Take a Step into the World of UX Design
If you took one step today and doubled it everyday for 30 days, how far would you walk?
The answer is: one billion and seventy three million metres: or the equivalent of walking around the world 26 times!
This is an example of Moore’s Law, a law which predicts foreseeable trends in technology. The law suggests that computing power doubles approximately every 18 months, resulting in exponential growth. As technology disrupts our lives faster than ever before, designing experiences that are user friendly and human-centred has become a key priority for many businesses.
User Experience Design (UX) is recognised by employers and businesses as an important, strategic role in the delivery of successful digital products. Whether it’s a mobile app or a website, UX has become one of the rock star roles of Digital Design.
Sofia Thompson, a UX Lead Change Agent, explains that designing user friendly and human-centred experiences is achieved through “conducting ample research via workshops, focus groups, interviews, and surveys to understand the needs and wants of the end user.”
Sofia believes that simplifying content will be a major trend this year, with filtration and search engine optimisation vital in preventing users from information overwhelm. Information overwhelm occurs when a user is presented with a multitude of choices, creating a paradox of choice. This could be a number of call-to-action (CTA) buttons on a website, or even a menu containing too many food options. What do you do when you’re confronted with an overload of possibilities?
UX is about making these choices simple for the user, actively curating the journey they take in pressing the right button on the website, or the ability to make a fast decision when ordering a meal.
Previously, Sofia conducted usability testing with Bunnings Warehouse. In looking at the homeware giant’s search engine optimisation, Sofia found that generating automatic key words and check boxes would help users narrow down their product searches. This removed the complexity of searching through thousands of store products and ultimately narrowed down the user’s choice to a manageable array of relevant options.
Another UX trend on the rise that’s also relieving customer pain points is voice-user interfaces (VUI). With VUI, the process of users filling out online forms can be improved, replacing manual labour with hands-free, voice activation. This enhances the ease and speed of the user’s experience and also the website’s overall accessibility.
Keeping up-to-date with these latest trends has significant impact on the role of a UX Designer. Sofia believes, “UX Designers must have the ability to forecast the effort and time the project will require well ahead of a build.”
“Validating the latest learnings through the build, measure, and learn process enables evaluation of good and bad design,” Sofia adds. “Being able to rationalise good versus bad design is critical to the role.”
In the world of UX, diverse opportunities exist for designers, including: research, information architecture, prototyping, and usability testing. Movements within technology help evolve a UX Designer’s creative problem solving capabilities.
The ability to tell a great story and having a quality folio of work is key to being a successful UX Designer. Sofia recommends the best way to develop UX competencies is to learn them from people who are experts in the industry. These experts have a wealth of success and failures that they’re ready to share. “Adopting the ability to critically analyse and rationalise good design enables the successful execution of a well-defined solution.”