Before we dive into the how and why of good UI/UX, you have to understand what is UI/UX.
UI – the User Interface can simply be put as the design or what your client or customer may see and the UX – the User Experience is how the user feels about using your product or service.
The 2 go hand in hand as you can have a great User Interface, but if not executed effectively (UX) the experience of using your product fails the user.
Why You Should Invest In Setting Up a Great UI/UX?
Effective design of your software and application will undoubtedly result in improved customer experience and satisfaction. This naturally leads to more people using your product and returning back to it – if they had a great experience with it.
If your experience is compromised on either the UI or UX front and a user faces even small hurdles, it will reduce the probability of them returning to your page and are likely to drop off from your customer base.
A well designed interface will allow users to find what they want very conveniently and serve the purpose for them being on your website or application in the first place. You don’t want a messy interface where users are left wondering where the ‘search bar’ or ‘back’ button may be – your software/application/website should be easy to navigate so users can get their job done quickly.
You should consider investing in UI/UX yesterday. Many businesses have now had to transform digitally and available across all platforms and if you haven’t digitised your business, you are already one step behind your competitor.
By incorporating UX/UX into your business strategy from the early stage, as you expand you can be ready to take on challenges of adding new features to your product and ensuring the main functionality of your product is not lost.
Things you should consider
1. Information Architecture: The way your screens are designed and how they flow will influence your user activity. When ideating on the drawing board – you should think of the following (not limited to)\
- How many screens do I need?
- How will they flow?
- What should be the hierarchy of features?
- What kind of features will refine the users search
These are just a few things to ponder over and are not the ultimate 4 things to stop at. You will have to run beta tests with users and see what works best.
Getting users to test a few different wireframes and comparing the results will give you great insight into how the users mind navigates your product.
On the backend, you can monitor metrics such as completion rate, task tie, ratings, number of clicks, time spent on page etc to see what is working and what’s not working for your product.
2. Usability: Anything messy is not attractive. A cluttered User Interface will probably result in your user leaving your page as soon as they land on it – or at least within the first minute.
There is no bible or handbook that has the golden rules of “where to put what” – it’s a skill that comes with experience and takes time to understand and master.
While designers and product managers may have a good sense of what works – that mostly not tangible data (it’s based on perspective).
So if they don’t know – what next?
Simple – user acceptance testing.
User acceptance testing helps uncover functionality and effectiveness of your designs.
3. Visual Appearance: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well – sadly this does not apply in the UI/UX world. How your UI looks plays a key role and reflects how well you do a business. UI overlaps into Branding and how your brand is represented and more importantly – your customers perception of your brand.
Microsoft revealed through A/B testing that choosing a specific blue over some other hues amounted to an additional $80 million in annual revenue for Bing.
(Don’t judge a book by its colour!)
You can measure and evaluate how well your visual effects are doing based on things like the number of additional clicks and user engagement.
4. Expansion: As your business grows, there may be a necessity to add extra features to your UI – it is really important that you keep this in mind and design a UI that can easily incorporate new elements.
In your early design stages, you should empower your product design team with the ability to make space/host for future developments. This way, you can evaluate forthcoming cost savings and how to invest in making significant changes post production.
5. User Feedback: You may think you have built a great product, but if the user does not have a great experience using it – it’s not exactly great.
You should evaluate user feedback received in the quality assurance stage to see how users feel about the product.
We wouldn’t recommend waiting till the launch of the product to gather feedback, that is pretty invaluable as you cannot immediately go back to the drawing board to make the changes. Use the feedback effectively, as it will help indicate potential scope for improvement in your design.
It is also important to collect feedback throughout the life of the product. After you have launched your product or released the new features, continue to collect feedback from users. This is the most accurate and personal method to measure product performance.
Laying out safety is never a bad idea. User testing and getting user feedback helps validate the UI/UX design and acts as this safety net.
Gut feelings are great and may steer you in the right direction but getting feedback straight from your customers, you eliminate the risk of depending on gut feelings.
You can determine what will be best for your design and development based on data and not just your gut.
User testing does not have to be an exhaustive task – you can establish a small group of people and get them to test it out.
According to Microsoft – 77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback.
Investing in a good team to create a great UI/UX will not only improve your products functionality but also enhance your Brand image. A good experience is never forgotten – especially in a world as fast paced as today. Users want everything to be optimised to save them time and effort of searching.
Good first impressions are key as they will directly influence your customer acquisition, customer engagement, and churn rate.
First impressions do count!