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As we approach the year 2020 the emphasis on consumer or user-driven products could not be any stronger. The narrative has now changed from Customer is King to Value Creation for Your Users. Do pay attention to the word "your". Your users are your responsibility and thus it's very important for service providers like IT companies to deliver a smooth and convenient user experience or UX.
According to Interaction Design Foundation UX is defined as:
"User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function. "
As an IT services company, it is our objective to devise solutions to the problems that app users face. If our very solutions become problematic, the whole purpose of UX is lost.
Common UX mistakes That You Should Avoid
- Assuming users see things your way
When we design UX, we design it for the users. However, developers often forget this and design websites and apps from a developer and/or business owner's perspective. This only leads to a faulty UX for the users. Your UX is pointless if it is irrelevant to your target audience. Secondly, don't let aesthetics take priority over functionality.
A website or app that looks good but provides very little value to its users is no good. Say for example, users download a food delivery app that your company developed. The user adds items to his cart and presses the back menu to add more items from his selected restaurant. However, the BACK button takes the user to the main app menu instead of the restaurant menu. That is UX that can annoy your users. Not only are you wasting your hungry user's time but, irritating them to the point that they simply download an alternative food delivery app!
- Designing UX which is out of sync with your Content
It is important for content and creative to be hand in hand. If your UX is designed without a clear understanding of your platform's content and the objective it is trying to achieve, then users may find your platform confusing to use and simply look elsewhere! Also, ensure your content is SEO-friendly and grammatically correct. You want your users to understand why they should be using your app or website to meet their objective.
- Skipping Valuable Research to save costs
Good research is invaluable and important for any project. This is no different in the case of UX design and development. If your research is not robust and reliable, your UX will fall flat. So ensure your app development process includes research on your users, competitors, the latest trends and developments in the UX space. Don't simply rely on feedback from friends and family. 5 UX mistakes that make startup failure inevitable cites the example of renowned brands such as Walmart with respect to research mistakes.
- Poorly-optimized UX
Complex navigation, annoying popups and long wait time to open an app or website are some common mistakes when it comes to optimizing UX.
Check out this infographic by Kissmetrics to know more.
Do keep in mind that users, especially millennials and generation Z, want quick access to information. Your app and website have no chance of retaining users if it frustrates them! A website or app that is simple to navigate, provides instant access to the user seeking information has the chance of making users come back. Secondly, too many popups and popups that just don't go away annoy users and this can result in poor UX. Also, ensure your app and website is not too heavily loaded with unnecessary images that take too long to open them. The user's time is of the essence in UX
- Not testing your UX before and after launch
When a website or app is ready, many UX companies fail to recognize the importance of testing their product. In addition, after the app is launched, many IT companies neglect the app altogether. Checking the usability of your product is important in order to prevent corrections after launch.
According to Most common UX mistakes:
"The biggest UX mistakes are always the ones you can't begin to anticipate. 'Unintended consequences', platform permutations, or symptoms of everyday technology dysfunction."
Secondly, maintaining your product through upgrades and updates based on user feedback and market trends ensures your product's survival and your company's reputation. Incorporating these practices will ensure seamless UX and save your team's efforts and time.
The Reasons Why Bad UX Design can be Dangerous for your Business
UX design and development is hard work. It is time-consuming and costs money. Therefore it is important to ensure that, as IT companies we make the most of our time, skills and knowledge by paying attention to these mistakes and trying our best to prevent them.
Very few get anything 100% right the first time. However, usability tests, carefully researched and planned user-friendly UX design can reduce the chances of error. The following are reasons why bad UX design can prove disastrous for your app as well as your business overall:
1. Revenue Loss
When users are irritated with a difficult to navigate a website or an app with pop-ups that refuse to leave them, they're never coming back. Remember that every customer counts. If you find that you have lost even one customer, it is to be taken seriously. Every customer brings revenue to the company and it is important for you to retain them. If you ignore that one single customer thinking others will come, you are wrong. You must get to the bottom of why your customer has taken flight. If you don't, you will not improve your UX design, the trend of losing customers will continue and before you know it, you will have lost a significant chunk of your customer base and money! Therefore, prioritize all your customers and build optimal UX.
2. Duplication of Effort, Time and Money
When your app or website fails due to bad UX design, you've got to simply get up and try again! While making mistakes is part of the learning process, why make mistakes when we can avoid them? A failed app means repeating the whole process. This results in duplication of your team's efforts. In case of a resource crunch, companies may have to hire new UX designers that cost more money. Duplication of effort is not just limited to UX design but also marketing and sales efforts.
3. Poor Customer Retention and User-To-Customer Conversion:
Let's face it. There's no dearth of IT companies today. Your loss is another company's gain. It's that simple. If you go wrong with UX design, then not only do you fail to convert users into customers but also lose your existing customers. Again you've got get working twice as hard to get new users and retrieving old users through discounts, mailers, social media campaigns etc. This can take a financial toll on your company. So take your UX design seriously.
4. Serious Threat to Human Life and Resources:
UX design is more serious than we think. The world depends on IT tools like apps, websites and software so it is imperative that IT companies design carefully planned UX. Millions of organizations and people count on seamless UX to succeed. Healthcare is one of them.
In a case of UX gone wrong in healthcare, a girl diagnosed with cancer died in hospital. The tragedy took place because the nurses attending to her could not understand the text on the charting software application. As a result, they missed administering IV hydration to the patient and she succumbed to toxicity and dehydration. Bad UX can thus result in tragedies, costing lives and incur serious financial losses for businesses and organizations. What's more, you may just be embroiled in a legal soup.
5. Damage to the Company's Market Reputation
Making a name for your IT services company is a long drawn out journey of learnings, failures, successes and powerful emotions. In an already tight IT services market, it is tough to build a reputation. Once you have established your reputation as an IT services company that provides good UX design, you have to ensure it stays that way. Too many UX design failures, bad feedback, revenue losses etc. are a red signal and will keep clients and end-users far away from your brand. In the worst case scenario you may just have to take your app offline and shut down operations.
UX design is the backbone of IT products like mobile apps. However, as developers, our focus is on simply creating and launching apps. In the bargain, we ignore the context of UX design and fail to see things from the perspective of the end-user. Sometimes, we compromise on research, content and the quality of deliverables. This results in dangerous consequences.· · · ·
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