I recently found out that one of my favourite homemade ice cream shops opened a new branch close to my house. I went there full of expectation and excitement, but it wasn’t the same! Don’t get me wrong, the stores look identical, have the same ice cream flavours and they’re not even located that far from each other. But something key was missing – a pleasant user experience.
User experience is the process of making the user feel good about using a product or service - be it accessibility, usability or pleasure. It looks at a product as a set of experiences. User experience is critical to the failure or success of a product - something which is often overlooked by companies.
Is the user inclined to close the app as soon as it opened because it is not intuitive enough? In order for your users to continue using the product it needs to be easy, pleasant and natural to achieve a given task, only then would the user want to use it again and again. This is why a topmost goal should be putting your user at the forefront of your design process.
Secondly the user experience needs to be enjoyable for the user. What do we mean by enjoyable? It needs to bring some level of satisfaction and pleasure to the person using it, only then would a user be more likely to use the product but most importantly also recommend it and return to it. This could be achieved by using fun designs and animation but ensuring that they do not interfere with the users’ journey.
Users need to be able to trust and believe in your product or services. They need to know the user information the product requires are first and foremost safe, and the purpose of this information clearly defined for e.g. if there are third parties clearly state why those are included in there. This is essential to building loyalty from your users. Also essential for compliance with GDPR but that’s another topic altogether and which we have outlined in this post here .
Users want to receive an action upon initiating an action on your system. If you leave your client to wonder whether their request has been submitted, they probably will not wait around. Feedback can be illustrated using things like loading bars, animations etc.
It is important to keep a delicate balance between these four goals as not every user is the same, and different things appeal to different users. This is why we use personas in design thinking to determine our target audience and thus our primary user.
P.S: Any guesses which ice-cream shop is it?