Some of you may not have ever heard the term user experience before. Others might be familiar with it, and maybe some of you fully understand it. Whatever the case, this introductory article aims to quickly highlight user experience basics, but also tell the ‘customedialabs side’ of the story.
User Experience 101
The term “User Experience” was brought to wider knowledge by Donald Norman, a User Experience Architect, in the mid 1990’s. The term was established to cover the holistic perspective of how a person feels about using a system, focusing on how valuable it is, rather than solely on its performance. From that day forward, user experience has been evolving. Every day, industry experts create new infographics and resources that inspire innovative frameworks, solutions and products.
Some may think that User Experience is just the “Bells & Whistles” of a product or service; here at customedialabs our perspective is quite different.
We believe in designing for User Experience.
Essentially, we identify the needs of a business and its audience and then transform those needs into a balanced solution that equally serves both. The key part of this process is that we address those needs from multiple standpoints: visual, emotional, functional, and content-driven. This enables us to create a positively memorable and adaptable experience. Our focus is on how the experience is viewed as a whole, not on its individual parts or features.
The Essential Questions
During a user experience design engagement, we think about questions such as the following.
- Who are the users and what do they want to do and achieve?
- What are the users’ experience levels with this specific product/service and other products/services like it? How do they think it should work?
- What functions do the users need the product/service to perform? What would they value the most?
- What information do the users need and in what form do they need it presented?
The questions above, for those that are more business-focused, might seem dominated by the users’ perspective. But in order for a business to get customers, it is vital to understand the audience and provide products and services that they will be willing pay for.
Although this might seem simply theoretical our reality tells us otherwise. We have been designing solutions for our clients that establish meaningful connections between brands and their customers for many years.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no magical answer or instant solution! Solving one of the most common business problems throughout history (how to attract and reach your audience) requires a lot of methodological work. It requires a multidisciplinary team that understands how technology works, how it should look and feel and can envision change and make it happen.
So, if you have read this article up to this point I am assuming that either you are interested in learning more about our process or just want to skip all the theory and get down to business. Our cross-functional team here at customedialabs is eager and up to any challenge. We deliver final solutions that follow a standard user-centered design approach (to be covered in another article). In the meantime feel free to contact us if you have more detailed questions!
Anthea Blana – Head of User Experience – customedialabs