We tried to shed light on popular UX myths on the behalf of user experience interactivity using various usability tools and user survey. With the awareness of these UX myths, a tech startup will make a successful product.
Less is more… Well, think again!
When it comes to design, yes, simple is the way to be, but having said that does not mean making it barely sufficient when it comes to direction and information.
Now, simple means suave in the webzone and surely provides an edge, however, do not think that most can be extracted out of least. Simple design, if limited, can prove to be complicated for the users and ultimately turn out to be a double-edged sword.
Minimal designs can hinder navigation as much is left to the imagination of the users and they have to interpret their way along. Such an approach will sow the seeds of complexity right from the very beginning and even uproot the grounds of interactivity in the user experience.
Simplicity inspiring unlabelled icons, upgraded gestures and modern menus like hamburger actually backfire as it requires greater effort on the consumer end and creates an unnecessary burden.
Don’t be so driven by the minimalistic criteria that forget the essence of design which itself form the core for any website. Innovate informatively.
User familiarity if taken for granted can affect the overall experience as it disrupts the flow considerably. Be vigilant while reducing elements as it should not be at the cost of understanding and prove burdensome for the users.
Now, the question that arises for a designer is that can simply be made clear? Can a design be minimal yet understandable? Whether reduction can retain purpose and meaning? In short, taking it all to unlock the design that is clean, self-explanatory and bang-on in action.
Flying start… Rare is the case.
A foolproof formula and you are an instant hit. That’s what you think? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Every product, concept, business takes its own sweet time before it goes off with a bang. No matter how rosy the picture seems, but the truth is that every entrepreneur has to have his share of hurdles before becoming big.
Making the cut in the market is definitely not an overnight thing and requires perseverance. Initially there will be failures, but you must weather the storm and then success will clear the way through.
So, in order to raise the flag of UX high, you need to sail through various tides. Thomas Edison may have failed 10,000 times, but those were not failures as he was successful in proving the 10,000 ways which won’t work and repeatedly iterated to get a viable light bulb.
Even Steve Jobs had to witness the challenging journey before Apple held all the aces. In order to ride high you have to hold the reins and once that is taken over you will surge ahead.
Startups may go downhill initially, but that is a phase which will make the company rise with flying colors and have great profits. Don’t expect success to be winged. Let the wings spread before flight.
UX is a narrow term… Design and much more.
UX design is not just about drafting the interfaces. It is beyond that. It kicks in at the strategy phase and plays a pivotal role till the launch. If you think it is involved with just laying the brick of design, you are mistaken, as UX is very much present till the final structure of the project.
Besides studying the business model, conducting user research and analysis, UX delves into every step of the product lifecycle. It is UX that dictates the plan of action in every business and influences the policies that are targeted towards enhancing the user experience.
Now UX is not limited to UIs as well because it is much more than planning and designing the interface and includes development, testing and after launch innovations.
UX is a broader term that takes into account usability so as to result in a fulfilling user experience. The interface is just a part that lays the foundation.
It is, in fact, user experience that knits the entire process together as it forms the very basis of the product. Be it the design or the development, UX governs it all. Cutting the long story short, UX is not just a stop; it is a journey till the final destination of the product.
Choices are logical… Do users actually use their brain?
People and predictability- poles apart. One can never know what their decision will be. Users are not always going after their brain and making sensible decisions based upon the price and utility.
They can be driven by their heart and make choices by being completely blindfolded with emotions. Rational behavior cannot be expected every time.
But such actions where the heart takes over the brain are somewhat known to the designers and thus they bring about products matching the ‘human’ wavelength which definitely affects the customers’ behavior.
Our emotions run faster than our logic and thus dictate most of our decisions. We generally go the sentimental rather than the sensible way. Factors like sales, past experience, and free offers can influence the users’ opinion to a great extent. Such promotions and marketing gimmicks create a great effect on the users and there is an immediate call to action.
