Attributes of Successful User Experience

14.03.2016 |

Episode #5 of the course “The Fundamentals of User Experience” by Cassius Kiani


Successful UX isn’t necessarily about knowing exactly what to do. Instead, it’s more about understanding the landscape that surrounds your product and your users.

That’s why persona profiling is so important—because it gives insight.

Rather than talking about solutions to problems that I’ve come across, let’s look at how to identify and remove issues (before they crop up).

Ultimately, your persona profile will dictate how important the following factors are, so always approach challenges with an open mind and weigh these factors accordingly.

Is it simple enough? Questions like this are challenging, but that’s a good thing, as it opens up an entirely new dialogue and thought process.

Your goal should be to keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler than that. Some people mistake simplicity for time. Understanding how users value time helps here, but simplicity doesn’t necessarily need to translate into a given amount of time.

Instead, simplicity could refer to the ease of an action. When something is challenging for a user, it creates friction. Friction is the enemy of simplicity, so if an action causes friction, identify why and then make the action simpler.

Your product doesn’t have to look the same as another product. In fact, if you’re looking to create an identity and a brand, you should avoid this. If you’re not memorable, then you’ll be forgotten.

In a UX context, familiarity refers to a user’s interaction patterns and movements. As users, we know that pressing buttons acts as an input to generate a response. We’re also aware that to use social media, we need to follow a “sign in” pattern.

Even though your product might reinvent the wheel, the way your users interact with the product can feel very familiar. Learning can add friction and difficulty to the process—something that familiarity can help reduce.

If your product is an entirely new concept and will thrive from an entirely new set of patterns or experiences, then analyze its learnability. There’s nothing wrong with teaching your users to behave in a new way that they’re not necessarily used to behaving in.

When that’s the case, look at ways to teach your users how to interact with your product. Most of this process can be done during user onboarding (which we’ll come to next).

Don’t be afraid to teach users new patterns or concepts. Tinder and Uber are fantastic examples of apps that have taken loosely familiar interaction patterns and made them the norm for users and UX designers alike.

Use the above thought process to analyze and build upon the way you look at products. UX is an interesting landscape, and you’ll need to think differently.

Here’s a few other takes on attributes of successful UX design:
4 Essential Elements of Successful UX Design

Recommended book

“Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” by Steve Krug


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