UX is an increasingly well-known abbreviation of English words user experience. Nowadays, it is difficult to create products and services without thinking about for whom we are making them. What are this person’s needs? What challenges do they face? What is valuable to them? What do they care about? An answer to each of these questions impacts the way we design a given service or product. This, in turn, determines the impressions the user will have when using our solution. UX Designer is responsible for designing such experience.
Solving a relevant problem
Are you solving a problem that really exists? This is the first question which we are trying to answer when starting a project. Most often, we start with some hypotheses and assumptions. For instance, we assume that patients who are diagnosed with a chronic disease feel alone and need support. What UX focuses on is, firstly, checking whether patients actually face such a problem.
There are many methods that we can use to check it. We can talk to those who have just been diagnosed, their families, or those who were diagnosed quite a long time ago. We can carry out observations or ask someone to keep a journal by answering questions and carrying out simple tasks for some time. All the above is aimed at step into the shoes of a person whose problem we are solving, trying to understand it. In this case, the quality of the research is more important than the quantity. If it turns out that our assumptions are wrong, it is wonderful! We have a chance to define a real problem and attempt to solve it at a very early stage.
The way to provide usefulness
Thanks to investing in UX, we can be sure that our solution will be simple and friendly. Designers make sure that the user will not get tired when using a product or service. The so-called design models, that is typical solutions, are useful for this purpose. For instance, when we are visiting a website, we are looking for the company’s logo in the left upper corner. When we see a colorful rectangle and a text on it, we expect it to be a button and we can click on it. Designers are able to guide users in such a way that they do the desired work without unnecessary thinking.
At this stage, utility tests, that is testing our prototype with future users, are very useful. They usually consist in users attempting to perform specific tasks. While observing them, we can identify the inaccuracies of our project and the mistakes that we have made and we have an opportunity to change them before they become very expensive as we are not working or a ready-made solution, but on its prototype.
Accessibility and inclusiveness
According to a study conducted by Kuba Dębski: “Whoever deals with digital accessibility in Poland 2020”, UX and digital availability go hand in hand. Considering people with disabilities or other limitations during the design phase should be one of the elements of a good product and a good service.
The principles of universal design, that is for everyone, regardless of their health, mental ability or, finally, physical prowess, are the elements to which designers pay attention. They are the ones who most often deal with accessibility. Sometimes it is enough to increase contrast, take care of spacing or line spacing. Simplifying our solution will always facilitate its accessibility, whereas good UX ensures inclusiveness.
A word is enough to the wise
Good UX is also properly selected words. Any content that we address to our users, even the shortest one, should be well-thought-out. Content design is called UX Writing. Thanks to this, the words we use in our solution are consistent with the brand language, unambiguous, and easy to understand. Thanks to words, we can guide the user along the path, show them how to correct the mistake, and engage them.
A simple language, the so-called plain language, the use of which is recommended for writing texts addressed to a mass recipient, is an important tool. Texts we write should be comprehensible, simple, and concise. They should allow the reader to understand the text regardless of their level of education (it is low education that is considered to be the main source of social exclusion in Poland). The complexity of our texts can be measured, for example, by means of the tool called Jasnopis.