Tag Archives: user-centered

tubik studio design business

Business Terms in Design for E-Commerce. Sales Basics

 

«Contrary to popular belief, designers are not artists. We employ artistic methods to visualize thinking and process, but, unlike artists, we work to solve a client’s problem, not present our own view of the world.» (Erik Spiekermann)

 

 

Modern design has multiple faces, sides and directions. Some of them are more artistic than the others which are deeper concentrated on profits and goals. However, any way it goes design is the sphere with different perspective. Design is goal-oriented and problem-solving activity applying art to serve people.

 

«Whether you are helping to launch a new business from scratch, or making incremental changes to an existing product, or something in between, any design task you undertake must serve a goal. It’s your job to find out what those goals are.» (Mike Monteiro)

 

Talking about the sphere of web and app design, one of the most practical and goal-oriented fields of creativity is design for e-commerce. In this domain, there are many factors influencing design decisions and lots of relevant aspects to study and research. Designing a product for ecommerce, be it a website, a web or mobile application, branding design, advertising materials, designers work within various limitations built by particular product or service features, target audience, marketing and promotion strategy, business goals, budget and investment plan etc. Design becomes a tool working when used properly. Therefore, to use it efficently, the designer needs to know the basics of business and economy as the goal of design process in this case is creating an app or a website raising money and built on business techniques and methods. Moreover, quite often designers creating e-commerce platforms and products work in team with marketologists, advertisers, researchers, analysts and psychologists all of whom have a purpose to increase the level of profit brought by the final product.

 

So, today we decided to start collecting and explaining here basic business terms which are important in the process of digital design for e-commerce. Considering this list can make the designer much closer to marketologists and provide great help for better communication. In addition, keeping the aspects mentioned below in mind on the earliest stages of design such as UX research and wireframing is a good way to effective solutions increasing profits on the solid well-thought-out logic of interaction. The set of terms can be also useful for project managers involved in the process and managing collaboration between different sides of the same process.

 

tubikstudio design office teamwork

 

Business Basics

 

Today’s section is focused on basic terms used in the domain of economics and business strategy mostly concentrated on sales in their broad understanding. Taking them into account and analysing significantly increases the chances of creating efficient digital product.

 

«A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.» Michael LeBoeuf

 

E-commerce (Electronic Commerce)

 

«If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.» (Jeff Bezos)

 

Definition. E-commerce is the direction of business activity when the process of providing customers with goods or services is done by means of electronic devices and the Internet. This sort of communication and finalization of sales adds some new aspects to data management, sales channels, advertising, presenting goods and services and moreover — enabling full cycle of commerce operations, including payments, delivery and refunds.

 

The last decade witnessed booming ecommerce development. Today it provides the opportunities for not only e-trade both from businesses to buyers but also online auctions and user-to-user sales platforms. E-commerce systems and activities today include presenting and booking wide range of services, e-banking, commercial operations with e-money and e-wallets, diverse forms of e-marketing and many other things which customers are using more and more often on everyday basis.

 

Design aspect. Obviously, success of e-commerce activity depends on several factors among which:

— quality of the product or service offered

— quality of the content presenting the offer to customers

— quality of design for the electronic platform — website and/or mobile application — via which the sales are going to be delivered.

 

So, it’s easy to see that UI/UX design part plays the vital role. Thoroughly thought-out logic and transitions, simple and clear microinteractions, fast feedback from the system, attractive product presentation, easy payment flow and plenty of other details and features can directly influence increasing profits for the business involved in such a popular e-commerce game. This is the field where designers and business experts can work as one team for good of everyone, first of all of target user.

 

Designing e-commerce website or mobile app, designers should definitely consider the following aspects:

 

— operational simplicity

— strong branding

— security of users’ data

— effective use of visual elements

— clear data presentation via menus, catalogues etc.

— user’s ability to leave feedback about goods and services

— easily available general and contact information about the business providing goods or services

— design that supports the offer not overshadowing it.

 

tubikstudio ui animation

Product Card Animation by Alla Kudin

 

Conversion

 

«It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic» (Jeff Eisenberg)

 

Definition. Initially in terms of e-commerce, conversion is the index showing how many visitors actually moved to the end of the way they were offered actually buying a product. So, for e-commerce conversion transforms visitors (users) into buyers.

