User experience.. All you need to know

The User Experience, also referred to as UX, is one crucial principle around which revolves the success of a company in times computers and mobile devices have greatly proliferated in our lives.

It is a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. User experience may be considered subjective in nature to the degree that it is about individual perception and thought with respect to the system. User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing usage circumstances and changes to individual systems as well as the wider usage context in which they can be found. In the end, user experience is about how the user interacts with and experiences the product.

UX process enhances user satisfaction with a product or service by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.

Let’s review how UX can be beneficial to the company, how it is built and how we can measure it.

 

Many authors have summarized the benefits of UX in 5 main points and Samella Gracia and Richard O’Brian agreed on the following:

  • Increasing your conversion rates:

 

Standing out in the very huge offer for a particular product or services online and getting the customer to actually buy the product or service he has been looking for and save the website for future use would be facilitated by an enjoyable overall experience. Considering how to reduce the level of efforts and the amount of time spent on the website or application drive the customers away from any kind of struggle and can consequently result in the conversion of their search into a transaction.

This only can be achieved if we pay special attention to the reason why a customer leaves the application or the website before pressing the “order” button.

  • Saving money $$$

 

Another beneficial key to a positive UX experience is to be able to address and solve usability issues during the design phase rather than fix them later.

Indeed the UX design process involves developing an understanding of the right set of features from the very beginning and appropriately putting them together to create the right product. This process should involve refining the design via usability testing and adapting to the results. A UX design process will get feedback early from your target users and refine designs to help you avoid making costly errors. This is done using research and a user-centered design process that improves decision making.

  • Creating the right product

 

Creating a website is not enough. UX has to be taken into consideration and used to mainly design the right products.

By conducting user research at the beginning and during a project will give insights into how your product, website or mobile app should be designed can be uncovered and utilized to improve your user interface and eventually give the customer what they really want.

This can save time and money by creating the right user interface the first time. Additionally, user research puts you in a position of having the appropriate information to create an ideal solution for your users’ needs.

  • Driving customer loyalty

 

It is not enough to build the product or service and put it out there. Modern customers are experienced and demanding and we have to KEEP them happy. It has been shown that businesses that create positive user experiences are more likely to have loyal customers. UX is today even more powerful than perception of value in driving customer loyalty. Additionally, these same customers are more likely to become advocates for your brand as well. Businesses and products offering high levels of usability are more likely to be recommended to others.

Building the ultimate Customer experience starts with: Understanding the customer requirements. This includes standard user research methods such as contextual and individual interviews, users’ observations and analysis, conducting brainstorming sessions with clients by showing them existing products and services and defining any further needs or requirements they might express.

Once User personas, stories, cases and flows are nailed, the Research can begin.

The Research aims to understand the market competition, learn about one’s domain and to get inspired from the latest innovative and trendy existing User Experience guidelines.

Having conducted a proper Research phase has now put a bunch of ideas and material on which we can build our actual design work, sketching the idea or the ideas is a prerequisite phase to designing as this is where the unmatched experience can see the light.

Turning the initial sketches and mockups into great-looking images and designs that will capture the user attention and match his expectations is the core phase of building the UX.

The implementation phase comes next, responding to two major criteria that are Simplicity and Easy-use. Implementation occurs for back-end functionalities and front interface offering the complete experience.

When the product/ service features are implemented, the end product/service is evaluated based on the two major criteria mentioned earlier: Simplicity and easy-use but also testing its flexibility to change, whether it provides the desired solutions for the users’ expectations and the credibility of the product or service itself.

Evaluation is based on: Users’ feedback, the audit reports and greatly relies on needs of improvements identifies throughout the testing process.

Now, passed all these stages and to insure the UX is satisfactory for both the company and the users, there are a few parameters the company will have to monitor to insure the success and continuous improvement of the users experience.

Very often, measuring how successful a UX is starts with defining a goal for it. However difficult it is to set the right goal for elements of UX design or product properties, it may be useful to star with global scope, and if necessary — break it down to simple task. It allows you to get a clearer image of results you desire to achieve and see the progress.

After you set your global goals, you have to identify the point where these goals are reached. Every goal should determine user behaviors that act as a signal for that particular goal.

The signals are bound to indicate behavior of users and allow adjustments on a more global scale.

Signals might seem an already comprehensive set of tools to value your goals. But this data can be refined further. From failure/success system, you can deepen into details of the performance results by defining metrics.

Now that we set critical conditions for adequate UX design evaluation, it’s important to outline 2 main types of methods that are utilized for measuring UX efficiency:

  • Tracking user’s behavior

 

The easiest and most logical way to evaluate any design or implemented feature is to receive feedback from the target audience. Tracking users’ behavior can be done through: Page views, Uptime, Latency, Bounce rate and Daily active.

Providing a deeper insight into user’s interaction we can also list:  Navigation bounces, engaged page views per visit and copy paste per page and the HEART metrics

Heart metrics stands for: Happiness — the overall attitude, satisfaction user feels regarding your product, Engagement — the degree, user is involved in your site/app: visits, actions, Adoption — the number of times new feature was used within a certain amount of time, Retention — the number of users loyal to the site or app within a certain time frame and Task Success — while latency provides a particular technical indicator, Task Success covers a broader scope of tracking metrics for user’s action. How well the task is completed, time required, amount of errors occurred.

  • Finance or Revenue

 

Once the client-oriented strategy is done, UX design optimized for the best engagement an metrics are set, it’s the very time to answer the question, how exactly this whole system will convert implemented features into money. Actually, this question is one of the first to be asked by any entrepreneur before even starting the business. Yet in terms of UX/UI it all comes to three main metrics:

Conversion rate

This metrics is the first KPI that one should include in the UX financial efficiency toolkit. As simple as it sounds, this metrics allows you to receive a rate of users who subscribed or bought your product comparing to the overall number of visitors who browsed through. The conversion rate is calculated and measured from the company’s site activity, UX affects conversion rates immensely. Brand elements, usability and accessibility are all related to the UX strategy. Conduct user tests to understand why certain components of your UX support user’s decision to accept your offered products/services.

Bounce rate

As explained earlier, this metrics is crucial to measuring UX design efficiency and understanding user’s behavior. In terms of financial indicators, bouncing rate allows to build a proper conversion funnel on the website or app.

Single Usability Metric (SUM) To Record Errors

Data alone cannot provide answers. To understand the best way of designing effective UX and drive users into your conversion funnel, analytics need to be interpreted correctly. It’s not the advantages of the UX that should be analyzed, but the errors and the means to avoid them. One of the most effective ways of measuring UX design errors Single Usability Metric (SUM). Standardized SUM measures task completion rates, task time, user satisfaction and error counts.

A well-built User Experience System can grant the company the success it aims for, it certainly is a complex system to build and set up but once this is done, and monitored it can change the whole way user will perceive the product or service of the company. A happy user is a retuning user, and a returning user will end up becoming a loyal customer.

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Contact

Dr.Malek Rashid
Partner, CTO Devoteam Middle East