User experience – what is it?

User Experience

User experience (UX) is how a person feels when interacting with a system, whether it’s a website, web app, or a software. By how a person ‘feels’ this means how easy/efficient it is to use a system and their perception of the value of the system. User-centred design is about the importance of designing something to enhance the user’s experience.

In the past developers generally took care of designing and implementing an entire system but as technology has advanced and now plays much more of an integral role in everyday situations, the design and implementation has been broken down into areas that require specialized talents.

Do you remember the days of awful-looking websites that were hard to navigate or didn’t perform as you expected it to? I do! Have you ever been on an e-commerce website where you wanted to buy something but the process to buy the item was so complicated that you just ended up leaving the website? I have!

Over time it appears that companies have learned that a great product requires skilled input from various sources. Here at dodify we have:

When designing a product (a website) there are certain principles we use to guide the design process:

  1. Digestibility: Good design should be easy to digest. It shouldn’t take a decoding machine to figure out what the website is about! Digestibility is about more than just having legible font, it’s about organizing content in a user-friendly and intuitive way.
  2. Clarity: Good design should be clear. What is the product and what is its value? These are questions a user should instantly know when they view a website
  3. Familiarity: Often times websites look fancy and flashy and you can tell some skilled graphic designs were put in place, but what use is all that if the website is too complicated to use? Users like things that are familiar. Is the contact information where a user would expect it to be? If a user is on a shopping website is the ‘Buy Now’ button clear? Using familiar icons, patterns and website designs isn’t cheating, it’s often necessary because it makes websites easier to understand. As the saying goes, “stick with what works”.
  4. Delight: Create something that users WANT to use! Is it a pleasant experience to go on the website? Is it something they’d recommend to others? The simpler you make a complex product the more delighted the user will be…and that makes for great user experience!

With all these principles we like to keep in mind we’ve definitely come a long way since our very first website. What are examples of some of your favourite websites? Or let’s have some fun – what are examples of websites you think are terrible?!

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