5 ways to improve user experience
User experience is about being curious, asking a lot of questions and challenging assumptions.
Senior Designer Adam Elovalis says asking yourself these 5 things will help you identify how better to improve your user experience.
1. Have I Got Quantitative Data To Backup And Challenge Assumptions?
This is absolutely crucial. To avoid making incorrect assumptions, real data is needed to detail how people use your site. Services like Google Analytics are very useful in tracking the behaviours of your users and finding key demographics. It’s also a good idea to have social media monitoring to track mentions of your brand; hard evidence can better inform your responses and improve your customers’ experience of your interfaces and brand.
2. I Got Qualitative Data?
This is also very important. The team members who have their fingers on the pulse of your user group should already be listening out for their needs and frustrations. But it doesn’t hurt to ask them to rate how you are doing both informally and formally. Surveys are useful in giving your users a chance to be heard above the background noise generated by the day-to-day of everyday business. Being seen to listen to them, and then acknowledging that you have heard what they said will give your customers greater buy-in to your brand. It also gives you a chance to innovate and meet your users on the platforms they use. Happy users are referring ones.
3. Who Are The User Groups Coming To My Business Portals?
The better you know the user groups coming to your site or portal – the better you can meet their needs. There is almost always more than one user group, and each one will have subsets. At Cannings Purple for example, we have investor relations, corporate communication, government relations and prospective users; but we can even go further and identify sub-groups within these or across them. From the data garnered it is helpful to create user-personas with a background, name and bio to represent each group. We do this because It helps to think of an actual person rather than a collection of data.
4. What Are The Goals Of Those User Groups And How Do They Accomplish Them?
Some groups require immense amounts of detailed information, whilst others just want to skim through bite-size chunks of information. Investors will want to access results; customers may want to access their account details, or orders online. When and where are they most likely to need to achieve these goals? Is it outside office hours, or from their mobile at lunch time? Are they sitting at desks, commuting home by train, or on the road? Millennials often prefer an app to access information and services, while older users may like to have the option to have hard copies sent to them.
Also ask how often they need to achieve these goals, and at what level of urgency?
5. How Quickly Can They Achieve Those Goals?
Now that you have challenged your assumptions, have your user-personas and have identified their goals; for each persona, put yourself in their shoes and discover how easy their goals are to achieve in the ways they like to achieve them. Is it easy, difficult or even possible? It’s quite useful to do a run through for each user group, counting the number of clicks required and the time it takes for each user to complete tasks. How can you adjust the layout and interface so that can you reduce those clicks and the time involved in the process?
A UX professional can assist you in this journey, but you can start at the very beginning with data collection. You might even want to create a list of assumptions you are working with – and set out to see if they are all correct. Work out a plan to both formally and informally get feedback from your users. Speak to your website manager to make sure they are collecting analytics, and if possible, take a look at the last six to twelve months of data. Armed with the facts, you can then workshop with your team to create your personas and develop a plan to roll-out any changes. Happy UXing!
Adam Elovalis is Cannings Purple’s Senior Graphic Designer and an expert in design for both digital and print. Contact Adam.