06 Mar User Experience a Journey for Better IT Services
User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.
User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project. UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of the product and any related services.
User Experience in the IT Industry
In the IT industry, software developers and web designers will sometimes talk about user experience using these related terms:
- User-Centered Design
- User Interface (UI) or Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Peter Morville represents this through his User Experience Honeycomb.
He notes that in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:
- Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
- Usable: Site must be easy to use
- Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
- Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
- Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
- Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them
The User-centered design (UCD) process outlines the phases throughout a design and development life-cycle all while focusing on gaining a deep understanding of who will be using the product.
According to Userfocus Site exit Disclaimer, there are multiple principles that underlie user centered design. Design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks, and environments; is driven and refined by user-centered evaluation; and addresses the whole user experience. The process involves users throughout the design and development process and it is iterative. And finally, the team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.
The following are the general phases of the UCD process:
- Specify the context of use: Identify the people who will use the product, what they will use it for, and under what conditions they will use it.
- Specify requirements: Identify any business requirements or user goals that must be met for the product to be successful.
- Create design solutions: This part of the process may be done in stages, building from a rough concept to a complete design.
- Evaluate designs: Evaluation – ideally through usability testing with actual users – is as integral as quality testing is to good software development
Benefits of User-Centered Design
Is including user experience in project development worth the time and resources?If so, how can you determine and communicate back the value of following a user-centered design (UCD) approach to your organization?When talking about the benefit of UCD, you can discuss success measures in terms of measuring user performance and satisfaction as well as calculating some of your return on investment.
By building a skilled team and following the best practices outlined on this site, you can avoid several of the top 12 reasons for why IT projects fail.
- Unrealistic or unarticulated project goals
- Inaccurate estimates of needed resources
- Badly defined system requirements
- Poor reporting of the project’s status
- Unmanaged risks
- Poor communication among customers, developers, and users
- Use of immature technology
- Inability to handle the project’s complexity
- Sloppy development practices
- Poor project management
- Stakeholder politics
- Commercial pressures
Understanding Your Return on Investment (ROI) of UX
Mohamed Yunus A Vanathode