What is User Experience (UX)?
User experience – UX, for short – is how a person feels when interacting with a digital product. UX encompasses a lot of factors, some that are controllable by designers and developers and some that are environmental or just user preference. These factors include usability, accessibility, performance, design/aesthetics, utility, ergonomics, overall human interaction and marketing.
There is a common misconception that UX and Usability are one of the same. Whilst they are most definitely related, UX is the experience, emotion, intuition and connection a user feels when using a site or product. Usability is focussed more on the effectiveness of a site design and how user-friendly it is. Usability is a key component of the overall user experience.
Why UX is important
We consider a well considered UX design is just as important as a good visual identity. It doesn’t matter what your website, software or app looks like if people don’t know how to interact with it. They need to enjoy that interaction in order for your business to convert to your goal, whatever that may be.
Whilst UX should be a key consideration for all projects, it is especially key for complex sites with multiple layers of content where users must be able to easily navigate the site and understand how to use it. Neglecting UX can result in a frustrating site that people will not come back to. Developing an all-engaging experience will drive users back to a site and drive you business.
UX and mobile devices
No longer is it a case of asking whether special UX consideration for the mobile device is required, we know the answer is yes. Statistics from Comscore demonstrate that we're now past the mobile tipping point and there are now more mobile users than desktop, and the gap between to two is surely set to continue to grow.
We must rework navigation areas, focusing on the delivery of key content to the forefront of the mobile users vision. We have to consider the primary needs of a mobile user, which may well be different to that of the desktop user. For example, there's a good chance a mobile user may find location specific content more valuable than that of a desktop user, perhaps directions or a 'find your nearest' function.
The limited size and touch screen interface of mobile and tablet devices provide us with some unique considerations. Desktop users have a much wider area of content to digest content using functions such a 'mouse hover' over elements for further information, whereby mobile users are restricted to a much smaller area and as such as forced to interact in a different way. However, size constraints are only half of the challenge we face with UX on the mobile device. The other main challenge is communicating information. We all know the saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words', well this is because the brain interprets visual information much faster than words. With this in mind it is critical on the mobile device to use visuals and imagery to efficiently deliver content. Well considered visual styling will add value, support the goals of the site or app, and ultimately improve the overall user experience.
Please take a moment to view Our Work to see how we have embraced UX in other developments.