Strategy, Feb 19, 2021

Three UX design principles fundamental to success

Alec Owens

We have identified three key user experience design principles which will help your organisation maximise its return on UX investment and help you avoid common pitfalls.

User experience is no longer the 'underdog' to business success. After many years of industry under-spend, the benefit of investing in UX is now widely recognised, with 46% of businesses stating that user experience will be their number one priority over the next four years.

And it's clear to see why, with research suggesting that every £1 invested in UX returns between £2 and £100. This is understandably enticing, demonstrating how profitable UX investment can be, especially when you get it right. So how do you get it right?

Successful UX comes down to the seamless integration of different disciplines, ranging from strategy and user research to design and development. Here are the three things you need to remember the next time you undertake any UX project.

1. Design based on what users actually do, not what you think they do

It's all too quick and easy to make assumptions about what you think a user wants, and how they'll interact with it. However, that's a sure-fire way to setting yourself up for failure. It's imperative that your design is based around how and why your users actually interact with it.

How do you achieve this? The development of personas and understanding why the user wants to use your product through interviews and focus groups is a good first step, but the real key to success is user testing and feedback throughout the design process.

Trust what your users do. Observing them use your product and understanding what they love and what they struggle with is the best way to ensure your product is designed around them.

2. Follow the design process: don't run before you can walk

Eagerness to crack on with development can be tempting, as after all, the sooner you release something the better, right? However, it's more important to build the right thing. Stages of the design process with varying fidelity enable you to learn fast, experiment with different ideas, and rapidly iterate your way to success.

Starting with an information architecture will give you structure. Sketches followed by wireframes enable you to focus on layout and content. Low-fidelity clickable prototypes then allow you to consider how users interact with it. Finally, high-fidelity designs allow you to work on the way it looks. Only then should your developers start writing their first line of code, minimising future rework.

3. User Experience is never finished: always iterate, always improve

In the same way that new features can always be added, your user experience can always be refined. Users and their needs change, as will your service offerings and the tech or trends available for you to use.

Five years ago, your user likely defaulted to a 13" laptop screen, but today a touchscreen 6" smartphone screen has reshaped how your audience interacts with your product. And what about five years from now? The move towards voice interaction could easily become the ‘new normal.’ The way your users want to interact with your products can and will change for a variety of reasons. Your user experience should therefore be treated as a never-ending journey, and always focused on delivering a flawless user experience to your consumers.

In a nutshell

There you have it. Each of these three principles represent vital steps to maximising the success of your UX investment. If all of these are faithfully adopted, then your organisation will significantly increase its chances of developing positively impactful user experiences for its users, and achieve its business goals.

Credera have a long track record of helping clients across industries bring intuitive solutions to life and create experiences that matter. If you are interested in learning more, get in touch with one of our experts.

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