In the last couple of years we’ve started to hear more and more about UX. We’re heard about its importance, challenges and results.
But UX isn’t something all that new. We can trace back the term to Donald Norman in the mid-1990s. He later pointed the fact that usability engineering – focused primarily on usage – evolved into this much wider term called user experience.
Currently the term, while still vague for many people, has the following definition:
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. Source
From the same source we find that user experience has these pillars:
- Meets the exact need of the customer
- Simplicity and elegance, both producing pleasure for the user
- Offers a seamless experience all across touch point
An important distinction to be made is between UX an UI. While UI plays a big role in the UX mix the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.
Donald Norman offered a simple perspective: “Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.”
So the company owning this website should have the tools and processes in place to become aware of the user’s need in order to fulfill it and thus offering a good user experience.
While it might seem that this is all so complicated, especially since nowadays there are so many touch points and moving parts, the data we have is crystal clear in showing us the importance of UX.
For example, in this study on first impressions we find that “According to Gawronski, our brain stores expectancy-violating experiences as exceptions-to-the-rule, such that the rule is treated as valid except for the specific context in which it has been violated.”
In other words, continuing the example of the film website, the user who didn’t find information about that small independent release will have formed an impression that the website does not have such information.
He will not come back, even if he sees an advertisement that says just that. His brain will consider that particular advertisement as an exception to the rule. He won’t come back because his opinion has been already formed.
This study, and others like it, should be enough to put us all straight about how we treat the experience of our users.
Of course, we can’t cater for the needs of everyone but the specific needs we do cater to should be done so with high importance.
“Any time you see signs or labels added to a device, it is an indication of bad design: a simple lock should not require instructions.” ― Donald A. Norman
This is one of our favorite quotes from Don. A good design should not be noticed by the user. When they get the product in their hands they should feel like its just perfect. All that they should feel is a sense of satisfaction and joy.
We predict that starting from 2017 we’re going to start witnessing a more and more widely adopted emphasis placed on user experience and everything around that that can satisfy the needs of customers perfectly.
We’d go so far as to argue that the only companies that will survive the next 5 years are those that make great user experience their mission.
For 1 and a half years we’ve made it our mission to help companies improve the user experience for their applications. We call it UXRecord.
It offers to the UX, Development and Testing teams a common working dashboard where everybody is close to the user. But not just that.
You can set up your account, integrate our SDK into your pre-launch mobile application (we’re working on the desktop version as we speak) and have:
- Video recordings of both the application screen and the actual face of the tester (or user testers)
- Heatmaps that aggregate all the taps made on the application’s interface
- Easy screenshots of specific screens where the entire team can comment and make decisions together
- Send any of the above to a person outside of UXRecord (to the product owner, for example) to get easy and fast feedback
We’re definitely excited to be a part of the success of software companies in their future. Do check UXRecord out 🙂