 

Design aspect. Today ecommerce uses wide range of techniques, so in terms of web or app platforms meaning of conversion also gets broader. In modern terms of comprehensive and numerous functions and needs, which users are able to fulfill with online resources and digital products, conversion is the rate of cases when visitors did the action they were called to. And that can be not only buying something.

 

For example, in our article about landing pages which are recognized as one of strong tools for e-marketing and e-trade we mentioned that conversion can be also fixed in case of:

 

  • moving to direct use of a product
  • subscription
  • transition to the other page
  • downloading an app or a file
  • providing some information
  • answering the question in the survey
  • starting free/discounted trial use of a product
  • browsing a library
  • reading more detailed description of the product or service etc.

 

Therefore, conversion for a webpage or app screen can mean different actions that correspond to sales or marketing strategy of the particular business.

 

Conversion means that your page transforms passive users into active. They don’t just observe the information given to them, but also do the action which is offered by this page. So, conversion is one of the most important indices of the web page or app screen efficiency which is vital for business. It is a metric reflecting focus on engaging visitors with data performance and stimulating them to make the action which is a part of a business plan.

 

For designers the factor mentioned above means that if they create design concentrated on conversion rates via positive user experience, their work will result in website or app bringing profit both for user and business.

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Landing Page Animation by Sergey Valiukh

 

Read more and review the examples on this topic in our previous article

 

Sales Funnel

 

«Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.» (Meg Whitman)

 

Definition. Sales funnel (in other words — purchase funnel) is a technique which is deeply customer-focused and based on gradual involvement of a customer into the process that potentially gets finalized with the act of actual purchase. When this technique is applied, the customer moves through several stages of involvement providing him/her with necessary information about the product and benefits persuading to make a purchase.

 

Basic sales funnel includes the following stages:

 

— Introduction (Awareness). User gets the initial information about the product, its brand name and nature. In other words, user learns that the product or service exists on the market.

 

— Education (Interest). User is provided with more detailed information about the features and benefits of the product or service that can potentially interest them and solve their problems.

 

— Evaluation (Analysis). User gets the chance to compare the offer with its competitors and obtain the information about USPs (Unique Selling Points) of the offered product or service.

 

— Decision (Engagement). User gets final vital arguments engaging him/her to make a decision; it can be short summing-up about core benefits of the offer, data about additional bonuses or special offers, engaging call to actions and explanation of purchase process.

 

— Purchase. User makes a decision and takes the ability to make a purchase. The sale is done.

 

— Retaining (Repeating the experience). User gets the opportunity to leave feedback, obtain additional contacts supporting the offer, subscribes to updates, gets the chance to repeat the purchase easily if desired.

 

Design aspect. In terms of e-commerce, sales funnel is highly effective commercial technique supported with diversity of functions digital products can offer. Knowing the priciples of sales funnel leads to customer-centric, informative and engaging design solutions. Sales funnel can be either fully represented on the website or landing page as well as in mobile application or from outer source,  for example social media taking over the mission of awareness and interest and directing engaged traffic to the platform enabling the product.

 

In addition, sales funnel stages thought out and applied properly can work as a sort of filters letting quickly inform users about the product or service and move to the next stage those who are potentially more interested while saving time and effort for those who are looking for something other.

 

However, sales funnel designed carelessly can play the opposite role: it can confuse users who are potential buyers and turn them out of the website or app without taking a chance to know proper information about the offer.

 

Sales funnel should be applied and designed on the basis of thorough research of target audience and market segment. Moreover, it should be carefully tested from the very start of its implementation to measure if all the stages work efficiently. Practice proves that even minor design changes can bring big changes.

 

website design concept tubikstudio

BRMC Website by Konst

 

Sales Channel

 

«It is not your customer’s job to remember you.It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.» Patricia Fripp

 

Definition. Sales channels are the ways through which the potential customers come to the point of e-commerce, be it a website or mobile application with which they can realize the actual purchase.

 

Design aspect. Designing for e-commerce, it is important to take into account maximum of the possible sales channels which are really numerous in the Internet, from social networks to specialized forums, influencer’s reviews and tailor-made advertising campaigns. Researching and understanding those channels gives broader prospects to the actual point of sale which you are designing for.

