A tale of UX as a misconception.
— Hi, I’m John, UX designer starting today on this project.
— Cool, I’m Joe, project manager. Glad to have you on the team.
— Glad to be here. How can I help?
— So… We have designed a first version of our app, but we’re now thinking of doing the UX to improve a few things… People are downloading the app, using it once, but not really coming back to it over time.
“Do” the UX
What they meant: can you help us think through the app’s interaction design, structure and navigation?
Where the misconception is: presuming one single person is responsible for successfully conceiving, designing, implementing and validating the user’s experience with a product.
A good user experience depends on:
- Clear structure and navigation flows;
- Compelling and clear visual design;
- Great copy and tone of voice;
- Thoughtful transitions and animations;
- The app’s performance and speed;
- The user’s mobile phone performance and speed;
- The user’s internet connection;
- The product making sense to that user;
- The product adding value to what that user needs;
- A clear understanding by the user of what the product does;
- How accessible the product is;
- The user’s social, cultural and demographic context;
- Where the user is at the time they engage with the app;
- Everything the user has seen in their entire life;
- How the user is feeling that particular day they use the product;
- Etc, etc, etc.
Sure, I can do the UX for you.
“I love the UX you did for that mobile app”
What they meant: I love the interface you designed.
Where the misconception is: UX is an abstract noun, not concrete.
John has 8 UXs in their bag and gives 3 to Joe. How many UXs does John have left?
“This user interface is missing a little bit of UX”
What they meant: this user interface is hard to use.
Where the misconception is: that good UX = good usability.
UX stands for User Experience. A user’s experience with your product can be good or bad (in the example above, probably bad). UX Designers are not magic creatures holding a wand that simply “adds” UX to an interface. The UX was already there — it was just making the user’s life miserable.
“Hmm, there’s too much UX in this product”
What they meant: iougarklasjbsdfgaiweoqiuwyrshbe.
Where the problem is: in the world.
“New course: learn everything about Android UX”
What they meant: learn a few best practices that will help you make less mistakes when designing app interfaces that will live on Android-powered devices.
Where the misconception is: thinking that every single Android app experience is the same, and that there are a series of universal laws that work for any Android app — from a game to an ecommerce app, including dating apps and maps.
It’s like creating a course for architects called “learn how to design lofts”. No matter whether it is a 300 or 3000 square-foot one. Whether it is residential or a storage area. Whether it is for a single person, or for a family of eight. Whether it is built in a Rio favela or on an Icelandic plateau. Whether it will be made of clay or steel. “In one weekend you will learn how to create lofts for any situation.”
This article originally appeared on UX Collective
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