Customers behave irrationally as they fall prey to their beliefs rather than the facts which form the absolute truth. Now, even the solutions are given as per the human psyche which looks into the unlikely aspects of the behavior. We must understand- users are different. So are their mindsets.
Waste it with white… Really? Get a visual breather
Design is all about experimenting with elements then why to give white space? Now, that is a completely false notion. White space is quite essential in the layout as it separates one element from the other. We cannot ignore white space and it stands equally important just as the text and images.
Do not underestimate its value. White space is a must to aid readability of the page as well as to highlight the important chunks of content from the other. It plays a significant role in creating visual appeal and in positioning a brand.
Users don’t have much time and love to scan the page so as to get the overview of the things just in a glance and this is what white space does. A cluttered page disrupts the flow of reading. White highlights the noteworthy points and gives a systematic view to the page.
White space is used by the designer as it prioritizes and guides the customers apply to the most relevant portion that requires attention. It generates eye movement across the page and leads the viewer.
In fact, if you want to promote your brand and add that royal touch, white is your color as it will make the layout fine. Be it the columns, lines or for that matter letters, white space creates an ideal balance on the page.
High usability makes you a UX master… But, how was the experience?
Usability cannot determine the worth of the product. It is the experience that matters. If they have an awesome experience, the design has done its job. Usability just makes the targets achievable, but UX gives that feeling of satisfaction which every customer wants to seek.
It is all about giving the best time to the customer as it not only enhances the quality of the product but makes them loyal in the future as well. A design that is fully thought and drafted keeping in mind the users’ needs is a success as it gives a great feel in itself.
People should have a pleasurable experience and must be happy while using it as that is the whole purpose of the design. Give them joy, great experience will follow.
The audience likes something that is real. So, if you want to connect, let the product speak for you. All businesses are made of great products only. A design so as to capture the users and give them the most interactive experience.
Usability testing and focus groups are same… Both assess but differently
There are various methods to get feedback from the users. Usability tests are quite common and conducted by the designers. Also, another preferred method is assessing through focus groups.
Now, both evaluate the users but are completely different in their approach. Usability tests are to see how the product is perceived by the people by assessing their performance in the relative assigned tasks.
On the other hand, focus groups gather the opinion of the people and their point of views on the mentioned subject to know about their choice and the quality of experience.
When it comes to testing the product usage, usability tests are the right tool. But if the agenda is to understand the mindset and the feelings of the user, then having focus groups is the best approach.
All in all, one is for want and other is for work. Even when you compare the methodology, there is a huge difference as one involves having discussions and detailed talks with the users whereas other that is usability testing is all about observing and noting their performance based on tasks.
Also, as the name suggests focus group is in a group whereas usability testing is done on one- on- one basis. Even time plays a major role in both the methods as focus groups is at the preliminary level whereas usability testing steps in at a later stage at the time of final testing of the product.
Utility scores over beauty… False. Looks definitely matter!
When it comes to design, first impression says a lot. Yes, even though the product ranks high in usability, special attention is required to make it visually appealing.
The more attractive is the design the better is the conversion rate. Experts do not consider artistic aspect as against usability but the truth is that the aesthetics plays a major role in pulling the audience. Attractive design leads to a great popularity as people tend to get influenced by the overall look of the layout.
Moreover, if the website is visually appealing it will trigger a positive effect on the emotions of the people and leave them in a good state of mind which will in turn also make them understand the website and the product functions clearly. Looks also paves the way for usage which will enhance the value of the website as a whole.
Aesthetics in fact help to define a brand and connect with the users. It should not be considered secondary. Also, backing aesthetics, it has been seen that the customers consider an attractive or aesthetically designed product as more usable as compared to a simple dull design.
People stick to visually attractive websites more so the interfaces must raise the bar of beauty through varied elements of design. In addition, it will also create a competitive advantage in the market as everyone will run for the best. Don’t forget, looks capture the mind easily.
The way with the product is set… Well, it’s the ‘user’s’ way.
The product is designed keeping the user in mind. But, surprisingly, users have their own way with the products. They may not use it the way it was originally planned.
