User Experience For Beginners: 4 Aspects
User Experience For Beginners
If you are an expert in UX, then this article is not for you. This article is about user experience for beginners- those who don’t currently have a UX strategy, but want to learn more. You might have read about or heard about UX. What you read or heard may or may not be true. There are lots of UX myths out there.
This is for all of you who don’t know anything, have questionable information, or are just getting started with UX.
Myth: User experience is just about design
If you think user experience is design alone, then you are not getting the most out of UX. In fact, you might be setting your user experience endeavor up for failure.
User experience should start with the very first strategy meeting. This means you have to include your UX team at that meeting and all strategy planning after. User experience means informed design, but it is founded in informed strategy.
UX is about strategy.
If you want a product/service that will truly provide great user experience, then your UX professionals need to work on the strategy, vision, and planning. Currently most companies contract UX professional just for design and execution and leave them out of the strategy. While most UX professionals are designers, they are not just designers.
Integrate your UX professionals into customer strategy. Then you’ll have a company that better understands users and their behaviors. Even if you aren’t actively working on a service or product for users, knowing more about your target audience will only help your organization. Apply UX to marketing, sales, customer service, and more.
How To Incorporate Your UX Team
Here’s what it would look like to integrate UX professionals into all parts of the strategy.
• You would ask the right questions in order to find out in-depth who the persona/buyer/user is for your product/service.
• You’d have a user-research informed map of the flow of how the user goes from point A to B in any situation.
• You would audit your product/service to analyze if you can salvage any parts or if you need to start from scratch. Therefore saving you time and money.
• You’d engage in fast prototyping, allowing you to iterate rapidly in development. This allows you to work on small chunks of your product. You analyze, develop, reanalyze, adjust development, and on in a creation cycle.
Remember, this process is ultimately about meeting the users’ goals. But it’s also about using the most efficient strategic process to do so. User experience reduces the risk that you’ll design the wrong product for your target audience. It’s about saving you grief as well as time and money.
Hopefully you understand, a little more, the importance of integrating user experience into your strategy, design, and development processes. But it raises one important question.
Who will lead your UX efforts?
You have to decide whether to recruit members of your team internally or hire an external team.
While it may seem easy to assign this to someone in your office who’s already working for you, there are some disadvantages to recruiting internally.
- Your current staff may not have the time to dedicate to user experience. Outside teams are dedicated to UX and aren’t jumping back and forth between different tasks like internal staff have to.
- They might be too close to the company. An outside team has an outside perspective, which is often a more honest perspective to see what needs to change.
- Your staff might not understand the importance of user experience like you do. External UX teams are devoted to it and believe in it, which is important for finding success.
- They might have time and they might understand why it’s important. But do they have the track record to be as efficient and effective as an external UX team would be?
When making the decision to go internal or external with your UX efforts, you have to think about what is best for your project. Make sure that whoever you choose has the time, perspective, understanding, and track record to find maximum success with UX integration.
The last lesson for user experience for beginners is to understand that one person cannot do all of this alone.
Let me tell you right now, if you just assign a single designer to handle UX and leave it there, then it won’t work.
UX is more than one person. UX is a team.
Everyone who is involved in a user-facing element, software, product or service needs to be part of the UX team. Who might this include?
- User Researcher
- Information Architect
- Content Specialist
- Interaction Designer
- Visual Designer
- Project Manager
- Front-end Developer
- Online Marketer
Not every project has to have each of these positions, and many projects have multiple people on each position. But the point is, if you have people in these positions, then they need to be on board with user experience.
What does it mean to have people on board with user experience?
At the very least, these people need to understand the importance of UX and be able to learn and utilize UX methodologies.
And it’s important to note that user experience needs to be ingrained in the company even deeper than the above positions.
UX needs to be at the very core of the company.
This means management needs to support UX, all the way to the top. That’s why we strongly recommend companies include UX in strategy. If UX is integrated into the very vision and philosophy of the company, then it goes without saying that users will notice and will reward you.
With good user experience, your users will feel respected and heard and will, in turn, respect you and give their attention, support, and money to you. UX boosts ROI. What more can you ask for?
Pixel506 is a digital solutions company. Whether you are looking for a facelift for your website, re-branding, digital marketing, or content creation, we take pleasure in building you the right strategy and delivering you a product that goes above and beyond your expectations. We would love to start a project with you, so hit us up!