Designing the user experience in software development is essential for creating apps users can understand, interact with, and enjoy. UX focuses on understanding the needs of the user and creating a product that meets them most efficiently and effectively. That’s the short answer to the question: “Why is UX important?”. But what happens when you neglect the user experience design?
Bad UX can kill – literally!
Martha was a 33-year-old woman who’d been admitted to a hospital for a routine procedure. The hospital had adopted a new electronic medical records system, but the implementation had been rushed, and the user experience had been neglected. As a result, the medical staff had difficulty navigating the new system and were often unable to locate the information they needed.
On the day of Martha’s procedure, the doctor couldn’t find her medical history. When he finally did, he misread it as part of the documentation was hidden in another tab. Because of this, he proceeded to prescribe the wrong medication. It caused a severe allergic reaction, and Martha went into anaphylactic shock. Despite the medical staff’s best efforts, they could not stabilize her, and she passed away.
This is a made-up story, but not an improbable one. A supposedly real story was shared by Jonathan Shariat on Medium, though. Jonathan speaks about a small girl whose name is undisclosed but who he calls Jenny. She was about to start chemotherapy and had to receive I.V. hydration for three days before it.
Three very experienced nurses were taking care of her but failed to complete the hydration procedure. How come? They were too focused on trying to figure out a piece of medical software that was overcomplicated and hard to grasp. Unfortunately, Jenny was found dead shortly after her chemotherapy started.
Whether real or not, these two stories show us how important user experience in software development can be. Of course, not every poorly designed UX will kill people. But at the very least, it’ll prevent even the best software project from achieving success and make you lose money.
The five keys to a good UX
Before we get into the details of creating a great UX, let’s define what exactly we mean by user experience in software development to get any ambiguity out of the way. The term refers to a person’s overall experience when using a product, such as a website, app, or software. It encompasses how easy or difficult the product is to use, how visually pleasing it is, and how well it meets the user’s needs.
An essential part of a good user experience is a well-designed user interface (UI), the part of an application that allows the user to interact with the system and its elements. It consists of elements such as menus, buttons, windows, and icons, as well as sound, touch, or other input mechanisms. So how can you ensure an excellent interface and fantastic user experience in your next project? Make sure you remember the following five key elements.
Create a user-centered design
When creating the user experience in software development, you must remember to create your program or application with the user in mind. Your personal feelings about the looks and functionality of the app might be valuable insight but can’t be the deciding factor. It’s the user that needs to be satisfied with the design. After all, your success depends entirely on how good their experience is.
Start by asking yourself a few questions. Who are the users? What are their goals? What tasks do they need to accomplish? Knowing the answers will help ensure that the software meets the users’ needs. It’s also important to understand the context in which users will be using the software, such as their device, location, and the environment in which they are using it.
Once the user needs have been identified, the assigned team should draft some initial plans and begin working on the UX and, eventually, interface. One that’s intuitive and easy to use for the target audience. A good interface is a simple one, usually. With clearly labeled buttons and menus. It should also be designed to be responsive and adjust to different screen sizes and devices.
I spend most of my time analyzing the issue before working on the final design solution. Deep research and analysis allow me to design a final solution that meets the user’s needs and business goals quickly and effectively.
Mariusz Kramek, UX/UI Designer at 4Experience
Another important aspect of creating a user-centered design is testing. Whenever possible, it’s good to perform tests with users to ensure that the software meets their needs. Testing should be conducted throughout the development process or – ideally – during prototyping, allowing feedback to be incorporated into the design. This will help to ensure that the interface is as user-friendly as possible.
In addition to user testing, it’s essential to be flexible and use user feedback to improve the user experience in software development. This feedback can refine the design, making it easier to use and more personalized to the user. If possible, the user should be able to customize the interface to their own preferences, such as the color scheme and font size. This will help to create a more engaging and personalized experience.
Prioritize the usability
Let’s return to the initial question in this article: why is UX important? Because a good user experience in software development means people will want to download our app and use it to its full extent. And if we want that to happen, we must prioritize our software’s usability. How do we do this?
First, by keeping things simple. The interface should be designed so that everything necessary can be found quickly and easily by users unfamiliar with the product. Overly complex designs or too much information can confuse, so avoiding these pitfalls when building a user experience in software development is important.
It’s also important to prioritize key content on your pages so that users can find what they need without getting overwhelmed by extraneous details. Make sure your content is concise, clear, and easy to read. Any distractions or unnecessary elements should be removed from pages so that nothing interrupts a user’s task flow and potentially derails their progress.
Responsiveness is another factor when considering usability in software projects; ensuring your product responds quickly and effectively to user input ensures that users don’t have to wait long periods for something as simple as clicking a button or entering text into a field. This will create an overall smoother experience that encourages people to return in the future and recommend your product or service.
Finally, even if you think you have created an excellent UX design, there could still be potential issues lurking beneath the surface. This is why you need testing. It gives invaluable insight into how people interact with products rather than relying solely on assumptions about behavior.
In conclusion, usability plays a critical role when crafting the user experience in software development. Making sure all elements are kept simple while prioritizing key content and responsiveness will ensure maximum enjoyment from each interaction between people and technology.
Make the app accessible to all users
The next thing to take care of is making sure the application is accessible to all users, regardless of abilities or disabilities. When designing the UX for your projects, you should take into consideration different social groups, various educational backgrounds, and cultures.
The interface should be intuitive and simple, with familiar navigation patterns that reduce the onboarding learning curve. Additionally, UX designers should consider implementing features that make the application accessible to people with disabilities. For example, they should ensure that applications are compatible with screen readers and have options for people with worse vision.
Making sure that software applications are accessible to all users is not only courteous, but it also broadens the user base of the application. This, in turn, increases the potential for a successful product.
Be consistent with your design
One more important part of a good UX design some people overlook is consistency. By consistency, we mean that the application or program should look and work pretty much the same across all platforms and systems.
Additionally, you should use universally known symbols, elements and layouts. For example, a sprocket is a widely spread symbol for an app’s settings. Using a screwdriver icon would theoretically work, but it could confuse. Some people might associate it with developer tools or a debug mode. All in all, consistency lowers the entry threshold and improves the clarity of the app, further improving its accessibility and usability.
Don’t forget about aesthetics
Last but not least, the design of an app or program should be visually attractive. An aesthetic look helps in creating an enjoyable and memorable experience for the user, as well as making the software more appealing. It can also help to boost the user’s confidence in the product and increase their willingness to use it.
It’s the user interface (UI) designer that creates the visual layer of an app, but the UX design influences the final look of the software too. While we’re on the topic, let’s highlight the difference between the user interface and user experience in software development. Both are essential in creating a successful application, but they serve different roles. The UI design is responsible for the look and feel of the application, while UX design is focused on the overall usability and experience.
We know the importance of UX and UI
At 4Experience, we understand the importance of UX and UI design. Our team of UX/UI designers knows exactly how to create an application that is user-friendly, accessible to all users, and visually appealing. We prioritize usability by keeping the interface simple and intuitive while also ensuring it is responsive.
If you’re thinking about developing a VR/AR experience or 3D application and want impeccable design and user experience, look no further. Schedule a free consultation with our experts. No hidden conditions!