 

There are several vital asects to remember about:

 

— Sales channels should be initially concentrated on target audience. There is always the place and time to broaden the perspective as soon as core target audience is involved. However, the attempts to «sell for all» and «design for everyone» from the launch can bring to waste of effort, time and money spent on design and promotion. Move gradually and measure the efficiency of design solutions at every step.

 

— Sales channels will work effectively from initial awareness stage if they witness strong connection to general brand identity. That is the reason to develop guidelines for online sources presentation in brandbook considering all the details of visual presentation and mission statement. Consistency is a powerful tool of both design and marketing.

 

— Sales channels should direct traffic to the places which enable users quickly get informed and make the actions they come for. For example, if the post in Facebook invites users to participate in summer sale, they should be directed right on the landing page of this sale, not to the home page of the website.

 

The mentioned factors thought out at the stage of thinking over UX design solutions are able to make a good impact on conversion and sales rates.

 

Niche

 

«We will continue to see a convergence of the digital and physical world. Those who conquer that trend will be market leaders.» John Phillips

 

Definition. In business, niche means concentration of the offer on specific needs, wishes and problems of a specific target audience. Niche market is a specialized market segment which is aimed at specific market needs with a close view on its demography, education level, level of income and purchase abilites etc. For example, when one company produces software generally used for creating and editing textual materials for broad target audience while the other is adopted for specific needs of copywriters and editors (grammar checking, plagiarism analysis, synonyms prompts etc.), the latter one presents the niche business.

 

Design aspect. Designing for niche market and niche product, it’s important to learn all the details about the target audience as it is going to be quite specific and more details are usually influencing the process of design and marketing. Applying psychology of color, copy targeted at potential clients, deep analysis of their needs and providing efficient layout, easy transitions, clear data presentation and aesthetic features that suit this particular audience is good way to high profit. In addition, creative ways to emphasize specific nature of the product or service by means of design such as branding and original UI solutions can help the product to stand out of the crowd and stay competitive.

 

tubik studio ui animation

Bonano e-commerce interactions by Vladyslav Taran

 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

 

«It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency» (Abraham Maslow, 1943).

 

Definition. One of the basic psychological theories widely applied in business on both micro- and macroeconomical levels. Developed by Abraham Maslow, it is focused on the hierarchy of human needs and consequently factors of motivation.

 

Its presentation found at Simply Psychology website features  5 levels of human needs featured by the theory:

 

1. Biological and Physiological needs — air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

 

2. Safety needs — protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

 

3. Love and Belongingness needs — friendship, intimacy, affection and love, — from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.

 

4. Esteem needs — achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

 

5. Self-Actualization needs — realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

 

Design aspect. Having read the points of the theory, it’s easy for a designer to ask: «What does it have in common with design process?» The link perhaps doesn’t look really obvious, but it is fundamental in motivating people to use or buy products or services on different levels of economic relationship. Designing for e-commerce, which is one more type of human relationship, with a specific goal and ability to apply the mentioned theory can produce user-friendly and customer-centric product achieving its target audience and solving its problems.

 

Certainly, it’s great when designer is able to involve professional marketologists into all the stages of the creative process and apply their professional knowledge and skills in design form. However, this opportunity isn’t always available. Moreover, designer able to analyse economic basics and business factors influencing the design scheme and logic gets the higher level of proficiency.

 

In design for e-commerce, it is good to understand from the early stages of the process what stage of the Maslow’s pyramyd the core target users are at. Answering this question, designer is able to talk to users’ in their language and find the solutions that resonate in their hearts and minds the best. Users’ needs form their motifs, triggers that can catch their attention, words that can touch them, length of copy and calls to actions that they are ready to accept and follow. Analyzing the level of needs and expectations, designer is able to find the most efficient layout and informative graphic elements. Knowing and feeling the user is the solid foundation for problem-solving goal-oriented design.

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App by Dima Panchenko

 

4P Theory

 

“People don’t call it e-commerce anymore. It’s called omni-commerce, and it’s the idea that digital permeates every step of the purchase chain from product discovery to trial to pricing to actual purchase.” (Tolman Geffs)

 

Definition. Famous 4P theory, presented by Neil H. Borden and later grouped by E.Jerome McCarthy, also known as marketing mix, has become highly popular and efficient in business strategy, including e-commerce sphere. It states that product launch and lifecycle is based on four «P» factors: product, price, place, promotion. Business Case Studies website simply formulates it the following way:

 

«When marketing their products, firms need to create a successful mix of:

  • the right product
  • sold at the right price
  • in the right place
  • using the most suitable promotion.»

