Do I really need to worry about UX?
Is good UX a requirement you can do without? As our UX design team builds, we check in with the Fastdev UX hive mind (UXhm) to discover just why our sharpest, smartest, and most successful clients pay serious attention to UX.
FD: How do you best define UX? Isn’t it just an umbrella term for multiple disciplines?
UXhm: Yes and no. We now interact with the web and our digitally based products so much that UX or ‘user experience’ has become increasingly important. The need boils down to the question – how good an experience can your user have with your product? Our job is to make sure that it’s the best possible experience. However, there are many subdivisions to ensure that the experience is good.
FD: So there are many different areas of UX design to consider, for example?
Working with Content Strategy, UX research and Information Architecture
UXhm: Well to start with, ‘UX Content Strategy’. First, deeply consider your content. Where do you want you want your content to lead? You’ll have a hard time creating a good user experience when it comes to your product without considering this first.
FD: But once you have a strategy you don’t just build and deliver the product, there’s more isn’t there?
UXhm: For sure. There’s UX Research, hugely important. Without the research, it’s very hard to ensure that users’ needs are met with a User Interface (UI) that feels intuitive. Additionally, of course, through research, you need to find out if users will enjoy the experience at all.
FD: How about IA or Information Architecture, how does that fit in?
UXhm: IA is an area where you decide precisely where and how on a given page, screen, or throughout a website, information will be displayed. IA optimises the experience. Next of course is Product Design and several other steps too.
FD: Are there any particular areas of UX that people should pay more attention to?
What is a Design System?
UXhm: A ‘Design System’ is a key area that people should pay more attention to. In the past companies would usually have graphic guidelines, these would have generally been produced with print in mind. They would explain just what you needed to think about when it came to all the graphic elements that might govern your company’s brand. Now we think in a far more holistic way.
We try to give the client a framework from which they can work and take into account elements such as how to design, realize and develop a product. In a ‘Design System,’ you get tools for designers and developers, patterns, components, guidelines…
Additionally, some more abstract elements such as brand values, shared ways of working, and mindset.
FD: So what is good UX?
UXhm: You should feel in control of your experience. You should not be confused by your experience with a product.
There shouldn’t be a strong contrast between the way you interact with the product and the way you do with other ‘intuitive’ interfaces. There should be consistency and efficacy of use. Ultimately, these are the areas that good UX strives to deliver on.