
- Above all, carry out Conversations, Expert Interviews and Surveys to understand users better, before you even begin to design
Mistake 2: Compromising on Clarity
It’s such a great feeling to let your creativity fly free. Unfortunately, flashy, out-of-the-box creativity stuff does not necessary contribute to conversions. Choosing creativity over clarity can affect the app’s conversion rate. Since many designers fail to realize this, it has become one of the most common mistakes in the UX designing.
- Conduct a series of tests and heuristic analysis to understand how users react to the app’s navigation.
- Ask users to perform tasks such as login, finding a product or adding a product to the cart etc., within your conversion funnel.
- Check out areas where users are hesitating to click, as this might provide you insights on clarity issues.
It is important that your site or app should be beautiful and stunning, but it should not be at the cost of clarity. It is imperative to place clarity above creativity.
Mistake 3: Complexity
Some designers tend to think complex designs are cool. Well, actually it’s not that cool when it comes to inspiring common users. There are two things that designers have to be careful about while taking the ‘complexity route’.
- Complex navigations
- Breaking Prototypes
Aiming for complex navigations has become a sort of ‘in thing’ in the app world today. Sadly, designers either fail to realize, or are totally ignoring the downsides of this approach. Users don’t come to your app to solve riddles, they come to gain something – quickly and easily. If your app looks like a maze of mystery to even get to the services page, they will be more than happy to dump the app.
Let’s look at the below examples.
If you notice, though the three different screens employ different design elements, their prototype is more or less the same – navigation at the top, a headline followed by a subhead, calls to action are placed in a contrasting color box to accentuate them, videos and other offerings are showcased clearly. And above all the screens are pretty straight forward, giving no room for ambiguity.
from Heydon Pickering, The Paceillo Group
“ Complexity is the most prolific enemy of good user experiences, blighting all kinds of users. Complexity is also one of the hardest things to fix after the fact.
…good planning and the willingness to say “no” in the early stages of a product’s life are the best way to reduce complexity.”
By quoting this I am not implying that these are the hard and fast rules you need to follow while designing your apps, it’s just that there is no harm in implementing standard approach.
Bottom line, the standard approach still works like a charm with end-users.
Mistake 4: Underestimating Fonts
Okay, don’t scroll down yet, thinking it is just about fonts. This mistake might sound menial, but trust me, major hazards are caused by menial things.
There are a ocean of fonts. And be careful while choosing them for your app. Consider this, the fonts should serve a purpose and above all it should support user experience.
Don’t forget that fonts are a piece of software. If the fonts are licensed, it means that you have be cautious. Using a font freely without understanding its license or terms and condition could cost your client dearly, and it could also put designers into a dicey situation.
Use fonts only after you’ve understood its licensing terms. And use them only on purpose.
Mistake 5: The Ad Clutter
Just imagine, how annoying you might get when you are busy with an app screen, then – slowly or suddenly – your entire viewing area is infested with Ads and optimizers trying to lure you to click on call to action buttons?
This is becoming a common trend, but sadly, at the cost of user retention.
Ads and optimizers are fine, but place them strategically as to not to disturb the users’ focus and most importantly, it should not affect the User Experience (UX). A good app development company will take great care avoiding this pitfall.
- Make the user well aware of the ad at the same time not overwhelming them with it.
- Provide them with relevant scroll options so the users still get what they really need on that screen.
Though there might me some credence to the saying that ‘no UX is perfect’, it is imperative for designers to imbibe as much knowledge as possible on what not to do. Since users’ patience and attention span in an app is shrinking, it calls for designers to place user experience at the top of the rung when it comes to retaining users.
Ideaplunge is one of the leading mobile app development companies around, offering services such app development, UI/UX designing and dashboards to startups and enterprises. Our pragmatic UI/UX design approach have earned us a respectable name in the industry.