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Service Design

User Experience Design Tools and its Principles

Navdeep Singh Gill | 23 Dec 2022

User Experience Design Tools and its Principles

What is User Experience Design (UXD)?

User Experience Design focuses on the user-first way of designing products/services and their requirements and how much satisfactory the product for the users who are going to use it. UXD is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users and enhancing user satisfaction/ experience with a product by improving the usability, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. It is a user-product interaction, and improve the product, and users experience by addressing all perspectives of a product by the user's feedback & requirements.

UX is the most important building block in software development. Even its priority is higher than User Interface. Click to explore about, User Experience in Software Product Development

The UXD process involves the design of the entire process of research, prototyping and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, function and users feedback. The primary purpose of the UX Design is to studying user behavior and understanding user requirements with the goal of design satisfactory products. Developing a better user experience & customer satisfaction product is not a single person or team’s responsibility, it is a vision of an organization.

What are the principles of User Experience Design?

Its principles are described below:

Put the user in the center

This is the foundation of UX design that is mentioned. It's about learning to make design decisions for any product using empathy rather than our personal opinions. The fact is that designers have very high standards and always want to give the best; however, this ambition might cause them to make choices based on their preferences or what they want.

True user-centered design implies putting the user's needs ahead of our preferences. The designer won't use the product. The viewpoint, problems, desires, preferences, and needs of the user are indispensable. It makes sense that design teams spend so much time and energy during the early stages of a project getting to know users.

Understanding the user is the primary emphasis of UX research, laying the foundation for everything that comes afterward. Another technique to see how consumers react to the design and whether or not their behavior matches what the design team anticipated is through user testing. The user always has the final say in the UX game.

It can be challenging to comprehend what individuals desire or how they think. Because people are complicated, it might be difficult to perceive things from their point of view. The first stage of getting to know the user is crucial since mistakes might be made or things can be misunderstood.

In reality, user-centered design is based on the principle that designers should constantly consider the user's demands. Designers distinguish between creating for the user and designing something everyone can utilize in this context. It is essential to comprehend the needs of that particular demographic and incorporate those needs into product design. Everything is done for the user in this highly focused and subjective effort, and empathy is a critical component of the UX mix.

A complete picture of how the service is delivered from front to back. Click to explore about our, Service Blueprint Benefits and its Elements

Keep in mind the Accessibility Factor

Accessibility is the concept that determines whether a product can be used by everyone, no matter how they encounter it. Accessibility exists to help people with disabilities, and since product designers design products for a wider audience, the idea is to create products that work for all types of people.

The product designer is responsible for web designs that remove any form of barriers to any group of people when using the product temporarily or permanently.

Here are three simple things you can do to improve the accessibility of your digital products and websites:

  • Color and contrast: Poor color selection can make it difficult for many people to find, read, and understand information.
  • Screen readers: Consider how screen readers interpret your design and content when designing.
  • Keyboard accessibility: Physically, many users cannot use a mouse. They simply use the keyboard to navigate a web page.

Ensure a Well-organized Information Architecture

Information architecture is how a website, software, etc., are organized and tagged to ensure ease of use and discoverability so that users can find information and complete tasks effectively. It helps you build a structure that connects your content with the functionality of the web platform.

While copying the structure from the existing website seems better, companies tend to avoid rebuilding it as it may require additional effort. Either way, you are missing business.

A great example of overcoming a lead was Amazon's significant UI change. This might seem unremarkable to most people, but it was a big win because the buttons suddenly flattened out.

A well-defined information architecture UX design should incorporate four components:

  • Organizational structure: Define how information is organized, classified, and structured.
  • Website Labeling: This is about the art of presenting information simplistically.
  • Easy navigation: Just browse to get the information you need.
  • Improved search system: The improved search system defines how users search for information.

Here are three elements of information architecture that can help you create the best ux design.

