User experience (UX) is now becoming a dominant force in software development. Regardless of the technology behind software, it often becomes meaningless if users cannot intuitively and easily operate the system. In the past, many software solutions were fairly obscure and required a great deal of training. Today, the goal is often for users to be able to hit the ground running with little to no training at all.
The Benefits of UX Design
UX design vastly cuts down on both training and support time, ensuring that businesses operate more effectively. As more businesses become dependent on their technology for their daily operational tasks, businesses have also acquired a greater emphasis on ease-of-use. Modern business owners understand that a clean, simple platform is going to ultimately translate into benefits for their bottom line.
For web services, a solid UX design is often a “make or break” component towards adoption. Users have become accustomed to easy to use services and are not likely to adopt a service that overly challenges them. Because of this, UX design has become essential for the success of many platforms. Finally, on a more practical level, the better the user experience, the less support a company has to offer for their product.
The Core Components of a Positive User Experience
Though “user experience” may at first seem like a very personal thing, UX professionals approach the user experience strategically. This can be done through three steps: discovery, design, and development.
- Discovery. At the beginning of a project, a UX designer will need to determine the user’s needs. This is often established through a “user story”; explaining what the user needs from the platform and what the ultimate end goal is for the user. User stories are very important because they allow the designer to connect directly with the user’s needs and to see things from the user’s perspective.
- Design. At this stage of the project, the UX designer will be looking to facilitate the user’s needs in the simplest and easiest way possible. The goal of modern UX design is to anticipate the user’s needs and to meet them in a simple, straightforward way.
- Development. Finally, the UX designer will develop their design and will begin testing it, refining it based on feedback from the users themselves. This part is critical: the UX designer cannot simply assume that they have achieved a good user experience without the process of testing, even if it appears to be what the users desired.
Modern UX is constantly changing and evolving based on the expectations of the users themselves. Current user experiences, for instance, are being designed with tactile controls in mind, due to the proliferation of mobile devices. For software developers, UX design is now a critical component to a finished product, and often instrumental to the product’s success. UX designers and full-stack developers with UX experience are highly sought after. If you’re currently interested in the field of UX design, consult with the job listings at Software Specialists today.