Get into the Shoes of the User – Make a better website!
This is an article about the User Experience, which is a framework that helps designers create profitable websites by understanding and overcoming the problems of a website by taking into consideration a user’s perspective.
Oh admit it! You have done it too! We have all been in this situation (as developers) where we have made the best of websites and then the client asked us to modify it. Knowing that the change is not going to be favorable for the company or the website, we just have to reluctantly succumb to the client’s demands because after all it’s his money.
But is there a way that we can help the client to understand how he’s only creating more and more problems for himself? I mean, he may really like a flashy marque on the page, but if it’s not required, chances are that the website visitors will not like it. But does he understand what you are saying. Well, no. For me sometimes, when I come across these sweet but naive clients, I feel like I am speaking a whole different language, and in order to avoid any arguments, I just do what they want me to do.
However, thankfully, there is something that you can do now. You can use the User Experience (UX) to illustrate what you are saying and what you mean by what you are saying. After I have begun using UX I haven’t come across a client who did not understand what I was saying. It’s like a new speech therapy for me (okay, I am being romantic!)
Like the name suggests, UX puts the clients in the shoes of the Users, in order to understand what they want, which is one critical thing for a website. This will help the client to put aside their whimsical and personal demands from the website and move towards more legitimate and acceptable ones.
User Experience (UX)
So what is this UX really and how does it function? Basically the UX is a framework, that enables designers to create beautiful and seamless website designs by identifying the problem areas and helping them find the best solutions for these problems.
Unlike what most people think about it, the UX is not completely a design oriented process. It integrates with the rational sequential processes that are repeatable and that are used for problem solving regarding design challenges. The ultimate objective is to understand how the end user feels when the product is finally ready for use.
UX and Your Design
Before you get going with your Photoshop and wire framing the first thing to be done is integrating your website design into the UX. You can do that by following these steps:
- Research: Do extensive research on the target audience. First identify the kind of product that you are making and the response that you want to generate from the users. Understand the role of the visitors, and clearly demarcate who are encompassed in your target audience group.
- Personas: Once you have done this, create a list of short stories about how the users will use the website in order to achieve the goals that you have identified. This is known as creating Personas.
- System Flow: Now, create a flowchart or diagram of these personas. Develop a relationship to identify how the people interact amongst each other and how the desired outcome can be achieved.
- Get it together: Once you have done all of this, put everything down together and then see how a particular relationship would work on the given website. An action –reaction spell must be established to help identify the action that is given and the reaction that is met with.
Once you have done this, it will be quite clear so as to how the user would essentially want the website to be. Remember that the website is to be used by the people and they will only spend time on the website if they like how it looks and feels. Giving them information that they don’t want will only discourage them from using the website. Make it effective and make the click count, because it is anyway quite difficult to have someone reach your site, in the first place.
Don’t lose out because you wanted to say too much. Give them only the critical part of the information. And the thumb rule to a successful website is – LESS IS MORE. Never deviate from this, and see how successful you get!