5 min read

How can one stand out in a crowded design market without sacrificing UX

Because the digital space is so crowded, UX designers are competing to stand out. Often at the cost of user experience design. In this post we look at ways that designers and businesses can help their apps and websites stand out in a saturated market without sacrificing UX design.

Designers are constantly competing to differentiate themselves and their digital designs, often at the cost of user experience. As trends are constantly changing, and styles are always evolving, there is always space for unique designs to stand out in the market.

However because the industry is heavily dependent on aesthetics and visuals, it can have both pros and cons. The pros can be recognition, industry awards, compliments from peers and scope to do interesting work. The cons however can be a fear of not getting the kind of recognition they deserve. 

In the race to compete and make their designs stand out, UX designers are sacrificing user experience

Digital design is starting to copy other industries that are heavily focused on design and aesthetics. However designers forget that there is an end user who has to interact with that design, whether it is an app, website or operating system. These users can often end up feeling frustrated with these constant design changes that add no value to their overall user experience. This can ultimately lead to them not using the website or app after a while due to this poor experience.

Design styles are beginning to repeat themselves

Even with such a wide range of design styles, the reality is that even in web design, styles are ultimately limited. We are already starting to see designs repeat themselves in cycles.

All of this leads to dissatisfied users

Thus UX designers are not really pushing the boundaries when it comes to user experience or design. Rather than moving towards better user experience and better design, UX designers are just getting stuck in a loop of blindly keeping up the trends to compete with other designers in the field.

Businesses too are getting caught up in this rapid trend cycle

It’s not designers that are trying to keep up with the trends, but businesses too. Since all companies are competing for the attention of consumers who are always looking for something new, design can often become a way to solely drive sales and profits. This constant fight for attention, can end up ignoring even the most basic UX principles.

An example of this is Material Design, which was Google’s response to Apple’s operating software iOS. They took existing design concepts and components, and developed them into a system that is easy for users to interact with, and understand. However they were far behind Apple in terms of user interface design and consistency. Most Android apps were severely lacking in design terms, and many potential users were put off by this.

Thus, organizations and designers need to focus on creating a timeless design language that is based on usability but also innovating on the visual front.

Here are a few tried and tested ways to improve user experience

1. Using a consultative user experience approach

Some industries and businesses require a lot of technical information that customers may not be aware of. Thus many organizations are taking a consultative approach to user experience, that tries and understands their customers needs before offering a solution. Thus the solution can be more customized in favor of what the customers’ needs are at that moment.

2. Optimizing the Call to Action

The call to action button is the most important part of your user experience. It is what prompts users to take the action you want them to. Thus it is extremely important to first identify what it is that you want users to do. Once you’ve figured out what action to optimize for, you can play around with the user flow and call to action buttons to nudge them towards that flow. A/B test a few different approaches to see what works best.

3. Testing and Monitoring

Conduct user research constantly to see what is working and what isn’t. Combine this with keeping an eye on your metrics to understand how your website or application is performing and whether or not users are satisfied with it.

4. Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design is an approach that aims to provide an optimal viewing experience to the user. This includes easy reading and navigation, minimal need for resizing across different devices like desktop computers and mobile phones.

5. Keep track of what actions users are taking on your website by using tools

There are a variety of tools available that help you monitor users actions and whether or not it is actually leading to conversions. These tools are a great way to track what your users are doing on your site and then make changes that can help convert more users to paying customers. You can also add elements that will increase the overall user experience.

Conclusion

User experience has the ability to leave a lasting impression on your customers. Thus sacrificing user experience in favor of flashy design that adds no value will ultimately be a poor choice in the long run. Businesses and designers can use the fear of becoming obsolete, in a positive way by implementing tried and tested design language that improves overall usability. This means paying attention to the basic principles of UX design like contrast, accessibility, typography, having clear calls to action and other key elements that make up a website.

Sonakshi Kochhar