UX: Can’t Do and Won’t Do Without It
When trying to bring a new application to market and popularize it – being able to distil a complex set of functions down into simple parts; to organize, categorize and clearly communicate those functions to the end user – makes for an attractive and enriching experience.
We’ve come to realize that the mobility, ubiquity and socialized nature of many technologies today has changed the definition of what UX means. A shift has occurred from simple usability (efficiency and effectiveness) to actually enhancing the user’s overall experience on a website, platform or application. An experience that takes into account the users feelings, motivations as well as persona and values.
Since UX is the overall experience associated with the use of the product or service, I will say that the most important thing when designing is to focus on what really matters. And in most cases if not all, what really matters is making users happy with your product as quickly as you can, i.e. giving users that instant satisfaction from using the product in the first few minutes; and then helping them along as much as you can after that.
You can build stellar products and provide much marketability to your offering by focusing on UX in creative ways – to help engage the consumer quickly. It will also allow you to go the distance by actually influencing the behavior and expectations of the user.
A good case-in-point is Mint that recently sold to Intuit for $170 million. Mint focused on making the user do almost no work, by automatically editing and categorizing their data, reducing the number of fields in their signup form and giving them immediate gratification, as soon as they possibly could. Their competitor Wesabe however shut down in July 2010. Not because they didn’t have a fully functional awesome product of their own, but because they were trying to make things like editing data easy for the user; whereas Mint focused on making it so that the user didn’t have to do it at all.
Now, THAT is what good UX is all about.
(In my next post, I will talk about 5 specific examples of great UX. Look for it!)