Posted on May 11, 2012 - by Khaled
UX is not just Usability + accessibility as some think! It is a level up! It may be considered as a compound of HCI, UCD, Usability, Accessibility, UI, IA, Aesthetics, Graphic Design, Web Design, Page behavior and even copywriting. The starting point for UX understanding (and how I knew about it for the first time) would be the diagram of Jessie James Garrett that I stumble upon in the early 2000. But I think it has evolved from that first concept. In my opinion, UX Design is related to all the aspects of the user experience when interacting with the website, the solution, the software, the service, the product etc… And it is dictated by the sought function, the interactive comportment, the final design wanted, the performance optimization and the targeted audience of the solution / Product / Service / Software. It involves all features and characteristics of usability, accessibility and desirability of a solution from the user’s perspective’ / point of view.
Our philosophy has some guiding concepts and principles that are:
The team working on a project has to be formed of individuals of different profiles and that will intervene in their respective layer of UX work. That means that the team working on one project has to agree and to be aware of the decisions of each team member when it comes to their field of expertise. Each member of the team should be able to let other members visualize his work in real time and keep them posted
The team should be able to create different routes and then be able to quickly decide which one is better suited to the project
The team must focus on solving the right problems and answer the right questions starting from the most central problem towards the less important ones.
Identify hypotheses and assumptions
Implement short processes and cycles: Brainstorm > Create > Check/feedback
Research the best source of information and the most reliable and trustworthy content
Involve users in the process of research and results validations.
When it comes to having a successful UX approach, it is vital to carefully consider the expectations and the assumptions of humans that the solution or product target.
For instance, we have developed and launched many e-commerce sites. In many cases we found that the sites’ owners have the assumption that just by having a shopping cart in their solution, customers will line up and buy their items, solutions, services or products. Most of the time they won’t understand the need to implement a whole strategy of UX and find the expenses unjustified! Some of them leave to some other companies and have a plain E-commerce installation and not long after, they will be disappointed! In fact and after audit, we demonstrate that their current “websites” don’t offer any user experience at all (or very little) and hence nobody buys from them. It’s proven through conversions rates that good UX design will always help users with their decisions to buy! “Call to action” incentives are very important here!
Among the assumptions we make I can cite the most important ones:
– Who’s the User? Who’s the client? (characteristics research)
– What’s the use of the considered service/product/ solution?
– Where, how and when is the considered service/product/ solution used?
– What problems does the considered service/product/ solution solve?
– What features of the product/solutions are the most important? Which ones are the less important?
– Considered all of the above, how should the solution / product look, feel, behave, work? (consider style, design, typography, dimensions, shape, colors, behavior…).
This was a fast explanation and some thoughts about UX and our UX process in my agency. Looking forward to hear from you!