The UX or User Experience is one of the most important aspects of modern applications and software. It plays a determining role in the success (or failure) of applications, as it must enable the end user to find what they are looking for easily.
A simple intuitive UX, which is able to provide the right responses quickly, will be more appreciated and therefore more likely to be selected by end users. This depends mainly on the fact that people (whether private individuals or business users) prefer a program which they can learn to use with the minimum possible effort.
Difference between UX and UI
User Experience is often used as a synonym for the User Interface or UI. Although very similar in many ways, the two refer to separate concepts. Inside a software or application, the UI is the front-end: the part that the user interacts with.
This includes not only the graphics (which still play a crucial role), but also the position of the icons, the simplicity with which information can be obtained and how intuitive the program’s workflow processes are. In practice, the UI is focused on the efficiency of the interface.
The UX, on the other hand, expresses a broader concept which, in addition to the technical aspect, includes the sensations the user feels while using the software. Examples of user experience during software or website use are:
- Loading times (users tend to change to another site if loading is not complete after about 3 seconds);
- The presence of too much invasive advertising (which leads to a negative perception of the application);
- One-click online purchasing (preferred by the majority of people due to its ease);
- The complexity of the interface (which, if too elaborate and not very intuitive, hinders the search process).
The same focus on creating a pleasant UX is also found, to some extent, in a business setting. However, although simplifying the use of the application is not among the main objectives (because in a company, workers use whatever software the company provides), the aim is to prioritise a well thought-out user experience in terms of its positive effects on quality and speed of production.
How to create a successful user experience
User experience design, or UX design, is the process involving the study and creation of the user experience most suited to a particular application or software. The best way to create a successful UX is to base it on the available data (data-driven), but this is not always possible.
Should it become necessary to update software which is already on the market, obtaining user behaviour data during its use is quite straightforward. This information provides an excellent basis for developping a UX which matches the needs of those who use the app.
If, on the other hand, the software is new and still in the design phase, it is of course not possible to obtain specific data on its use. Market surveys can still be carried out however, by analysing the competitors or similar applications. Placing one’s self in the role of end user is another good way to work out how to build a successful user experience.
Once this data has been obtained, the main structure of the software is defined, resulting in the creation of a prototype. After that, the user interface is designed, in order to enable the end user to interact with the dynamics of the software, as intuitively and swiftly as possible.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith