With all the talk around UX we do see better experiences being created, but I want to hit home that UX is never done.
User experience design is NOT a one-and-done deal. In order to create and maintain a good user experience you MUST iterate.
Note: User experience design can (and needs to) be applied to any product, service and experience when being conceptualized, built and run. For the purpose of this article, we’re focusing on digital user experiences only.
What is human in digital UX?
TechTarget defines the digital user experience as “the take-away feeling an end user has after an experience in a digital environment.”
While this is true, I like to be more explicit. Digital user experience is the feeling a human has in the introduction to, during and after an experience in your digital environment.
Your digital environment can be your website, app, online game, the list goes on.
It’s important that we not remove ourselves, humans, from this equation, even in how we talk about the experience. It’s not ‘the’ or ‘it’, our pronouns need to be ‘yours’, ‘mine’, ‘ours.’ The reason being we’re not making this for a machine or an algorithm sitting on a server, that may be part of the tech that makes your digital environment function, it’s not your end user.
7 Questions you must answer with confidence to make a good human digital UX:
The Interaction Design Foundation lists 7 factors in user experience design: Useful, Usable, Findable, Credible, Desirable, Accessible and Valuable. Devised from these standards, here are questions to ask yourself, your team, and super importantly your market:
- Is your digital experience actually useful? Like for real, be honest.
- Is your digital experience fairly easy to use?
- How can your user find your digital experience?
- Is your digital experience a credible (legitimate) solution to a certain pain point/problem?
- Do people really want your digital experience?
- Does your digital experience meet the standards of accessibility?
- What value is your digital experience delivering to your users?
Somewhat of a side step to UX, but also super important to ask yourself for internal business purposes: Is my digital experience financially sustainable?
3 Steps to put the YOU in digital UX
Ask, evaluate, then iterate.
- Ask your users what they think. Really.
- Use the list of questions above.
- Listen to them.
- Evaluate their feedback.
- Note: Not all feedback points will need to be implemented. Just be sure you’re accurately weighing your user feedback to what you’re striving to create. People don’t always see the leap forward that you’re trying to make. That said, don’t disregard their feedback.
- Determine which feedback points make sense to implement to support the vision and purpose of the product.
- Then Iterate on your digital experience.
- While you may not use all of the feedback you gather from your users on your product itself, it serves an additional purpose. You get to see where your users’ heads are at, which can help you see how you need to present your product to them via marketing messaging.
I can already hear the questions being yelled from the interwebs.
What If you don’t know the answers yet because you haven’t launched beta? What happens if you aren’t able to answer or meet these questions with confidence? Or maybe you used to be able to answer these but can no longer.
Here’s what you can do, IMO.
Do a prototype, maybe not a rapid prototype and run a quick and dirty user test which can be done in person or virtual. This will help you connect or reconnect with your user base. But keep in mind, the UX process is never finished.
That said… Go make the damn thing!
Run humans through it, make it better, launch it and continue to ask, evaluate and iterate to keep your digital experience relevant, helpful and ultimately memorable. Memorable for the pain-point it’s solving for us, not the steps involved.