  • Users: Includes the audience searching for specific information on the platform. To get started, you can also gain valuable insights by designing your MVP ( Minimum Viable Product).
  • Context: This is limited to the information you provide to your target audience and its relevance. Make sure the message you send to your audience is clear.
  • Content: Here, you need to make sure that each piece of content, i.e., text, images, icons, and videos, work in a unified way to engage customers at every touchpoint.

Information Architecture UX is at the heart of any digital product that can help you enhance your SEO efforts and create better sitemaps.

The ability to hear, see or become aware of something with the help of the senses. Click to explore about our, Visual Perception in Ux Design

Confirmation and Feedback

It's crucial to remember that every user activity necessitates a response from the system, whether designing a system, an application, or a website. It is crucial always to keep the user informed and give them the appropriate feedback at the appropriate moment.
Your users must receive confirmation that their task was finished when they utilize your product and navigate through it. Without this information, a user is left perplexed and uncertain about whether to repeat the process, which soon leads to irritation. It would help if you kept in mind how to give your users feedback and confirmation as you build. The Google Material Design "Snackbar" is a fantastic example of how to inform consumers when a task has been done without interfering with their experience.

What is UX Design Process?

There is no universal workflow to which every UX and product team must adhere—products, users, and internal processes differ. Some teams, for example, adhere to the Lean UX model, which consists of three broad phases:

  • THINK: Teams identify bottlenecks and pain points for their users by using user input, product and usage statistics, competitor analysis, and other research.
  • Make: The modification or new feature is included in the product by developers and designers.
  • CHECK: To assess whether a change or new feature enhance it and solves the initial problem, teams employ surveys, A/B or multivariate (MVT) testing, and other tools and approaches.

How it works?

User experience design is a continuous process of iteration which helps you continuously improve and polish your designs and improve it. Just like the communication process, we need the response or feedback from the listener, same way to design a product, it requires the user's feedback and then re-work on the requirement to improve it. UXD Process includes the following vital elements & stages -
  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Visual Design
  • Implementation
  • Launch and Evaluation
Each stage it involves relevant stakeholders or team member of the organization that takes part in the process of evaluating your designs on each stage and make your products highly efficient & usable.

Research in User Experience Design

To solve a problem and provide a solution, you first need to understand the problem and analyze requirements. This stage includes the process of understanding the problem, find out the solution for the challenge and gather the requirements for the solution from different sources including contextual and individual interviews, Conduct brainstorming sessions with clients, observing the users in the real environment, share existing products and idea with the clients to get their feedback. Business Manager is the role in an organization that works directly with clients and gets requirements from them. The design team can work closely with the Business Manager to understand users and their needs.
A well-executed UX Strategy delivers growth to ideas and directions while maintaining the integrity of the entire CX strategy. Click to explore about, Customer Experience vs User Experience

Overview of Analysis Phase

Understand the problem and find out the best solution for the problem is the primary step to improve the design it. “It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds” — Paula Scher. As Paula Scher says, the same way, It takes lots of time to did research and understood the problem and get the best solution. But it takes less time to develop a better product. Activities need to keep in mind to gather the information to research & Analysis on the problem for the next visual design stage.
  • Meet, talk, observe and understand users in their environment.
  • Analyze requirements to understand and clarify them.
  • Define user personas, User Stories, use-cases, and workflow.
  • Study of competitors’ approaches & Research on similar features in the world.
  • Be aware of the latest UI/UX trends, design principles, and guidelines.
As to improve and increase its product and service need to continue work on the design process iteration according to the user feedback and requirements.

Visual Designing in UXD

Visual design is the stage we are finalizing the thing and start defining and designing the wireframe, prototype, and workflow of the product. Visual Design comes up with a graphic design, user interface design, communication design, and visual communication, and define how exactly the user interface will be. The purpose of visual design is to use visual elements like colors, images, fonts, icons, text, and graphics to convey a message to users and fulfill the product requirements. Visual design is pre-step of the actual implementation of product and defines how the product is going to work and focus on look and feel. Following are the activities we need to keep in mind with this stage -
  • Generate ideas and work on basic sketches, prototypes, wireframes, etc.
  • Brainstorming sessions with clients, stakeholders to get their feedback from the technical perspective.
  • Re-draw sketches prototypes, wireframes and re-test them with stakeholders & user.

