the-myths-of-the-ancient-ux

User experience is nothing new. Its roots go back to antiquity to the ancient science of ergonomics.

Maxim Grozny

Ergonomics tried to establish a set of principles that were making work more convenient and efficient. Some evidence suggests that ergonomic principles were in fact, known and adhered to 25 centuries ago. From that moment on, design myths began to appear. Almost.

We really want to believe in every single piece of advice we receive or find on the internet, in research results, in everyday practises, from other projects and so on. And how to distinguish between trustworthy ideas and things that are just half-truths?

I personally love these provoking UX design or product design, or whatever people call it this Friday, myths. They help designers to survive as ancient Greeks myths about the ergonomic helped those ancient people. And they even work the same way: if a myth gets repeated multiple times, it starts to sound believable and become a truth for so many designers. Let’s repeat them one more time.

Once upon a time, people considered:

Shortly: They don’t.

But cats do.

Actually, it isn’t even a step in the design process. UX design is an iterative and continuous process. It cant be ended. This is a method of creating and improving products that provide meaningful and personally relevant experiences for the users.

Only when business and designers stop thinking of design as “make our product looks nice” user experience can have a chance to be improved.

Design is not only about beautifying visuals, but it’s mostly about keeping people engaged, shapes their experiences. And what matters more than the user experience?

In some ways, all design is UX design, as in its core, everything about creating experiences that solve problems and get some results.

The User Experience Model by Corey Stern, from cubiux.com

Many different disciplines make up UX Design. It can include business goals analysis, competitive analysis, user research, persona development, information architecture, content strategy, empathy mapping, user journeys, interaction design, interface design, visual design, prototyping, heuristic analysis, user testing and so on.

Actually, they’re not. Try to divide UX, which about how users feel when they use a product and Usability relates to the essential user-friendliness and efficiency of the product.

Usability is a narrower idea than UX since it only focuses on goal achievement when using a product.

UX itself according to Stewart, T., in “Usability or user experience — what’s the difference ?” is an outcome of the presentation, functionality, system execution, interactive performance, and assistive capabilities of the interactive operation.

Among the other UX includes perspectives such as human factors, design, ergonomics, accessibility, marketing and Usability.

There are a lot of jobs for UX/UI Designers. And a lot of companies doesn’t care so much what kind of designers they need, as long as they get an interface out of them.

Nevertheless, we are surrounded by many more things that do not always have an interface while they communicate with users. These things are invisible in everyday life just because designers found a way to create them comfortable for use so that they do not distract users.

Imagine you are driving a car. What do you think about all the levers, pedals, switches and other car control elements? Are they randomly located? Did someone think of them and make them so that you could drive a car, talk on the phone, listen to music, do makeup and play solitaire?

In a few words, Product Management through the UX Design owns your user experience sharing product strategy and execution with Engineering. And don’t forget about marketing, support and so on, which contributes to user experience as well. UX Design does not typically touch this spheres. But if dose, people already created the Product Designer title. UX design so widely spread in the companies’ processes that new generation of designers wich create all mentioned call themselves Service Designers.

So UX is a separate process not exclusively related to interfaces and a core of many other design and service objectives.

Users themselves are actually uninformed of how to use your product. And more of that they rarely want to learn it. Their usage directly depends on the learning curve, motivations, interests, demands etc. UX professionals take all these natural factors into account when designing the specific UX for a target group of users.

UX design also has to meet business goals and objectives. The design should present the product vision and clearly communicate the reason for the product’s existence from a business perspective.

Companies and Designers try to show to their users literally all because users certainly won’t figure it out on their own.

Surely, in some cases and some interaction with your product, specific decisions do need to be made for the users. But the support of user’s every single step is overkill. Try not to show all the things you have, or you can provide. Leave for users to explore your product on their own. Present hints of only the bare minimum of interactions with the product.

Let users making their own decisions. After getting closer with your interface, they will probably understand and learn what they actually can do with it better than you do. If not — conduct researches, make tests and continue improving the UX.

As The New Multiscreen World foundings from Google told us — not. Most of the mobile use occurs not on the go, but at home.

Smartphones have evolved a lot, and sometimes they are just much handier to use as a computer substitute or to hold while laying on the sofa. Not always, designers do need to make assumptions about where their mobile users actually are.

Why not? Researches do not agree. A lot of them. For example, in What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong found that 66% of attention on a regular media page is spent below the fold.

People used the scrollbar on 76% of the pages, with 22% being scrolled all the way to the bottom, read Unfolding the insights into the webpage scroll.

On mobile, half of the users start scrolling within 10 seconds and 90% within 14 seconds.

Stats from MOVR (published in Luke Wroblewski’ sWroblewski’s tweet)

Let’s have a look from a different perspective. If sometimes users decide not to scroll — in simple terms, it’s not about them, it’s about your product or content. People have no preference for not scrolling, as long as they have an interest in the materials. If shown content brings them some value, they will scroll to see it, don’t use this myth as an excuse.

In UX design, trying to satisfy everyone leads to dissatisfying all. Don’t go for ease of use for all your user types, your personas. Instead, focus on a better experience for those who will actually end up using your product.

Actually, if a company works precise, everyone in it should be the user’s solicitor, as the primary goal of business to serve users, to solve their problems and to help them perform some actions.

This myth can place the design in conflict with the business itself. Rather than create an atmosphere for both co-operating to find a solution that serves users and business, this idea places the wall between.

Do not forget that marketing, data mining, or customer service can see other aspects of the user’s experience and along with UX contribute to its improvement. Care about users do not equal being their advocates.

Sometimes UX Designers are the only people in the company who cares about users, but this is a call to action for a business that some changes in the strategy required. Designers are not the user solicitors, everyone is.

Ask yourself, why are you working for a company that doesn’t like its users. Maybe you need to start job hunting now.

The best way to develop something handy — iteratively tests the parts of the design or product during development. This allows us to check for potential errors, solve them before production and prevent costly delays arising. So it makes no sense to leave UX testing right till the very last minute.

For getting feedback from users, usability testing and focus groups are often confused despite different goals and results.

Focus groups resolve what users say and think. It’s about accumulating feelings, opinions, and thoughts to reveal preferences.

Usability testing observes how people use the product in real life or close to actual conditions. Assigning the essential tasks to users and analyzing their performance and experience, designers can adjust the product for making it more suitable.

The mainstay of a great UX is that it should work well for current and later users. This makes design a continuous process and forces to think long term. Designers will do themself great favour by disbelieving the popular myths, which would ensure the UX delivers the returns we are looking for.

Once the common myths are dispelled — the inaccurate beliefs around UX design are corrected. Extensive effect of UX design becomes more prominent, and the idea that a UX process should be integrated into everything a company does becomes more imposing.

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