 

Marketing case studies prove that missing even one of four mentioned positions can waste all the effort and reduce the levels of profit and brand awareness significantly.

 

Design aspect. No doubt, 4P theory is highly applicable in design for e-commerce. The Price of product is usually the furthest part from designer’s decisions as it is decided and given by the stakeholders ordering design part of work. In perspective of Product it works only partly being applicable to those cases when users buy digital products or services, let’s say mobile applications, which also need UI/UX design.

 

However, talking about the other two factors we can see how actual they are in terms of design effort and creativity. Indeed, designers creating websites or apps for e-commerce, create the right Place for trading and are responsible for making this place comfortable, attractive and correspondent to the product nature as well as target audience expectations. As for the Promotion, today online marketing features numerous ways of presenting the product and achieve the target audience; it’s effectiveness also significantly depends on design decisions. 

 

Neglecting close interconnection and mutual influence of all those factors on the final result increases risk of poor rates. Design decisions made on the basis of those factors supporting each other help to provide pleasant, positive, easy-to-use and user-focused e-commerce platforms.

 

Tubik studio UI animation

Tubik Studio | Museu by Ernest Asanov

 

The bottom line

 

The set of business terms and their definitions given above builds the bridge between business strategies and designs able to efficiently support them. However, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all those techniques and forget the first and most important thing. There are no any sophisticated design solutions, marketing techniques and any sort of magic which will sell the bad product for a long time. Surely, there can be some effect, but it will never retain the users. Positive experience of interaction with a website will not overcome bad experience of interaction with low-quality product or service.

 

The offer is the key. Design is an actionable and helpful tool on every stage of launching, presenting and promoting the product, informing users about it and selling it in fast and easy way. Nevertheles, if the product is of poor quality, successfull design of e-commerce platform isn’t going to make it better. Think over the product and its user first, only then design will give it the chance to beam at full.

 

«To satisfy our customers’ needs, we’ll give them what they want, not what we want to give them.» Steve James

 

tubik studio designer ecommerce

 

Don’t miss our next article which is going to present the set of business terms useful for UI/UX and graphic designers in terms of marketing and user research. Stay tuned!


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tubik studio UI designers

FAQ Design Platform. Human-Centered vs User-Centered. Are the Terms Different?

Today’s issue of our FAQ Design Platform in Tubik Blog will concentrate on the difference of terms «human-centered» and «user-centered» which now have become a sort of basic ones for the sphere of web and app design. The answer is based on the thoughts we have provided for the question on Quora which you are always very welcome to read and where we are happy to share our ideas, knowledge and experience.

 

Tubik studio on Quora

 

So, the original Quora question we are answering today was the following:

 

What’s the difference between human-centered design and user-centered design?

 

That’s really true that the two terms mentioned in the question are widely used replacing each other in different contexts and percieved as equals. The difference between the meaning people put behind those words is really slight and blurred that it is easy not to notice it at all. However, with a content manager onboard holding a degree in linguistics and being a keen lover of slightest semantic nuances, we decided to get deeper in the issue. As research and practice show, although these terms in fact have the same roots, the idea they present is viewed in a bit different perspective.

 

It can be supposed that human-centered design is the process of creating things deeply based on general natural characteristics and peculiarities of human psychology and perception. It doesn’t matter if you design furniture, cars, stationery, TVs, websites or anything else — any object of design can be made human-centered on the ground of psychology, physiology, sociology and other sciences analysing human life and interaction with the environment. It means that human-centered product will be not only nice but also functional according to psychological traits and features typical for big groups of users.

 

A really good and simple definition is found in the article «Characteristics of Human Centered Design»: «…human centered design can be defined as the process that places the human needs and limitations in a higher priority compared with other targets during the design thinking and production differential stages. During this process, the designer is required not only to analyze and come up with solution for existing problems, but test and validate the designed products or service to achieve planned targets in the real world.»

 

For example, there are basic conditions of general physical human abilities, color perception, contrast perception, readability, interaction with a product in different environments that are typical for vast majority of people. Let’s say, typically people are not able to see in the darkness, and the darker is the environment, the harder it is for most people to percieve something visually, doesn’t matter what age, education level, social layer, professional skills you represent. This is a common human physical characteristic. Neglecting it means creating a product which people will not be able to use properly being limited in their abilities. 

