Great UX: More Important Than Ever
Think about your favorite overall experiences interacting with a business, event, or product of any type. No matter whether this experience involved cooking a meal, making a purchase on an ecommerce website, or attending a concert, I’m willing to bet that at least part of what you enjoyed about your endeavor was a well-crafted User Experience, referred to in the digital realm simply as UX. An effective user experience meets the exact needs of the customer or user with as little trouble and as much ease as possible.
UX, whether deliberately designed or not, encompasses all aspects of a person’s interaction with a company, its services, and/or its products. Great UX is intuitive, elegant, and very often, frictionless. ‘Frictionless’ is a term we use a lot in software design to describe intuitive workflows, but you can apply the term to any designed interaction. What we mean by ‘frictionless,’ generally speaking, is that the user doesn’t have to think too much, if at all, about what she is doing in order to accomplish the desired task. And if the user is thinking about it, ideally she’s marvelling at what a joy the product or service is to use.
Apple, of course, has always been known for its elegant, minimalist aesthetic, which infuses everything from its physical product design, to digital user interface design, to packaging. That’s kind of an obvious example, but you can find good UX anywhere. For instance, some amusement parks have completely redesigned their rides’ line-waiting experiences so that the act of line waiting itself becomes almost as entertaining as the ride, or even better, by providing text messages when your turn is nearing so that you don’t really have to wait in line much at all. Or think about the now-common expandable modern garden hose design that prevents crimping, minimizes clutter, and expands in length as needed.
As our entire planet has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, great UX has become more important than ever.
With software design (any application on your laptop, mobile apps, and most websites) it’s almost always the case that if workflows can be designed in such a way that users don’t have to look for help in order to accomplish what they are trying to do, you’re at least on the right track. You can gauge this in various ways, including number of clicks required to accomplish a task, speed of interactions, and numerous other metrics. One domain for which frictionless UX is of critical importance is ecommerce: creating a purchasing process that takes a user from being interested in a product to completion of the sale that is as simple, secure, and quick as possible makes a huge difference in your bottom line. Basically you don’t want to introduce any friction — in this case meaning doubt, confusion, or frustration — into the process. Of course a nice, clean graphic design helps as well!
As our entire planet has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, great UX has become more important than ever
Screen time is waaay up as Zoom meetings have become our de rigueur method of connecting with clients, colleagues, friends, and family, and online shopping has skyrocketed beyond what even most of us in the web business predicted. In fact, as you may have noticed, being in front of screens so much can lead to tremendous eye fatigue. With so many more of our day-to-day activities involving screens, there’s an intrinsic friction due to screen fatigue built into all of our online experiences. Add to that the inherent stress of a pandemic, and spending almost all of our time under the same roof, and it’s obvious why that clunky online DMV renewal process made you angry beyond belief!
The bottom line is, we don’t want to have to think too much to get our tasks done, and we certainly have less patience for frustrating processes when we are doing something that should be simple, like filling out a required user registration form, trying to buy some dog treats, or just looking for a good pot pie recipe. More than ever before, people are gravitating to the most frictionless digital experiences they can find.
Do you want to attract more customers, and have more repeat business? Your website or app needs to be more intuitive, pleasant and efficient than your competition’s. Do you want your team to be more efficient and productive? Provide them with software that has better automated workflows that actually make sense for what they are trying to accomplish. It’s not only going to serve you now, when it may turn out to be the most precarious time we’ve ever seen in business, but it will provide a foundation for the success moving into the future.
Our team at High Seas excels at creating better digital experiences, and we’d love to talk to you more about it. Leave us a comment or a question here, or hey, drop us a line and we will get back to you quickly!