In our last article we spoke about why exactly you should give a @#$% about the User Interface of your mobile, which you can read here and this week we are going to tackle the BIG thing – User Experience.
Okay, before we get into the topic, I want you to take a second and think what exactly you think UX means.
Most of the people think that user experience means offering the users a pretty and simple layout of the app – well, what you are thinking there, my friend, is the UI! UX is far beyond just the looks of an application. It is a process that starts from the research stage of your idea that gradually develops until the final outcome.
So, what exactly is UX?
It is not quite possible to give a one sentence answer for this. UX is many things. To give you a text book answer,
“User experience (UX) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.”
Did you understand it? No you didn’t!
Basically, UX is making sure you make a product that is easy to use, easy to understand and keeps the user happy from the beginning to the end. This can be across any platform, with any product.
Since the concept of UX is rather vague, there are so many misconceptions about this along with people referring to completely different concepts as User Experience. Let me take you through the true concept of UX by telling you what it isn’t!
1. UX is not UI
As I mentioned in the beginning as well, mistaking UI as UX happens even to the best of people! Well it’s okay as long as you are never going to do it again after reading this article. (No excuses after!)
First of all, User Interface indeed plays a big part in giving a good user experience. However, there is much more. It is everything from the cosmetic aspects, placement of buttons, product design, copy writing, text placement and more. It is not always about the size of your logo, it’s how you position it! 😉
While the UI designer does the best part in UI, UX appeals to everyone from the initial market research team to the developers.
UI is about the looks, while UX is about the performance and what is inside. UI maybe skin deep, but UX is a lot more than that!
2. UX is not only about the Usability
Now that you have understood UX is a lot more than looks, you’d probably tell me that it is about usability. Well, yes and no. Usability, again, plays a major part in developing a great user experience, but it is not only about an efficient navigation as well.
A good UX development procedure includes a deep understanding about your user. Your user experience should completely focus the audience that you target. You need to think differently when you target an audience of fashion savvy young professionals than when you make a product for working mothers. It is not always about offering the fastest way to get from point A to point B.
3. UX is not just another step in your developing process
Here is the thing, User Experience is THE most important process that starts from the inception of your app idea to the final outcome. You don’t just add a few thoughts on UX when you create the app, but you completely place your thought and work process around achieving the best user experience as you develop the app. In order to create a great experience for your users, you need to not merely design something that they would like to use, you need to keep listening and iterating.
You cannot just do it and move on. It should be integrated to each and every decision you make, and everything that you do. It is a very flexible process that gradually develops to giving birth to a app that will sell!
4. UX is not only about technology
Terms like UX and UI are extremely connected with tech related things, that people tend to forget that there is a bigger psychological aspect to them than technological. User Experience is about how your user thinks, how they behave, what they do, how they live and just everything that surrounds them. That is why it is extremely important that you understand your user well in order to give them a good user experience.
Your primary objective in UX is to help your user in going through your app with ease and satisfaction, it is not always about making great technology.
5. UX is not only about the User!
Wait, what? How is it possible that USER experience is not only about the user?
Good question! I am glad you asked.
What I am trying to explain here is that there are many other business objectives to be kept in mind when designing the user experience strategy of an app. When that happens, there are times that you cannot always do what is best for the users. Sometimes you have to try to make sure that you are presenting an overall experience that can meet as many goals and needs as possible for both the business and the users. (It’s okay! You are still going to Heaven.)