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User Experience Design Article

What is UX Design?

User experience design is an extremely broad, multidisciplinary and endearing field. It creates the products and services we use on a regular basis and can build or break the success of its brand or business. It refers to any communication a customer has with a service or product. UX design considers each and every component that forms this experience, how it creates the customer feel, and how simple it is for the customer to achieve their desired tasks. This could be anything from how a physical product sense or feels in your hand, to how easy the checkout process is when purchasing something on internet or online. The main aim of UX design is to create simple, efficient, suitable and all-round satisfying experiences for the use.A user-experience designer must have a clear understanding of business goals and user behavior, and be proficient in a wide variety of skills, ranging from psychology to design and technology and also anxious with the entire process of obtaining and integrating a product, including factors such as brand, usability and functionality. It is a story that begins before the device is even in the user’s hands.

As a UX designer, think about the What, How and Why of object use. The Why associates with the customers motive for a product adoption. The What includes the things which user can do with an object and its features. Finally, the How involves the functionality of design in an aesthetic and accessible way. UX designers begins with the Why before deciding the What, eventually, the How in order to generate objects that users can feel its accurate to use. Designers responsibilities involve conducting surveys, interviews and user research. All these helps in developing  wireframes, sitemaps, prototypes, key content gathering and creating personas, story boards, user stories. The main concern for a designer is to understand users behavior, studying their brains which enables users to achieve their tasks with minimal effort. A better approach always leads to easy use of product or website.

The below 6 steps involves and play major role in every UX design from start to end

        1.       Understand – Understand exact requirements and define use cases

        2.       Research – Analyze and Research latest UX trends

        3.       Sketch – Gather ideas, draw and re-draw sketches & wireframes

        4.       Design – Design the layout to understand the better version

        5.       Implement – Implement the functionality as per the design

        6.       Evaluate – Perform the testing  and identify the improvements

Major Project:

My major project concept is to create an educational website which will be useful to students/adults who are interested to learn about agriculture and farming methods. Now-a-days the importance of agriculture has been highlighting more in movies as compared to that of our real life’s. Its not even a part of any school or college curriculum. Most of the food items which we eat in our day-to-day life comes from agriculture and farming and also these days people are fascinating about organic farming and organic food. I have seen lot of people choose their interest in organic farming for healthy lifestyle. Recently, A software engineer in Bangalore, India started farming on weekends. It became a trend  like “software engineer in weekdays and farmer in weekends”. Apart from these passion and interest, agriculture feeds the hunger. So, Knowing about the things which we see daily and making farming as a practice helps a lot in day-to-day life and even money can be saved by cultivating crops in gardens or terrace without buying it from market and building a website considering all these factors without any previous knowledge is not at all easy, but hoping so implementing all the below mentioned techniques which of few has been discussed in user experience classes really helps me in creating a worthful & useful website.

Techniques which I wanted to use as part of my major project:

Choosing the correct target audience and focusing on their needs:

Target audience refers to the certain group of people or customers for whom you think that your product or service should reach. From the stage of planning till the implementation, as content plays a major role at the time of designing a website, choosing the correct target audience helps in getting proper content for the website. If a designer knows the exact target users and their requirements, then it is easy to create and handle the product or service till the very end. Coming to my major project, at starting I had a little confusion in choosing target audience whether do I need to create a website for students or for the people who are already in agriculture field. But after my crit-1 presentation, based on the received comments I decided to build it for students/adults who are between age group of 15-30 because if I create it for farmers, I need to struggle a lot to make them aware of my website, but if my end users are students then I can have heavy chances of making my website busy.

Identifying customer requirements is critical-mission for businesses looking to create a product that really speaks to their user’s problems. However, focusing on the user requirements is more important and there are multiple ways to gain insight in to what users need from the developer. As users are the strong barriers to gain excellent customer service, the best ever usability of the product can be gained by focusing on user needs which leads user to pick a product without hesitating. From the starting stage communicating with the user helps to improvise accordingly and design more updated versions in the future. Not even once users should feel like “Am I messing up?”. Solving user problems is the main motto behind designing a new product or service.

Research:

Research is a process of investigating the target audience and their requirements, going through bunch of study materials, and communicating with end users or clients, online websites to gather relevant information. In this particular process, researcher can have chance of gaining lot more knowledge on the topic of he/she working on. Especially this process will help to understand the concept the requirements and what exactly customers use cases. When I gone through research as part of my major project, I came across few people who doesn’t have minimum knowledge on agriculture even though their family is in agriculture field and also there are people who are going through a lot of websites to know about the best farming practices and finally messing up doing nothing due to lot of irrelevant stuff. I have attached the user profiles link below with whom I had discussed with.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17JpRu2pdpoSogYz6VLWhvawj15NbVTDN/view?usp=sharing

Good Content:

Major characteristic of every website is content. For the website which I am working on, requires communication with plethora of people to gather content, as its an educational website which has high expectations than that of classroom teaching. Choosing good content helps in improving site’s findability, it also will reach to more users. It totally depends on the chosen content which needs to be consistent and clear visibility. Good content is nothing but to present meaningful, engaging and sustainable information. Its about utilizing the data and evidence to give users what they exactly require. Make sure that the information is grouped and categorized in the way that customers should feel its worthy to use. once user finds its worthy then it may have good publicity from one user to another user and can have chances of making website more busy.

