User experience design is the process of optimising and improving how real people interact with your product.
If you have done your job right, your users will interact with your product seamlessly — the steps they need to take to complete a task will be obvious, and eventually everything they do will become second-nature. They won’t even have to think about it!
In a digital world it is crucial businesses understand the necessity of UX design and the role of a UX team. If they don’t understand this, it will have a real impact on a company’s bottom line.
Understanding The Role Of UX Designers
The UX team at Planday represent the voice, thoughts and actions of the customers within our business.
When we work on adding to and improving our product, our aim as designers is to first question how it will impact the end user.
Will this improvement be additive to someone’s experience or detract from it? We question how they will use something and how it affects a flow from A to B when trying to complete a task.
We ask questions like, “how would a customer use this?” and look at where they are in the app to answer it.
Maybe they use a mobile app to complete the task on their way to work. Maybe they’re on a computer in the middle of the day. We continually look to make it easier for end users. That makes us carefully consider all of the choices we make.
We know no two of our users are the same and our customers need the flexibility that the Planday platform provides.
That’s why, at the interface level, our UX team carefully considers the everyday usability of what we’re working on as well as taking a wider look at how accessible an interface is to people with varying disabilities.
For instance, Planday works for people who are colour blind. You can also change the settings to increase the font for people with poor vision, as well as the multiple languages in which you can use Planday.
We also make sure lists within the app don’t have too many numbers — no more than seven, the brain’s “magic number!”
What may seem like a tiny, almost insignificant detail can make all the difference on whether a user finds a product simple to use or constantly frustrating. That’s why the UX team at Planday use this type of information to make sure elements of an interface they design are considered, tested and refined.
Planday is about making people’s lives easier. And that’s what makes our UX design so important.
Why Companies Need To Focus On UX Design
If you don’t constantly focus on who you’re building a product for — who will actually use it! — you can’t realistically expect the end product to be successful. Studies consistently show ROI for UX design is massive. For every dollar spent on a UX team, a company has the potential to gain back $100.
The reason for such a huge return on investment is because focusing on UX enables you to build a product people enjoy using. If a product enables users to complete tasks faster, better and with less frustration along the way then it’s effective and will see success.
Planday continually reaches out to users for subjective feedback to better improve future experiences within our product.
Creating a subjective feedback loop is essential for the constant improvement of the product experience. If you want users to use your product or service without thinking about it — almost automatically and possibly even integrated into their everyday life — then you need to work hard to make that happen.
Every UX team should also look at analytics and data to both understand users’ behaviour from a statistical point of view but also to look for patterns that can be used to inform product and design improvements as you drive development forward.
The Consequences Of Ignoring UX Design
Just as UX design has the potential to improve earnings, refusal to invest in UX design can also result in a loss of profit. Remember, a UX team’s primary job is to focus on the customer and to anticipate their needs to better meet (and surpass) them. A company that’s serious about its reputation as being design-driven can’t afford to ignore UX. You have to think about the customer and their experience with your business from beginning to end, with every touch-point they encounter.
Whether it’s software help information or interacting with customer service, you want every part of their journey to be optimised and easy.
Start with the big picture and work your way down, making sure you always remember the end users.
When users get through a process without feeling angry, frustrated or confused, a UX Designer’s job is done. But if they feel like they have to fight with or wrestle your system — or things just don’t make sense — it’s a sure sign you’re not dedicating enough resources to UX design.
An awesome UX team dedicates themselves to the cyclical nature of their work. They research assumptions about the users and attempt to optimise features before they’re released.
Post-release they test, measure, learn and iterate. It’s a process that’s never-ending, but also necessary for growth and competitiveness.
Photos by Unsplash