Memo: Squarespace and MailChimp five-minute UX guide

Original author: Sven Lenaerts
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From the translator: this is a short (literally - five-minute) story about what the main directions, goals and objectives of UX are, which will be interesting to those who are just starting to get acquainted with this topic. At the end of the article, we decided to give a list of interesting publications on the topic, with which you can continue the process of studying interface design and usability.

The task of the UX designer is to make the user experience more efficient, increase their satisfaction with the process and, as a result, ensure the company commercial success. But striking a balance between user needs and your business goals is not easy. Editorial publications FastCompany Haylemanna asked Michael (Michael Heilemann), Director of the interfaces in Squarespace, and Aaron Walter (Aarron Walter), Director of UX when email-newslettersMailChimp, share your knowledge on the topic.

User experience and interface design are completely different things. To create and improve the user experience, Photoshop is not needed, and, of course, this process does not occur at the last step of the product. To design a UX, you need to deal with a [corporate] user-oriented strategy, engage in analysis and research of the audience, and understand the physiological aspects of design. In order to understand all this, there are a number of methods:

  • Exploring devices: what are the strengths and weaknesses of specific devices, and what impact does this have on your product? For example, the user experience from working on a device with a touch interface and on a traditional device with a monitor will be fundamentally different.
  • Character Creation: What does your average user look like? How can this information affect your product?
  • Designing patterns [behavior]: how often does the checkout procedure occur in electronic stores?
  • In large projects, work on UX can be completely separated from interface design processes, information architecture, and interactions. Although in reality this happens infrequently, and in most agencies and start-ups, these aspects of the project are usually combined in one position.

“Our goal is to make the software functional, reliable and ready to use so that people can solve their problems with it,” says Aaron Walter. “But we believe that developing software that is just ready for use is like chef cooking food that is“ just edible. ” To attract people, you need to go beyond basic practicality. We want the things we interact with to evoke emotions in us. ”

UX is something you can definitely feel. It is curious that this is not just a common opinion - it is confirmed at the level of physiology and understanding of how people interact and behave. Interfaces can cause both enthusiasm and frustration. How the object looks and how well thought out its interface directly affects our perception of the product.

“We carefully evaluate the emotional state of our customers at different stages of their work in such a way as to create a product that at the right time demonstrates that it is functional and not boring to use,” says Walter. By creating a truly superior user experience, you attract your customers from many angles. You can use the tools to track the direction of the user's gaze to better understand the needs of your audience and improve your products. In most cases, an excellent user experience is achieved through work in a number of disciplines:

  • Physiology : What motivates the user? For example, did you know that the so-called “Power users”, “leaders” among users, make up only a couple of percent of the total volume of customers using your product? In other words, when developing your product, do not focus only on this narrow group.
  • Usability : What causes user inconvenience? Designed navigation is also part of usability. Think about how to organize sections of a site more efficiently: using a flat or hierarchical structure?
  • Design : Why does the user not trust us? Contrast and color are important and have deep meaning for people. Therefore, it is necessary to think about design before applying it “in practice”.
  • Content : What to show the user more often: the button "Save" or "Continue"? Clarity in the presentation of information plays a paramount role here and often leads to increased conversions. People really read texts on the site, and their writing should be considered as part of the design process [interface].
  • Analytics : What should we say about the failure rate?

Walter believes in the power of analytics, but calls for caution: “Some things are simple enough to measure: the time to solve the problem, the percentage of completed registration, the number of calls to support for a specific issue — these are examples of metrics that you can easily calculate. But not all important things can be quantified. How to measure how many smiles a funny written text caused, how to calculate the attractiveness of an interface? It is impossible to do this, but because of this, these things do not become less important. ”

What is the value of UX?

As a rule, it can be useful to leave the screen for a minute and think about what your product is in terms of conversion, usability, content and design - this helps you better understand what your project is worth to customers.

UX's goal now is to improve these specific aspects of the business. Thanks to this, it becomes possible to answer questions like: why the values ​​in a number of our indicators began to decrease? How can we improve the usability of our site?

Even in order to improve CTA on the site, you need to think about UX. When you combine the goals of your users and your own, you are on the path to success.

How do companies use UX?

“Listen to your customers,” says Michael Heilemann. This is the only thing that matters. We all listen to our customers ... and often use user reviews to understand what we are missing, what we were unable to do. And after that we take up work again.

In the end, our entire business is built around a user experience that we learn to understand and improve. It is not so simple.

“No one gets everything at once and without effort. If you listen to users and improve your product to meet their needs, you are on the right track, ”says Walter.

UX is only part of the picture

Yes, UX is an important element in creating great products, software, and systems. But do not forget that exceptional user experience is directly related to the excellent quality of development and graphic design.

UX has long been new to anyone. This area is developing, and analytics confirm that the presence of a UX-designer in the team brings tangible benefits to the project.

“UX is not something you can just implement, it is the foundation of a core value system,” says Walter.

We have prepared a small selection of useful sources on the topic:

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