At Parallax, user experience is paramount. Everything we design and build is always carefully considered. We often ask ourselves, how will real users interact with this?
The thing about users is they’re all different, from the way they read to how they act. Their frustrations, behaviours and enjoyment differs greatly from person to person, so what works well for one user (e.g. the designer) doesn’t mean a cast-iron guarantee it’ll suit everyone.
So how can we be sure the user experience we’re designing is a good one? And how do we expedite the process to make it as pain free and intuitive as possible?
Research your users
Creating a great interactive experience starts with a deep understanding of who it’s for. A gym has members, an online shop has customers, a service business has clients – these are all users that can be defined and analysed.
Let’s take a gym as an example. Not all potential gym members are the same; the content they want to see differs, their level of computer literacy varies, their expectations, behavior and pain points may be significantly or subtly different. By analysing your potential audience you’ll be laying strong foundations for a superlative user experience.
Match incentives with goals
Economic forces are largely powered by incentives. They’re everywhere. You have an incentive to create a good website, app or interactive experience, be it increasing sales or improving retention.
Your users have incentives for using your online tool; for agreeing to take the journey with you in the first place. They might be motivated to consume information, learn something new or make a purchase. These incentives are important – when you match them with clear, actionable user journeys, you make it far easier for your users to take them up.
Map out the journey
Once you understand your users, their goals and their incentives, it’s time to figure out the most seamless path to achieving them. A user journey is a series of steps representing a scenario in which an individual interacts with a website or app to achieve their goal. At every one of these steps, you can analyse the tasks, content and flow. This allows you to make incremental improvements.
If the end goal sits at the far end of a complex user journey, use your analysis to simplify the process. Put it this way – if someone can join a gym in under 60 seconds without having to think about it, it’s going to yield better results than one that makes users weave through complex pages and forms. A streamlined user experience makes goals that bit more attainable, which could make all the difference.