The designer’s intention will not always match with the customers. They can associate with a different purpose behind the product which will not be same as the original one.
Users want things quick and will not take the pain to understand the product as per the rules. They search and find their own way and once that clicks, they use it in future as well.
Thus, design should never be taken lightly and proper feedback and response should be taken to know about the actual way of usage by the customers so as to determine the pattern and innovate accordingly.
Their methods of use have often resulted in innovations that give a fresh face to the product and take the market by a storm. A good example is Facebook where people use to share links on their wall initially, but this lead to a new development and now there is a share icon along with the like and comment button.
Limit it to the magic number 7… Let users have more options.
Setting the choices of the items or the menu tabs to 7 +/-2 is the wrong approach. Let the drop-down menu have more options for the customers so that they are fully satisfied with their decision.
It is argued that human beings have a short memory span, hence the number of choices should be limited to 7. But this theory is completely invalid as all the options are visually displayed on the screen which can be viewed as and when the wish of the user; so where does the question of memory arise?
The information is present on the page and the suitable option has to be selected from the various categories then and there. Having a broad range of items on the menu definitely makes it more usable by the audience as it projects the product in a better light.
The rule of 7+/-2 majorly stands for the items that are meant to be memorized and learned by the people, so how can this apply to printed matter which is right in front of the user?
As a matter of fact, there are fewer chances of error in a broad menu as it makes the things less complex. Limiting choices mean restricting the user which should not be the result of an interface.
Usability testing will cost a fortune… In reality, it is a snip!
Great set up, a lot of time, advanced techniques and big costs, is that what you think about usability testing? Then you are clouded by a big myth. It is actually a method that gives quick results through the response of the users and does not even pinch your pocket.
Usability testing is not just a privilege for the big organizations, but very much a part of small organizations too. Do not go for over the top prototypes as even the simple ones can solve the purpose and yield good results in terms of testing.
Regarding the size of the participants, small number let’s say 5 will do for performing the required tasks.
Testing can also be remote for certain projects looking at the extent of it. Even the best of the UX experts recommend lab-less ways for testing as it brings forth useful results and gives a clear view of the people’s take on the product.
Additionally, going for a simple method can enable flexibility and also allow adoption as per the situation. Keeping the number of participants to a minimum adds to efficiency, especially in complex usability issues. Hence, let the tools be simple and smooth, you will definitely extract more!
Users have ideal pick… No, whatever fits in works!
Users are not patient. They are not persistent. While scanning a page they are only concerned with sufficing their needs and don’t spend unnecessary time reading the entire page.
They skim the text and scan what suits them. The choice which as and when seems suitable that is earlier on the page proceeds to their call to action. As per the usability tests, whatever captures the attention of the users first and is sufficiently usable becomes their ultimate decision.
Customers want things fast and soon as they spot a link that matches their requirement they immediately go for it. Yes, it is the link that they pick and click! Surveys reveal that users click the back button to get the results they are seeking instead of waiting and reading the entire page. It is a hit-and-miss case, but they take the back route so as to finally get the exact match. Customers go for easier rather than the best.
The minor can be ignored… Don’t overlook any part.
The design is super. The best of elements. The best of content. Does that mean that the tits and the pieces can be ignored here and there? Certainly not.
Why? As these are the details which lay the foundation of an excellent design and ignoring them will weaken the design as a whole. Thinking that the users will not notice is a wrong assumption as this forms the basis of a valuable user experience.
For instance, having a simple error message instead of a proper informative one leaves the user disoriented and he is left clueless about the whole thing. Small details play a big role in terms of usability.
You never know these small bits can turn out to be great features for the product and may even create a great impact on the customers which in turn influences the business.
At first, they might seem irrelevant, but eventually, they stand of utmost importance. Designers should keep on challenging their abilities, focus on the minimum and keep going till the last detail is mastered. The little extras in the design can prove to be an added bonus for the users and enhance their experience.
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