Web and Application Designs have become more complicated as technology has progressed over the decades. While early computers had limited functionalities, the borders of possibility have continued to expand. But with great power comes great responsibility. And just because something CAN be done, it doesn’t mean it should. And with this realization comes User Experience Design (or UX for short!)
User Experience Design at it’s highest level can simply be defined as how a person feels when interacting with a system. This system could be an application, or a website, or even something as simple as a jar of peanut butter. If the system has human-interaction, it’s user experience can be measured. Key metrics that affect the user experience of a product include (but are certainly not limited to!) ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, and efficiency in performing tasks.
A user experience designer looks at the target audience of a system, learns their habits, likes, dislikes and demographic information. Using this information, they can adapt their designs to meet the audience’s requirements. While there are some reliable metrics in UX design, nothing is set in stone when it comes to human psychology. This means a good UX designer tests designs frequently to determine whether those designs are solving key audience problems.
So why is UX important?
User Experience design is a relatively new concept in technology with the term having been coined in the early 1990s, but I can guarantee you’ve experienced the benefits.
If you were around the internet in the 1990s and early 2000s you likely experienced some really bad websites. Sites like Lings Cars (https://www.lingscars.com/) are pretty fun to look at, but try getting to relevant information (in this case buying a car) and good luck. In fact, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience. And putting in the work of UX puts you at a competitive advantage. Only 55% of companies conduct user tests.
In fact, done properly, every $1 invested in UX results in an average return of $100 (ROI = 9,900%) according to a study by Forrester. Happy customers = higher returns for your business. And that means better business growth for you.
So what are you waiting for?