An open-source tool provided by google developers so that anyone can check their web page metrics and score of it. Click to explore about, Google Lighthouse for SEO Optimization

How to adopt it?

This stage refers to the actual implementation of the product and there feature and include designing, developing and testing of the products. After finalizing layout, prototype and flow the next step is to work on the final design and turn the product prototype and wireframes to great-looking products by applying the theme and styles. Including the design team, the Development team is also part of this stage. Development team builds back-end functionality and connects it with the UI when they get the actual design artifacts. Activities to be done with this stage -
  • Design the final product User Interface from the wireframes and prototypes.
  • Define the specs, and guidelines required for implementation back-end functionality and front interface.
  • Test the product with different phase to full fill the product requirements.
  • Share with the stakeholders and user to get their feedback from business and technical perspective.
  • Launch and Evaluation
When product features implemented, and UI integrated with the back-end functionality, the end product is evaluated based on few factors before the launching the final product to market.
  • Whether the product is usable and fulfilled the requirements?
  • Is it easy and efficient to use for the end user?
  • Is it flexible, fast and easy to change and add any new feature?
  • Does it provide the best solution to problems and complete the requirement?
After this last stage, the whole design process may be iterate itself until the desired experience and customer satisfaction is not achieved and depend on the new requirement changes and actual users feedback.
A designing process which focuses on creating engaging web Interfaces with logical thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Click to explore about, Interaction Design Principles

Why UX design matters?

As the growing technology trend and more competition, business is more focusing on the user and customers, who are going to use their product. The organization is now focused on user first way of work and focus on user satisfaction. Same in term of design organization is more focusing on its design as a great user experience design not only highlights and promotes their product; it has become an essential part of the building and growing customer belief and helped the organization to achieve their business goals.

However, the primary feature of the Web design is user-centered design, usability, uniqueness, compatible and accessibility. Steve Jobs said the design is not like how it looks, the design is more about how it works, how it increases the usability and user experience. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs. It is not only designing the product but to go beyond and understand user behavior. This way the problem users are facing can be tracked down to the core and resolved at the root cause level. It matters in various fields for both organization and users.

What are the benefits of User Experience Design?

  • Reduce, Re-work & Reduce maintenance cost.
  • UX help to differentiate your brand & helps users to recognize your brand quickly.
  • Keeps your audience on your site longer and increase conversion rates.
  • UX brings the team out of the box & reduces company risks.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction & increase productivity.

An interface design that allows users to interact with either real humans or bots using text and voice/speech. Click to explore about, Conversational User Interface

What are the best practices for UX Designing? 

The UX Design Process Best Practices

Understand your target market

The basic first step in the design process is user research. Unsurprisingly, the audience is one of the most important factors when designing a product. To create a product that your customers will love, you must first understand what they want and need. As a result, user research should be an integral part of the UX design process. It is critical to keep your users in mind before beginning to design! This will allow you to provide value to those who will use your product by focusing on benefits rather than features.

You are not the user

Real-world testing is an essential part of the design process. Designers usually presume that the users interacting with their interfaces are all the same. Designers, as a result, reflect their actions and reactions onto their customers. Believing that you are your user, on the other hand, is a fallacy. The propensity to think that others share our opinions and would behave similarly in a particular situation is known as the false consensus effect in psychology.

People using your product will come from various backgrounds, perspectives, mental models, and goals. In other words, they are not you. False consensus bias is overcome with usability testing. You must emphasize testing if you want to produce goods that users adore. Real-world testing (rather than testing with teammates, friends, or family) teaches designers how to create products and services that will fulfill the needs of the audience of the product.

