Make it an integral part of the design process from concept to product launch

Don’t get minimal confused with simple

The minimal design movement in full swing companies is making mistakes. In the search for that perfect balance between minimal and simple, you may be creating complexity. Don’t strip away the valuable information for the user to make the desired decision. A company that got it right is Square. 

Try not to use icons without text unless you are certain that users know exactly what the icon represents. The shopping cart is a commonly understood icon. Don’t use it outside of what it is known for. Try not to introduce a navigational pattern that breaks away from the norm. Don’t put back buttons at the top right of an app screen. 

Remember that you want your product or service to be easy to use. When the users are forced to think or overcome the complexity or think to figure out the simple then you have not produced a good user experience. Whats that phrase “keep it simple”.

Don’t assume that you know your users

I see so many times a CEO comes to me with a product idea and he wants to skip the UX phase and go right to visual design. I get handed a design brief that has one persona in it and it pretty much is the CEO giving me the one person persona of him/herself. It is not good for your product or service to assume that you know your customer. If you are limited on a budget you can do some type of research and understand the user journey. Don’t skip understanding your users or it will cost you headaches after you launch the product and find out that your assumptions were wrong.

What does that icon mean?

I am sure that you have asked yourself that question at some point if you have ever used a digital product or service. Good icons make a webpage or app look more pleasing. The wrong icon can make the user navigate to the wrong place and that becomes frustrating to any user. There are only a few icons that are universally understood (ie. print, close, play/pause, like, reply, tweet, share on Facebook).

I think we all can agree that well-designed icons add esthetic value. Consider if the icon is clear enough to be understood by itself. If not then add text to it.

Forget the three clicks away rule

It has long ben taught that in web design you want your users to be 3 clicks away from the end result. There is nothing wrong with that theory but It doesn’t hold true anymore. I recently found this article and thought it was correct enough to share.

If you give users constant information down the click path the users won’t mind having to click a couple more times to get where they want to go. Again if you don’t have to make the user think about the clicks then the experience will be well received.

The difference between UX and UI

UX Defined

UX is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product. As a scientific process, it could be applied to anything, chairs, cars, golf clubs and so on.

Why the Confusion

Because of the UX position infancy, the clear understanding of what a UX designer responsibilities is not understood. Companies also try to cut corners on their bottom line by combining UX and UI designer rolls into one. UX is how it feels and UI is what it looks like.

Importance of UX

Ux is a complex role. It is a cognitive process that develops the quality of interaction between a user of a product and the end user. This roll dominates the digital industry of apps and websites. User experience plays a huge role in users perception of a brand. With Some brands having their first point of contact through a digital product the positive association and emotional connection is dependent on great user experience.

Design aesthetics are important

Cognative Design

The best link color is blue. this utilizes commonality with user overall. Some things you want to keep in your site design that users expect to see. like the logo at the top left with home link, blue link colors, search box a the top of a site or app. This is known as usage patterns.

Is scrolling good for your site

The current trend is to have a single long page for your website home page. As web designers, we are changing the way people view websites with a single page with all of your content on it. If you cannot capture your users or site visitors above the fold (768 pixels for the top) you may not get them to scroll down your website to see all of your content. This is one reason to have great photography and the correct messaging above the fold.

Is visual design important

Yes design is important. Consumers are becoming more and more conscious to the term experience. When we download a new app we have an expectation of how the app should function. No one has ever outlined what a good app experience should be like. We have come to expect speed, common sense flow from one section to another and most of all a certain level of design. People judge brand creditability by design. If your design is not up to date users will have a tendency to feel your content is not relevant to modern times. They won’t take you seriously and possibly go to your competitors who spent the time and money on visual design.

Concept to Execution

Part of any design process is understanding what your designing for. I sketch rough ideas on my ipad in procreate. then I execute the idea after the approval of the screen design.