You’ve all heard about user experience (UX), and if you haven’t, you can read an introduction here. A lot of information out there about user experience can seem a bit vague, so here are five user experience myths that we’d like to clear up.
Myth #1 UX = UI (User interface)
The UI is just the face of the computer system the user is interacting with. But user experience isn’t just about the appearance of a system. It is about how the user thinks, makes decisions, and integrates the product/service into their lives.
Reality #1 UX = Perception + Sensations + Interactions
Myth #2 UX is a box to be checked
User experience starts long before your start designing and lasts long after you are done developing. It is the entire process of learning about your users, adjusting to their behaviors, and evolving the product/service. It unites the user’s needs with the business digital strategy, and in turn affects that very same strategy. It’s not a step; it’s a way of life.
Reality #2 UX is a continual process of product/service evolution
Myth #3 UX is just about technology.
Like we said before, user experience is a way of life and, unlike sci-fi will have you believe, technology isn’t quite life. User experience is ultimately about helping people, and technology is simply the tool that we use to do this. We don’t use technologies just for fun; we use them with strategic purpose.
Reality #3 UX uses technology to help people accomplish their goals.
Myth #4 You already understand your user.
Most companies believe they know their user, but what they have are just assumptions. User research is crucial before any designing or develop can even start. You must integrate testing into every part of the design and development by testing your prototypes with your target user population. You also need to remember that people’s goals and needs change as society and trends change and you must be ready to respond.
Reality #4 User testing helps you understand your user’s needs and goals and how they change over time.
Myth #5 UX adds time and money.
If you just look at a side-by-side scheme of a traditional methodology next to one which integrates user experience, then it might look more expensive. But you have to consider how expensive and time-wasting it is to design and develop a product/service that users don’t want or need. Building the right product from the beginning is much faster and cheaper than trying to fix a failed product.
Reality #5 UX ensures you build the right product/service from the beginning, saving time and money.
Like all strategies, methodologies, and changes, user experience must be well thought out and strategically applied since there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all in business. But when done right for your brand and business, user experience will give you the confidence to know you’re actually making a difference with your target audience. Don’t get confused with user experience myths.