Our online world is filled with average products and services that don’t really solve problems well. Despite their initial good intentions, many of these products often fail to become useful, usable, valuable, accessible, or credible. While nice-looking designs might look good, they don’t always lead to solutions that can make people’s lives better.
Behance, Dribble, and other creative networks often display visually stunning images, but we frequently miss the story behind these visuals. While looks do matter, they aren’t the sole measure of success. Our focus should instead be on creating solutions that have meaning, utility, and accessibility for everyone, whether in the digital realm or the real world.
UX designers play a pivotal role in guiding clients toward the right solutions. In-depth research, user testing, and data analysis are crucial elements in crafting products that tackle genuine problems and deliver positive experiences. We must pay attention to even the tiniest details that can make a significant impact. Our priority should always be people, not just users, recognizing the profound influence our work can have on individuals’ lives.
Designing products that don’t genuinely meet people’s needs is a disservice. As UX and product experts we have a chance to make a difference. It’s our responsibility to contribute to a brighter future.
No need – no build
If nobody needs it, then don’t build it
Do not build products by guess. If you have any idea for a new feature, just try to see what problem it solves. If you are not solving any particular problem, you are most likely making the product worse. Every product starts with a problem. Every feature should start with a problem. Do some research. Talk to people. You are building for them. If they do not need your idea, then forget about it. Remember: if nobody needs it, then don’t build it.
Keep it simple
Don’t make people think, but make them feel smart
Try to explain your product to someone. If you can’t explain your product or idea easily, you do not understand it well enough. It is not simple enough. Try to create smart things in a simple way. Every product should be self-evident. Every service should be self-evident. Every element should be self-evident. People should not ask questions like:
– Where am I?
– What do they offer?
– Where should I begin?
– Where do they have …?
– What does this mean?
Do not make people think about obvious things. Guide them if necessary, but never make them feel confused. They have to feel smart by solving their problems quickly and easily.
Test early and often
Test the product, not people
To make sure your product is clear you have to test it as early as possible and as often as possible. Remember, you are testing the product, not people. Listen and watch carefully. Even if you think that something is really obvious, it doesn’t mean that people will use it the way you’ve built it. Any designer compared to ordinary people is a super geek. 95 percent of people just cannot do what you can. They think differently. They act differently. They are all different.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
At every stage of product development you have to set goals, create hypotheses and collect data. Every decision should be based on the results of qualitative and quantitative research.
1. Opinion without data makes no sense.
2. We never know what will work.
Set a goal – collect data from analytics – create and test hypotheses – analyze the results – identify problems – create new hypotheses. And round and round we go.
Time and space
There are so many products around people. But there is so little time for people to use these products. Is your product or service really worth the time spent on it? There are many other things in people’s lives. Other products, other services, various activities, friends, family etc. Before taking time to use your product, people have to stop doing something else.
- When will people use your product?
- Where will people use your product?
- What do people have to give up for the sake of using your product?
Every product or service should have it’s time and space in people’s lives.
Every product or service should be: useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, accessible, credible. Validate it by asking simple questions:
– Does the product solve the right problem?
– Is it easy to use?
– Is it enjoyable to use?
– Does the product deliver value to your business and to your users?
– Can users find relevant content easily?
– Is the product usable by people with disabilities and varying abilities?
– Does the product feel trustworthy and reliable?
Below are some checklists that will help not to forget the basic principles and ingredients.
UX Project Checklist – https://uxchecklist.github.io/ – An interactive checklist with all steps involved in the work of UX Designer.
UX Recipe – https://uxrecipe.github.io/ – Mix the UX ingredients and quickly estimate your project’s costs.
IxD Checklist – http://ixdchecklist.com/ – An interaction design checklist organized by design principles.
Usability Checklist – https://stayintech.com/info/UX – A broad checklist to catch common usability problems before user testing.
W3C Accessibility Standard – https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/full-checklist.html – The official accessibility standard checklist from W3C.
UX board – https://trello.com/b/qJ0QjbVK/ux-board – Everything about UX research, strategy, analysis, information architecture, interaction design, copywriting, psychology, implementation, analytics and many more UX stuff.