Communicate design ideas:

For UX Designers, Communication is important activity essential for successfully achieving lot of tasks in the collective domain of UX design. Communication takes place within the community or with outside users or parties-such as users or clients, but the impact of the communication may run deeper and great impact. Communication seeks to attract, motivate people and create desires to reply back to messages, with a view to making a favorable impact. This process helps to improvise the creativity, current market research, technical skills, problem-solving and strategic business thinking and also page layout, color theory, creating visual hierarchies and typography knowledge.

Ideation & Sketching:

Ideation is nothing but process of creating multiple ideas in broad-minded environment. In the process of design thinking UX developers ideate once research discovery completes and problem statement has been defined. Sketching is a way to capture a lot of ideas, memories before forgetting or even deleting from our brains. A designer can connect and collate things which has been collected in research and via communication to get a final conclusion. Drawing ideas on paper results in remembering the things for a long time.

There are few instances where sketching practices comes in handy. As a user experience researcher
  • Creating new designs or solutions individually and collectively
  • Exchanging or sharing raw, adaptable ideas with a group
  • Collecting or collaborating to iterate upon previous or existing concept
  • Creating new visualizations of typical or complex information
Building a Website:

We used to spend lot time to read online news, browsing the websites and also using the webapps. in few cases, our online experience is  not up to the mark that we could have. And in most cases, this is due to poor web design and that didn’t user experience in to consideration. Its easy to find and notice these kind of errors, but its a bit difficult when you are handling the project. As a designer, its our responsibility to create design with best user experience and its not easy. It requires lot of research and analysis. A lot of components such as colour, navigation, typography, functionality and simplicity put up to a great website design. A well-designed site helps in building trust and guiding visitors on what action to be taken. It also helps in making your website so busy.

Here are the few best practices for UX web designs
  • Design must be concentrated on user experience.
  • Websites are scanned, Not read (it is most important that our website is scannable because most users will not read websites, they do scan them)
  • Customers or users want simplicity and clarity.
  • Should know the target audience before you create the website or app
  • Focus on Visual Hierarchy
  • User experience Qualities (Usable, useful, Findable, Desirable, Credible and Accessible)
Responsiveness:

Making our websites responsive requires creative thinking. A responsive website has a flexible and fluid layout which adjusts as per the size of the screen. The exact browsing experience results in the best readability of the content. Responsiveness also attracts users with good look and feel of the complete web site. Basically, It works well and looks great on a tablet, mobile phone’s browser and desktop (or laptop) which attracts wider range of audience. Gradually we can use media queries to enhance our work within various contexts.

Request Feedback:

Remember that all of us make mistakes, none of us is perfect and there’s always room for improvement. No matter wherever you are in your career graph, there will be a time to ask feedback from someone. it could be from customer or client or anyone. If you are a employee, You should get the feedback from your client. It could be good or bad, You can look back and correct the mistakes if any and that’s how we learn. Feedback is wonderful tool and is the best way to learn something from others. You can check mistakes based on feedback. Its almost impossible to grow in your career without consideration of continues feedback to improve. Its important to learn how to ask and give feedback properly. in fact, these two are huge milestones in anyone’s career. Asking for feedback can be a bit tough at initial days. If you are asking for feedback, that means you’ve already put yourself a step above the majority who don’t. Many of people will hesitate ask feedback as they may not ready to accept the mistakes if they get any. To grow professionally and improve skills, it’s must and should to get feedback. Feedback helps in improving performance, and boost your career prospects.

Testing:

Testing is the process of evaluating website and its complete functionality to make sure that it matches the requirements. Also it’s a process of getting the information about the overall user experience and usability at the time of design process. Not only testing it by yourself, to get your product/service tested by your colleagues, friends to detect errors and recorrect it as soon as possible. Its always a best practice to involve someone to test the products in every step of design process.  Testing in each phase of creating a design save lot of time and money after moving the website in to production. The preferable test I believe personally, is to show the client couple of designs preferably two or three designs and ask  which one they prefer and what is the reason they are preferring and get their inputs and impressions. Based on this test you can recreate or modify the websites as per their suggestions.

References:

 https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/what-is-user-experience-ux-design-everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-started/

Allison Biesboer – April 13, 2019 – https://medium.com/design-ibm/good-content-is-good-ux-33a06142050a

Lindi Reka – July 16, 2017 – https://medium.com/@lindireka/what-do-ux-and-communication-design-have-in-common-b913ea30c143

Karishma Patel – oct 22, 2020 — https://uxdesign.cc/5-tips-to-make-ideation-sketching-approachable-to-all-9a9a23d2cdf2

Ben Pines – May 29, 2018, — https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/05/7-ux-principles-for-creating-a-great-website/

Jes Kirkwood – Feb 26, 2018 — https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/examples-responsive-web-design/

Nikki Anderson – April 21, 2020 — https://uxdesign.cc/how-to-ask-for-feedback-67eb0ff3dcb0

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