UX designers should observe user interaction and use those data

Categories Interfaces0 Comments

Also availabe in/Auch verfügbar auf: Deutsch (German)

When a web app is developed, an UX designer often only sees a web app from his or her perspective. Working at an interface for hours, days, weeks an moths makes a developer blind for the needs of the users.

Of course many of us are quite experienced and we all know the rules of good user experience. But we create many sites and often a certain routine sneaks in. This can lead to forgetting about the audience. And, to be honest, we’re a bit vain. Of course we love our desings and we are sure, everybody does. This is wrong.

We never know, who will use a website. We know the goal, because our client tells us. But that doesn’t mean, that the actual users will be that homogenous!

The web is a free space whith billions of websites which are, mostly, reachable for everybody. Young people who grew up with the web and interfaces, young children who are still getting comfortable with websites and also elderly users who are still interested in new techniques but who are often distracted by complex interfaces.

Therefore it is of utmost importance to know the audience and to gather the data, to have exact informations about

  • which visitors are using the interface
  • how to the visitors use the interface
  • how do the visitors experience the interface
  • what the visitors think about the comfort and the intuitiveness of the interface

I often advice my clients to ask regular customers, friends and family to visit their site during the development process. I create some users to enable the test persons to see the site and they give us feedback. It’s always amazing how different the reactions are  and often we have to rethink the design and interaction. For e-commerce sites, I always propose  to add a survey to the site during the first few weeks, so “real” uninfluenced visitors can give an honest feedback. Normally I integrate this function into the website with a component which stores the data directly on the database, but there are also professional services, which do the job. For example usabilla.com.

These informations are priceless.

By having these data, we can build interfaces which fullfill the needs of the visitors. By designing for real users, we help our clients to offer a better interaction and communication to their clients/customers. And this will lead to better sales.

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