Posts Tagged ‘UX’
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!
Posted on January 29, 2009 - by Khaled
The Beauty and the Web: Thoughts about the importance of the visual aspect in Graphic and Web Design
This was a part of a longer article but it got righteously chunked from it by the publisher to whom I submitted the paper. I chose to post it here as it contains some points that deserve to be shared, and probably discussed, with you.
Nowadays it is obvious that images are very important for humans. On the net Images and graphical interface and presentation are very important components of most of the websites.
Having a well designed site with attractive images that can express a given message will make a huge difference for your visitors and that will probably lead them to have a better opinion about your site and you. The internet is becoming more and more visual, people are making sales or hiring decisions based on the looks and how much your products (and images) can be incorporated and nice to see in their daily life.
So even if you’re a top notch programmer or developer you will need a nice usable front-end! You can have the best of the applications developed but you won’t go far if it does not look good or if it is not useable! If you can’t do it yourself seek help. Graphic designer, artists, User experience designers (UX), Human-computer interaction (HCI) guys are just there for this.
Of course there are multiple definitions and interpretations about beauty and beauty in Graphic/Web Design. But there are simple rules to always respect. For some Graphic design is a type of art while for others it is just a tool or a medium to embellish web sites, web applications, software or documents and to guide the consumer while using them.
Almost everywhere and at anytime visual images are there trying to drag our attention and to persuade us of something! Or may be to amuse and impress us! And any Graphic or artistic web designer try to communicate a message through their production and through a given style they chose.
Another important point is the choice of the right colors palette for the right production whether it is a Web site, a print document or anything else. Colors are very important as they mean something! Yes colors are significant! Just remember that even the flowers colors mean different feelings and mind-sets. The same rule applies for Web and Graphic design. Choose the right color for the right product! Do your research in this field. Don’t create dark Web sites for young teenage girls! Yet don’t create flashy pink business cards for a CEO of a big company! I know I am pushing it to the limit but this is just to caricaturize the mistakes that can be committed when it comes to choosing the right colors.
Try to always be creative and innovative and to align your elements carefully to render something that is coherent and “beautiful” to see.
Just try to put as much time on your images and graphics as you put on your copy and texts. This will have a concrete effect on the way you are perceived by your visitors and potential clients.