I am a user experience designer. I define “user experience” as every piece of every interaction a user has with a system.
That system might be a retail business. The UX design defines every aspect of the customer’s experience with that business, including:
- The definition of the business vision and voice
- The in-store experience from store layout to employee/customer interaction to receipt design
- The online experience from landing page to product search to checkout to package tracking
- The customer service experience from inital contact to final resolution while supporting business voice and goals
That system might be a complex data-entry mechanism. UX provides the structure to enable user efficiency and includes
- Clear form and input design with intelligent data groups
- Coherent system feedback on everything from “system busy” indicators to easy-to-understand validation and error messages
First, do no harm. Prevent user error
Late one night, I accidentally deleted an entire ecommerce site’s front end in one click. The site management system did not warn me that I was about to take a destructive action. Oops. Preventing user error makes users more confident and efficient, and keeps businesses humming with valid data.
Design is a service industry
Good design serves the voice of the author. The author may be a business or a human. Either way, design facilitates the communication between the author and the user.
What is the voice of the author? What are the pain points of the user? Listen, watch, and empathize.
Always have a reason why
Every design decision should be in support of a goal that can be articulated.
“Why did you put the logout button at the top right?”
“Typically, users who log in want to stay logged in. Putting the logout button at the top right takes it out of a zone where they might click it accidentally and puts it in a position where it is easy to find when they are ready to leave.”
Consistency is not the hobgoblin of small minds
Consistency lets users learn to operate based on habit and muscle memory rather than thought. Habit is faster.
Clear writing, good grammar, and correct spelling support system credibility.
Appealing visual design works better
What actually is appealing can be a subject for debate. The point is that a system should not be painful to look at.
Please contact me to request passwords for the Makeover and Backwards Process pages. I apologize for the inconvenience. My most recent work is on internal enterprise applications that support business operations and cannot be exposed on the internet. I will happily demo my work on request.