Today’s world dictates that customer experience must be your top priority if you’re to secure both their attention and purchases. This is how User Experience (UX) Design was born. UX design is about creating products that offer users a personal and meaningful experience.
The design process must be incredibly well considered, with customers’ pleasure in mind. If the product isn’t entirely user-friendly, you can forget it. There are so many businesses out there that have cracked this concept; competition is high, so understanding UX and UI elements are the key to success.
Key factors to consider when designing UX are:
An excellent example of a company that has nailed UX is Apple. People can’t get enough of their products; the designs are sleek but straightforward with high functionality, user-friendliness, etc. So superior is their UX design that the brand’s following is now cult-like. People can’t wait to own the next product; even going to the Apple store is a slick experience. It’s all part of the process.
UX designers know well that to be successful, it’s necessary to get into the minds of their target demographics. This is where understanding the psychology behind customers’ choices comes in handy.
What happens in customers’ minds when they first encounter your product? The first impression won’t be the final impression, but it is the start of their experience - so you must grip the attention instantly. Your customer is embarking on an emotional journey, and you are at the wheel. Perfect driving is imperative.
Successful UX is not a case of hit and hope. You are driving the experience deliberately, so you must decide on factors such as:
Whether the product is a phone, website, or handbag, the factors remain the same, more or less.
One typical complication with UX design is that one product aimed at different types of people might be more difficult to design. Men and women want different experiences, so how will you go about this? You’ll understand the psychology behind their choices and incorporate as many elements as possible – compromising where necessary.
For this article, let’s assume it’s a website you’re designing (or redesigning). Good web designers would tell you that psychology is everything; there are tried and tested methods that work. These are the psychological ‘laws’ you need to apply:
Hick’s Law is an essential one, and fortunately, it’s not hard to get to grips with. It primarily relates to the amount of time a person takes to make decisions when presented with various options. The more choices they have, the longer they must spend on decision-making.
It could apply to the number of buttons on white goods or the settings on a phone. On a website, this could be applied to lists your customers must select from. Your goal should be to simplify and streamline so that choices as easy as possible for customers to make.
This law is about retaining the fundamental design elements over time - so it mainly applies to redesigns. These should never be too drastic, and changes shouldn’t be overly noticeable. People who are familiar with the current design don’t appreciate total change – it confuses them. They are fine with the functionality and structure, so messing with it too much will turn them off.
Employ subtlety in your redesign and do it gradually if the changes have to be in any way substantial. The ‘drip-drip’ approach gives people time to become accustomed to new functions and formats. Facebook is an excellent example of this.
The law of proximity belongs to the Gestalt laws of perceptual organization. In short, it relates to the grouping of objects. The further apart you place the objects, the more difficult it is for the brain to associate them. It stems from a human desire to organise; we like to put things in clusters.
In design terms, you need to consider the associations that will be made. You won’t want to place items nearby if they have no real relevance to each other. Conversely, you shouldn’t leave too much space between those you want to link.
This relates in some way to the Von Restorff effect (aka. the isolation effect), which says that if a series of similar objects are present, people will remember the one that is most different. It’s also worth considering.
As mentioned previously, your target audiences will have different preferences based on gender. People form their opinions in up to ninety seconds, and colour influences this by around ninety percent; choosing the right colours is therefore crucial.
There is quite a big difference in perception of colour by men and women. You should carefully consider which gender makes up most of your target audience and let that be the deciding factor. Play it safe if there’s a fine line, using colours that are accepted by both.
With text, size matters. You may have favourite fonts, but this doesn’t matter as much as you might think. What do your users care about? It’s more about user-friendliness, actually – and that means size is more important than shape.
The larger, simpler fonts are the ones that people tend to prefer; these invoke more appealing emotions, according to research. Ideally, you should go for a minimum font size of 16px.
Consider these psychological factors and your UX design process has a much better chance of success. Ultimately, you need to please your customers if you want them to come back for more. But you can do this while still creating visually superior products that say precisely what you want them to. Good luck!
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