 

Creating objects which people are going to interact with, designers have to be aware of those traits and take them into account in the process. That is the reason to study at least the basics of psychology, physical and emotional perception for designers who would like to create things convenient and friendly for people in general. We also believe that is a strong reason to involve psychologists, behaviorists, physiologists and other experts into the process of design.

 

ipad interaction tubik studio

GIF — Portrait vs Landscape by Sergey Valiukh

 

Here you can see the interactive concept of transition from portrait to landscape mode. It is based on general ability and necessity of any user of digital product used on iPad to get the feedback from the system that the action of transition from one mode to the other is done. If it is done smoothly and with quite natural speed, that is one more element of positive user experience, sometimes even unnoticed as the microinteraction takes split seconds. The presented example actually imitates interaction with a physical object and therefore makes user experience more clear and positive for users of different age, gender, educational background etc. This is actually the small piece of human-centered design solution.

 

Continuing the theme, user-centered design is more focused and concise version of human-centered design with deeper analysis of target audience. It is concentrated on not only human characteristics and perception in general but also specific traits and features of target users to make problem-solving potential of the designed product as high as possible in perspective of its users. This is the stage when details about the target user of design object start playing their role: defining target audience, designer takes into account age, gender and social status, potential education level and professional background, influential social factors and typical environments of product usage etc. On this basis, designer makes deeper research on preferences and peculiarities, special aspects of interactions, specifying general human-centered ideas with important details of target audience’s preferenсes, emotional and physical perception traits as well as levels of technology awareness and tons of other factors. This is what we usually do on the stage of user research here in Tubik Studio and practice shows this stage is vital for creating problem-solving and user-friendly designs.

 

So, it can be said that human-centered design is the first obligatory step to making the product applicable, while user-centered solution is the next step to make it concentrated on pains and needs of specific category of users.

 

Let’s look at one more example.

 

Contact List Concept Scrolls Tubik

 

Contact List Concept Scrolls by Eugene Cameel

 

This design concept for a contact list looks nice and voguish. It presents two different variants of scrolling the directory and refreshes traditional interaction experience. It is grounded on basic aspects of readability, contrast, visual hierarchy, provides clear feedback to user’s actions and necessary functions. It follows basics of coloristics, logics and visual harmony. Certainly, it is human-centred. No doubt, big proportion of teenagers and millenials, people who use diverse interfaces every day and see them as an integral part of their life, will be engaged and would like to try it. However, for older people this sort of interface can seem a bit scary and overloaded as well as somehow darkish comparing to simple traditional interfaces based on light background. So, this user-centered interface responds to the wishes and preferences of narrower target audience.

 

tubik_studio_website_ui_bakery

 

Here is one more case featuring web design concept by Ernest Asanov. It represents interface design for a website presenting online bakery selling. On the basis of the design solutions it is easy to assume that this is the service positioning itself as a producer of upmarket products which are exclusively hand-made and presumably because of that reason cost higher than average bread in the supermarket. Therefore, the website is designed aimed at particular target audience. As we mentioned in one of our previous articles about benefits of dark background in user interfaces, dark color solutions can form popular associations in visual perception. Dark colors are usually associated with elegance and mystery. Moreover, black is often associated with elegance, formality, prestige and power. This is the style provided by the presented design: dark background, branding element as a central element of a header, strong and clear headline establishing positive emotional message, visual elements enabling immediate perception of the theme and setting strong visual association with tasty pastry, short text block describing basic benefits of the product and clear visible call to action. The designer worked out the solutions that will look attractive and informative for target users wishing to feel the exclusivity and high-quality of the product and able to pay more than average. Therefore, this example also shows the techniques of not only human-centered, but deeper user-centered design.

 

However, supporting previous answers given by other professionals along this question on Quora, it also has to be mentioned that in modern design, especially in digital field like creating applications and websites, human-centered design and user-centred design are most often inter-replaced and used basically as full synonyms. Perhaps that happens because in this sphere most products are created and updated for certain category of users rather than “for all and everybody”. Moreover, users of all the digital products are people, therefore all the solutions should get based on the positions of human-centered design. Certainly it doesn’t mean that universal interfaces cannot be found: they do exist and we apply some of them on daily basis, so they are a good example of general human-centred design that successfully applies knowledge about features typical for great majority of users. However, they are closer to the exceptions which prove the rule.

