Guest contributor, Bola Rotibi from analyst firm Creative Intellect Consulting and IT journalist Adrian Bridgewater
Programming with an appreciation for visceral and emotional human reactions to an application along with the context of usage and interaction is the only way to address practical UX goals competently
In a podcast that I ran with a number of leading industry and market spokespeople titled “No excuse for a crappy App” (link is: http://www.creativeintellectuk.com/?page_id=1095 ), a consensus on some of the considerations for avoiding the delivery of a bad app was reached. A number of the points raised I have already covered. All have UX implications which must be addressed:
- Developers need to understand the context of use and the user and develop fit for purpose scenarios
- Too much complexity overburdens the application and can lead to a poor user experience
- Keep it simple
- A lack of process, discipline and standards makes it hard for the development team to deliver to competent User experience
- Balance functionality with user experience, build in fundamentals, ensure communications and enable responsibility across everyone involved
There are so many more attributes that now dictate the user experience – desirability and convenience to name but a few. Ultimately the development team needs to watch more carefully how users are evolving along with their changing needs.
UX or bust
It’s not always easy to financially quantify the returns based on the user experience partly because in a number of cases we, as users, are willing to put up with a lot before we are irrevocably turned off. But the world is fast changing and there are now a lot more choices. With this comes an ever more influential user audience. Users are now more opinionated and disseminate their opinions more widely. With social networks, applications and their artifacts, as well as broad connectivity and wide proliferation of mobile devices, they have the means to make themselves heard faster and louder. Bad and good experiences can now hit many more touch points with the good delivering loyalty and referrals and the bad resulting in lost business.
The likes of Apple and Adobe have long made the user experience central to their core goals and used it to shape the products and services they deliver. In the case of Apple, the rewards from its homage to both design and user experience have delivered a company with an enviable global brand, significant user fan base and a financial standing few others can match. Now more software tooling vendors have begun to recognize the importance of UX. They do so both as a focus for their own tool environments but also to enable their users to better address UX concerns and features within their own applications.
Apple aside, we don’t have to look far to see that UX done well can pay for itself in any number of ways – financially, brand loyalty, referrals and greater productivity. Done badly…well we all have our own personal experiences of the outcome.