UX. New guy in town?
User Experience is really trending. It seems now that every single digital product has to have a bold user experience. We hear from countless Web & Digital designers working on UX stuff but… is UX a new thing? Of course that webs, apps and everything digital needs a good UX, as much as a restaurant, a house or a toilet need it.
Welcome to your UX Life
Every time you go to a restaurant, you relate to others, and to objects. The feelings those relations cause to you are the ones that end up creating the whole experience of that moment of your life. Therefore the restaurant should build their UX accordingly. The entrance being the first thing the user sees, how he is welcomed and walked to the table where he can fulfill his or her ultimate mission: eating. And while fulfilling that, the plates, glass, cutlery and napkins play a very important part. And if, in the middle of that mission, en emergency occurs and a visit to the toilet is needed, that experience also adds up to the whole. Not to mention the bill at the end of your meal.
Why am I reading this… ??
I imagine everyone would agree on the last paragraph. Pretty much common sense every single bit of it, right?
Most of the times, at the entrance of an app we see nice icons that our eye quickly understands and relates to the content, and gorgeous splashscreens as well (Paper53 and Nike+).
Sometimes, though, they don’t contribute positively to the experience of using that thing (iOS7 icon and Windows).
And then, once you are inside the app you need to be “walked to the table” to go and fulfill your mission. If I need to “walk” or load stuff for 5 minutes until I’m set and can start to do whatever I it is I need to do, either it is the best table on earth with the nicest views, or I assure you I’ll never be back.
However, if during that “walk” I’m presented with useful information or explained some jokes (good ones only!) my perception of time will probably be changed. Bear in mind this is only a one time trick and won’t work forever… people quite often get tired of listening to the same jokes every day.
And finally the user starts using the app for what he opened it, the ultimate mission. That can be from Drawing, Organizing tasks, checking email, etc.
It’s pretty annoying that Mailbox prevents you from opening anything until its updated. What if I want to check and email its already in my mailbox? I don’t want to wait until it loads again without letting me go anywhere.
On the other hand, apps like Paper53 help me fulfill my mission perfectly. A very nice (user) experience specifically designed for those devices, with remarkable features like undo with two fingers and so on. And the Nike+ app, that challenges you constantly by showing what your friends are doing and makes you want to go out there and run.
This side features, like the “two fingers to undo” thing on Paper53 acts like the plates, glass, cutlery and napkins. The main thing in the restaurant is the food, but this improves the experience you have in it.
Same here. Those features make you go faster, draw better and in general love the app.
Now, if something goes wrong and the app crashes or it does not function properly, then its toilet time. All this processes affect the user, and its here where almost no apps spend resources to improve UX when it comes to relating to customers. I’m talking about an easy to contact support email, that attaches information automatically about the device so the first answer a user receives is not being asked what device is he using and under which OS.
I’m talking about a friendly approach to users, sort of making them feel they are helping to build a better product and they are part of a bigger community. Thanking them for their time.
All this can be easily done with almost no coding at all, just being nice and thinking ahead of those situations.
I am telling all this because, as a user, a dirty and unfriendly toilet makes me not to go back to that restaurant never again. Therefore I am assuming that a dirty and unfriendly support generates the same reaction in our users.
So remember, every single business needs a bit of thinking in its UX. Please do.