User Experience Design: The Misunderstood Piece of Web Design
There is a lot of talk about user experience design, but many people are confused by what it actually is or why it is important for their businesses. In some ways the term can be considered a misnomer because it involves a lot more than what it implies. The word design leads many people think that it’s about decoration or embellishments – but user experience design is much more than graphic or visual design. True user experience design is strategic and customer-focused. It’s about engaging customers, solving business problems, and creating business opportunities – which all businesses should be interested in.
Focusing on customers
There seems to be a perception that user experience design is a luxury or something extra to maybe think about down the road; but really it’s about creating products that people want to use and continue to use. It’s a crucial element that all businesses now need to focus on. We’ve moved an age of customer-focused business. And, companies that don’t embrace this reality will fall into the black hole of cyberspace – never to be found by their customers again. Customers have millions of options at their finger tips. You can’t assume that you know your customers and what they are looking for because we all know what happens when you assume… Strategic user experience design requires customer research, planning, and testing. User experience design can help you make design decisions that make sense from a usability perspective to create products that make customers want to come back and act.
Aligning with overall business objectives
In a past usability test, all the users failed to find the location of a particular area of a website site because the label in the top navigation didn’t resonate with them. Consequently, launching the web application with the unintuitive labeling would have cost the company thousands of dollars in extra phone calls to customer service just because they couldn’t find what they were seeking. In this case, user experience design saved this company a whole lot of money, time, and trouble, which could have also translated into losing customers. In the long run, it will ensure application usage and increase overall customer satisfaction.
Finding the right balance
User experience design involves aligning user experience “best practices” with business decisions, finding the right balance between the needs of a business and its constituents’ needs. A good example of is the Akiban Technologies website, which forgoes elaborate design for the sake of improved usability. User experience design will help you focus on a foundational web strategy, align it with your business objectives, and create user-focused products that will allow you to execute with confidence and get results. And that’s where we can come in. Want to see more examples? Check out our portfolio, or give us a shout at 617-532-1003 or