Completing a fast ride down a steep hill is a Positive User Experience - illustration of a girl skateboarding

What is User Experience (UX)

Do you remember learning to ride a bike or a horse? Or skateboarding down a steep hill? Or your first big turn on a surfboard or snowboard? The experience was exhilarating. It was a great user experience.

Conversely, patting an echidna (an Australian hedgehog) is a poor user experience. I found they pull their spines back and then push them forward into delicate fingers. I should have known better.

We are shaped by our experiences, both in life and online.

User experience online is how a human feels when using apps or websites. If the app is hard to use it can leave the user with a negative user experience. If the experience is good - it can make the app fun to use, creating a positive user experience.

User experience starts with a great user interface.

But great looks are only part of the journey, you also need the personality to create a great user experience.

This is where emotional design and neuromarketing come into play.


UI Failure - A cartoon showing a skateboard with square wheels

Making a connection

Personality is created by emotional design and psychological triggers.

Emotions are part of the human condition. They help us to read situations and keep us safe.

Positive emotions give us pleasure. Bad emotions can make us feel uneasy. Extreme bad emotions trigger the fight or flight reaction.

A good designer can build a positive emotion into the user interface (UI) of apps or websites, but it takes a specialist to merge this with a positive User Experience.

The connection you achieve by melding great user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) makes the difference between an interesting idea and a successful website or app.


Thinking hurts the bottom line

Don't make it hard for people to spend money on your site.

There is nothing more annoying than trying to follow complicated instructions to achieve a simple goal.

A great user experience strategy is to minimise the number of interactions a user needs to complete to achieve a goal.

Use logical and recognisable everyday design patterns like shopping carts. Don't reinvent, as it adds complexity.

A cartoon showing an obvious buy button - no need to think

My top 5 user experience tips

  • Stay on target
    • Keeps simple and logical user paths to goals through the web app
    • Remove irrelevant distractions from the use paths
  • Increasing website speed
    • Minimise file sizes
    • Keep the number of website requests down. This can be achieved by combining CCS and JS files and using image sprites
    • Inlining SVG images also helps with browser caching
  • Mobile friendly your website and test in all major web browsers
  • Design for emotion
    • Tone of voice in your app copy (text)
    • Use appropriate colours and imagery
    • Simple intuitive design
  • Analytics and Testing
    • Keep watching your analytics
    • Use A/B testing and UAT testing to better your goal conversion rates

Let me know your thoughts below.

Tags: User Interface,User Experience

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