The UX Process isn't set in stone

Adapt your design process to the product you are creating.
The UX process is a crucial aspect of UX design. A designer may need a solid UX process to operate in the dark. On the other hand, a clear and concise UX development process allows for creating fantastic user experiences.

Many designers believe a single universal UX process can be used on all projects. Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all UX design does not exist. While individual steps can be defined for each project, a precise UX process should always be chosen based on project requirements — each project is unique and has its own needs.

To provide the best possible user experience, a designer must be willing to adapt their design process based on project requirements. For example, if you are designing a new product, you may need to spend more time conducting user research and clarifying requirements. However, if you're redesigning an existing product, you may need to devote more time to design validation (such as conducting usability and A/B testing or working with analytics reports).

Prototype before you build a real product

A prototyping stage should be included in the design phase of digital products.
Another common (and dangerous) mistake many design teams make is skipping prototyping and putting all of their efforts into building an actual product. When we put a lot of effort into creating something we think is fantastic, it can be very stressful to discover that our solution does not work as expected when we release it into the wild.

Prototyping is the process of creating a model of a product for it to be tested. You can use prototyping tools to test your hypothesis before spending time with an engineering team building the final product. For prototyping, designers can employ a variety of design techniques.

Rapid prototyping is a useful prototyping technique. It's a popular method for rapidly developing and validating the future state of a product, whether it's a website or an app.

Avoid Dramatic Redesigns

Keep in mind Weber's Law of Just Noticeable Differences.

According to research, users dislike significant changes to their existing products, even if they benefit them. There is a high likelihood that users will be dissatisfied with a significant redesign. This phenomenon has a scientific name: Weber's Law of Just Noticeable Differences, which states that even the smallest change will not result in a noticeable difference.

eBay is one of the companies that discovered the hard way that their customers dislike abrupt changes. They decided to switch the bright yellow background on many of their pages to a white background overnight. Customers began to complain almost immediately, arguing against the change. A large number of complaints compelled eBay to change the design back. Following that, the team adopted a new strategy. They gradually changed the background color, one shade of yellow at a time, until all of the yellows were gone, leaving only white. This time, only some people noticed the difference.

As a result, the best way to approach a redesign is to go slowly, changing little by little. Most users will notice you're redesigning once you've entirely revamped the redesign.

A customer journey map's primary focus is learning more about your end users. Click to explore about our, Service Blueprint vs Journey Map

User Experience Design Tools

The best user experience design tools are listed below:

  • Sketch - Sketch is a design toolkit & vector graphics editor for Apple's macOS to help you create your best work — from your earliest ideas, through to final artwork.
  • Figma - Figma is the collaborative interface design tool based in the browser, making it easier for teams to create software.
  • Adobe XD - Adobe XD is all-in-one UX solution for designing, Prototyping & wireframing Tool for websites, mobile apps, & more.
  • InVision Studio - InVision Studio is lightning-fast screen design, Rapid prototyping, animation, built-in design systems, and collaboration tool.
  • Canva - Canva is an amazingly simple graphic-design tool website.
  • Framer X - Framer X is interaction Design and UX design software tool to create interactive designs for any platform.

Key Prototype Tools

  • Marvel App -  Marvel App is a collaborative Free mobile & web Wireframe, prototype, design platform.
  • Avocode - Avocode is a open workspace to all designers and developers to automate your design hand-off workflow.
  • Zeplin - Zeplin is a ultimate collaboration tool between designers and developers.
  • Justinmind - Justinmind Free UI prototyping tool to design hi-fi prototypes and wireframes for websites.
  • Flinto - Design your own interactive and animated transitions prototypes with Flinto.
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In the moving phase of technology and innovation, products and services are all about how the user responds to it. This is the reason how enterprises come to know the users’ motivations for adopting a product, whether they associate to a task they need to perform with it or to values and views which users correlate with the purchase and use of the product. To know more about UX Design, you are advised to look into below steps: