9 Useful Principles of UX Design

April 25, 2022

In addition to optimizing a product or service’s branding, design, usability, and functionality, UX designers employ certain principles to ensure that they create products and services that provide optimal experiences to users. By following the principles I’ve outlined in this article, you can improve the quality of your UX design solutions.

UX Is Not Equal to UI

User-interface (UI) design is only one part of UX design. Improving a product or service’s UI design alone is not enough to optimize the user experience. The user interface is the space within which your target audience interacts with your brand. In contract, the user experience is the user’s emotional response to your product or service. By improving the user interface, you can make your product or service more usable and accessible to more people. However, this is not the totality of their experience when encountering your brand.

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You Are Not the User

Some inexperienced designers test the functionality of their design solutions on themselves and their colleagues. They might assume that users would have a similar experience. Testing your designs yourself is a bad idea because you might inadvertently project your behaviors and reactions onto your potential users. To optimize a UX design, you should test your product or site with research participants who have the same profile as your target users. Ideally, a UX researcher should conduct your usability testing for you. You are not the user, so avoid assuming that other people share your assumptions and tastes. Remember that different types of people would encounter your brand, with different backgrounds, mindsets, wants, and needs. By testing your products and services with diverse groups of people, you’ll be able to overcome this false consensus bias.

The UX Design Process Isn’t Absolute

Having an effective UX design process is necessary to optimize your brand’s UX design. However, keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all UX design process for every product and service. Yes, various project teams’ design processes typically share certain steps and are similar in some ways, but different organizations’ or even project teams’ processes tend to be unique. To create the best possible user experience for a product or service, you need to be as familiar with your team’s process as possible. Once you know the basics, you can customize your UX design process as necessary to accommodate some of your specific project’s quirks.

Add Real Content To Your Designs

Most products and Web sites need real content to bring them to life. Through UX design, you can enhance the quality of the content even further and elicit certain emotional responses from your target audience. So avoid using Lorem Ipsum content or placeholder images. Add real content to your designs. Of course, content comes in many forms. For example, photos and graphics can establish your product’s visual identity, which can significantly impact its user experience. Adding text that is clear, concise, and useful can do the same.

Prioritize Recognition Over Recall

Human memory has limitations. Exceeding those limitations can negatively affect a product’s usability and user experience. So, instead of making users struggle to recall how to use your product’s features, create a consistent user interface and provide the information users need to complete their tasks, enabling them to rely on recognition rather than recall. Add elements to your Web site or product that help your target audience to become familiar with it. Prompt users to return to your product or service to read relevant information or perform a frequent task. Consider YouTube’s strategy: to remind users to finish watching videos, they provide a History section displaying content the user has recently viewed, but didn’t finish.

UX Design Is a Team Effort

Achieving great user experiences requires that you work with other designers, product managers, developers, and more. So, if you’re trying to optimize your brand’s UX design, you shouldn’t go at it alone. Seek out as many design ideas and insights from your teammates as you can to avoid prematurely limiting your design concepts and prevent false consensus bias. If you encounter any problems during the design process, you need not try to resolve them on your own. Ask your fellow UX designers for their input or feedback. Who knows, their solution for a problem might be better than what you have in mind!

Remedy Design Errors Before Launch

No designer is perfect, so design errors can occur in even well-designed user interfaces. However, a failure to remedy design mistakes before launch should not happen because of a designer’s or a team’s negligence. This could lead to a disastrous experience for members of your target audience. You should prevent that from happening at any cost! Check your project thoroughly before launch. This means doing intensive testing and quality control. Ideally, you should conduct usability testing before launch and remedy any significant usability problems or other errors. Of course, you won’t be able to eliminate all potential errors. But at least any issues that users encounter won’t be of your own making.

Avoid Dramatic Redesigns

Have you ever heard of Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences? It states that making slight changes to an object shouldn’t result in any noticeable differences. Indeed, UX research has found that people don’t like it when their favorite products undergo dramatic redesigns. Look at what happened to eBay. After deciding to abruptly switch their pages’ background color from bright yellow to white, they received complaints from numerous customers, prompting them to return to the original yellow. Avoid unnecessarily making big, sudden changes to your Web site’s design. Instead, introduce changes more slowly, in smaller doses.

Keep Things Simple

People don’t like it when someone or something makes them feel dumb. Unfortunately, this fact seems to be lost on many Web designers, who embellish Web sites with overwhelming decor, overly complicated wording, and hard-to-use buttons. In combination, such issues can put off your target audience, increasing your site’s bounce rates and damaging your brand’s user experience. Don’t follow their example and face the same consequences! Keep your UX design as simple as you can. Then people find your brand more approachable and easy to recommend to their friends. 

Content Writer at Reach Digital Group

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Isaias LijaucoIsaias has been working as a writer since 2011. He started out working as a freelancer before moving on to work full time at Reach Digital. He also knows a bit about basic SEO principles.  Read More

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