User experience. User interface. User experience design. These have become common buzz words in the digital era. What do they really mean though? Are UX and UI the same thing?
User experience (UX)
Given the popularity yet confusion surrounding user experience we have decided to solve the doubts once for all.
Definition: What is user experience?
UX, user experience is made of all the interactions a user has with a product or service. It is the personal, internal experience customers go through when using a product.
Let’s take as an example an e-commerce website. If a customer finds the buying experience to be long, complex and complicated, then her UX will be a bad one. Say instead her purchasing experience is easy and hustle free, the the UX will be considered a good one.
What is the difference between UX and UI?
While UX is the internal experience of customers as they interact with any aspect of a product/service, UI is the sum of all the visual elements of a product/service. UI is all about screens, pages, icons.
What is a UX design process?
User Experience design process is a long process vital for firms. It consists of many different steps:
Market research and product development. Obviously, there must a product to market and to sell before thinking of any user experience.
Understand targeted users. Understanding their needs and their habits will bring you closer to designing a remarkable experience.
Map out a logical journey. Design with care all the different steps customers will go through. The smoother and seamless the process the better the experience.
User test your product/service. In order to make sure the experience is optimal, it is a very good idea to test it on real potential users.
Notice that you should combine user experience goals with your own business goals.
How to design your website for a better user experience
To design your website for a better user experience you should focus on usability. This means making the site as easy to use as possible. Visitors should be able to easily find what they need and reach their goals on your website. This should be the mantra guiding you in website design.
What is user experience in web design?
Web design plays an important role in user experience. Nowadays a lot of companies interact with clients on their website or app. Sometimes users complete the entire customer journey on websites without even going to a brick and mortar store. All of this shows web design is an important part of user experience.
What are the best practices user experiences for websites?
Many aspects matter in websites user experience but here is a selection we made with the top 5:
Navigation through the site must be fast and logical. Customers don’t have time to wait or to think too much where to click next. Find those broken links and fix them!
Update contents frequently. Nothing is worse than finding out outdated info.
Mobile optimization is mandatory. The migration from desktop to mobile is going fast and not all websites are keeping up.
Use images. All text websites are boring and ineffective.
Test. Every now and then you should test your website. Make A/B tests, or use heat maps but make sure you’re keeping the user and her needs at the center.
Examples of websites with good user experience
We selected three websites with a remarkably good user experience. These can serve both as a guide and as a source of inspiration.
Just Eat features an handy search function. It allows customers to find within seconds all restaurants that can potentially deliver food at their homes. Just Eat filters are also super useful to quickly find the dinner take in you are craving for.
Skyscanner is a travel fare aggregator website. It makes it intuitive and simple for users to look for cheapest flights and then buy them.
Zalando is another great example. On the famous eCommerce website, the user is guided through a very well designed experience. Any user can get as much info, pictures, and videos about clothes as they need without any difficulty.
Examples of products with good user experience
We thought to give you also some examples of products with good user experience. This can help you better understand user experience.
Headspace, the popular meditation app, offers a great user experience. It is very well designed and involves users. Then it offers packages for any kind of need. Finally, it is good at helping users to keep up their meditation routine.
Revolut is a digital banking alternative. Its user experience is amazing and extremely usable. It allows users to exchange money with others and to change currencies in just a few swipes.
Apple’s iPod is an old but gold example of perfect user experience. People would buy the iPod in Apple stores, then they would synchronize it to iTunes and keep uploading new music from there. Both the iPod and iTunes offered a very easy to use design and were very well integrated.
A good user experience, as you have seen is made of many different factors. What matters the most anyways is keeping the customer at the center of the designing process. At the end of the day, it is the customers’ needs and feedback that push products towards improvement and innovation.