UX 101 – what’s this fuss all about?

UX 101 – what’s this fuss all about?


Ok, so what is this “UX” we are all talking about?

UX – “User experience” – is nothing you can apply to your website or software or product. Everything has already an user experience. In everything we do, we are experiencing something. And the User Experience starts even before we open the website or start to use a product, and it doesn’t end when we close it.

Imaging you like to go out for a fancy dinner. Some days ago a friend has told you about this awesome new sushi restaurant in your town. User Experience for that restaurant starts right there. You as a customer are expecting something, because your friend told you how great this restaurant is. With that expectation you start to look it up on the internet. Oh, you can’t really remember the name or other informations and you need ages to find it on Google, that sucks… When you ‘ve finally found the website (fortunately it has one at all) you struggle to find the things you want to know (menu, address, opening hours, contact information). It starts to spoil your mood, right? Ok, finally you have the address and make your way there. You see the bright lights from afar and the picture of a cheap Asia shop jumps to your mind. But you still trust your friends recommendations and go inside. You easily find a table and the waiters are very friendly. Maybe it’s not so bad at all! And the sushi is quiet good and you enjoy a nice evening. When you go home you are reflecting your experiences, the good and the bad. And based on them you decide if you’ll visit the restaurant again or share your experiences with your friends or even write an online review.
The whole process from expectations to review is called the “User Experience”.
You see, UX is more than having a good product. It addresses all aspects of a service from the perspective of the customer.

And a UX professional can improve all that?

To be honest, it’s a huge task to work holistically as an UX professional. Most specialize in a few aspects of UX, e.g. usability, interaction design, visual design, market research or information architecture. And in most cases it’s even obstructive to be, for example, the visual designer and the usability engineer at the same time. You just can’t test your own design properly and objective enough.

But nonetheless hiring an UX professional can make huge difference.

  • About 68% of users leave a website because of badly designed UX
  • Over 80% of UX problems can be identified and solved by testing with only 5 users.
  • 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about their bad experiences online
  • Future purchases of 62% of customers are based on their past experiences

With proper UX you can optimize your customer experience, avoid unnecessary features and problems (developers will thank you, because almost 50% of their time is spent on fixing avoidable issues!).

Need more arguments for implementing UX?

Depending on the industry you can examine developments in one or several areas:

  • increased sales
  • increased productivity
  • decreased training and support costs
  • increased customer satisfaction and loyality
  • decreased development time and costs
  • decreased maintenance costs

UX is no easy discipline, we surely have no magical pixie dust we can sprinkle on a website or product and everything is fine. Working as an UX professional means hard work, it’s often time consuming and there is no “standard” process chart to follow. But we are usually flexible and can find the right solutions in an iterative way. The results often speak for themselves!

(Sources: http://vitamintalent.com/ux-statistic/)

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