The user experience design (UX) ideology has changed over the last decade as websites and apps have become more deeply entrenched in our lives. As a result, UX has also evolved from being a discipline that enables user convenience to a discipline that is shaping user behavior in general, not just on the web. Let’s glance through a list of UX best practices that dictate how leading UX designers approach the subject and define what’s standard in today’s marketplace and in the time to come:
Clear the Clutter
The first Amazon website was just a bunch of links. One of the first social networking sites Myspace was a collage of photos and text boxes. The difference between the two examples is that one survived since they constantly innovated on their design while the other didn’t. Modern-day UX design involves a clean and simple underlying thought process which translates into an intuitive user experience. When you design, you should aim to clear the clutter on the screen, provide enough white spaces and remove the features that are not necessary. Outline the app’s objective and aim at doing just that one thing right. For example, Instagram provides you with an amazing interface. It’s objective is to let users consume and share visual content.
Don’t keep people (users) waiting
As users’ attention span fades and patience wanes, displaying a screen that shows no content or buffering content is a crime against humanity. Users will glance at the application for a couple of seconds before shutting your app and moving onto something else. Build innovative ‘in-between’ screens, micro-animations, or illustrations to keep users engaged even while they are waiting. Facebook caches content so that even in no network area if you open the app, a part of the content always uploads.
Tell them what’s right or wrong
Perhaps, the most striking bane of the digital age is that users no longer know what to believe. Everyday interpersonal communication between people online is loaded with links to different blogs and articles, gifs and videos all who may not be representing the truth. UX in this post-truth era must play the role of the efficient fact-checker and provide ample disclaimers when the authenticity of data cannot be determined before distribution to users. For example, Twitter recently introduced the manipulative content tag.
A product or service should not discriminate between people based on location and language barriers. UX design must be re-imagined based on the behaviors typical to the target audience it’s hoping to reach out to. The English version of an app will read left to right while an Urdu version of the same must be designed keeping in mind that the user will view it from right to left. According to the WHO, 15% of the world population faces some or the other form of disability; UX must build unique experiences to favor this section of society as well.
Integration across all devices
UX design is no longer a monopolistic domain of the computer or the mobile phone. It extended to a plethora of devices ranging from tablets and hand-held gaming devices to a multitude of automobile dashboards and fitness wearables. UX design has to be compatible with all devices in the user universe to prevent inconsistencies in the experiences.
All design efforts have the same objective, ie, to build a delightful user experience which ranks high in utility and usability. The UX designer must have an in-depth understanding of who his/her customer is, what they’re looking for and how to design can deliver it to them. Keeping the UX best practices in mind will help the designer develop a framework of success that will delight users and increase retention. Click here to read about the UI best practices.