 

So, in terms of web and app design we can assume that description of design as “human centered” or “user centered” just shows different levels of detalization in design process, different stages one of which considers human interaction features and the next gets deeper in details of certain categories of users, thier needs, wishes and problems.

 

The great example of synonymic perception of the terms is the video powered by IDEO (Design Kit), great experts in human-centered design.

 

 

Again, it’s important to emphasize that the definitions given represent our personal vision of the terms based on linguistic nuances of given terms and practical experience of processes in design studio with all respect to other points of views.


This is all for today. We’ll answer the next set of answers soon here in our blog. The FAQ platform outlines several directions, so it features the questions, frequently asked by customers, designers, and users. We are open to share our experience, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask them via direct message in our Facebook page or Twitter as well as our Quora representative. We are looking forward to your questions!


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Tubik Studio

UI/UX Design. On Behalf of a User

Any post we have previously published here in Tubik Blog has one major thought standing behind any case of efficient design: designing for users, you should keep the user in mind every single step of the process.

 

Starting with UX research, moving to UX wireframing, prototyping and on to UI design and testing, designers should always remember that along all the way they are not just artists, creators or conceptualists. They are problem solvers. Every decision they make should be based on one simple but vital reason: it has to make user’s life easier and/or happier.

 

In vast majority of cases, neither designers nor customers are the ones around whom all the fuss is going on and all the hard work is being done. It’s all about users. The better we know them and wish to know them more, the better is the result. Period.

 

Today we decided to publish a little statement. It is done “on behalf of a user” and based on long-term user research and analysis, practical work on diverse UI/UX projects as well as studying new publications about the theme. Here we have gathered some points which designers hear or could have already heard from users. We are talking about the basics right now, but really vital basics which can become a solid foundation for a popular and efficient product or vise versa, if not considered, make even great design solutions shaky and non-efficient.

 

tubikstudio UX design

 

I’m a User. I want it simple. But not simpler.

 

No doubt, Albert Einstein had nothing in common with the sphere of UI/UX design in its modern understanding. However, in this particular field his words “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” are as applicable as they could only be. This is actually the basis of the efficient user interface design providing positive user experience. For user researcher, designer and tester it is important to remember that simple doesn’t mean primitive – this is a big trap to be careful about. Making a product simple, you find the shortest and the best way to solve users’ problem or satisfy their needs. Simple product means that you make sophisticated solutions which are invisible for a user and felt as natural as breathing. Simple means helping to do something without additional efforts, confusing and loads of specific operations. Primitive means oversimplified that often annoys users with their conscious or subconscious feeling of being treated like fools. Keeping this balance is vital for creating positive user experience.

 

tubik studio design UI

Randomizer concept by Vladyslav Taran

 

I want it easy to start with.

 

In most cases for many users the first experience is the high noon. The first impression on appearance and first actual interactions are able to engage a user to a long-term relationship with your product. That’s why a designer should make the start of interaction with the product as pleasant, encouraging, user-friendly and smooth as possible. It is vital to make this stage natural and informative, to show the best features attractive for users and at the same time don’t take too much user’s time for this sort of operations. The solid foundation enabling this feature is understanding what is the core target audience and what are the problems which users will be able to solve with the product. Analyzing the abilities and specific features of target user will help to find efficient solution for fast and easy start of interaction and understanding how the product works. Different kinds of tool-tips and tutorials, wizards, mascots, infographics, animated interactions and the like can become a good way to make user feel good and comfortable with your product.

 

I want it clear and understandable.

 

Here it’s time to remember the words from one of the famous pioneers in information design and data visualization Edward Tufte who told that “Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual.” User should feel understanding what’s going on at every stage of the way. It should be a nice and pleasant walk instead of hard and stressful going trough the wild. And this particular task is probably the most important aspect of designer’s job.

 

It doesn’t mean that every design should be accomplished as plain as a day – without the analysis of target audience, its needs, wishes and habits you risk making it boring. Sometimes a bit of challenge, the elements of gamification or problem solving and the like can engage the user; however, all of them should still be doable and acceptable.
Moreover, every microinteraction should provide the user with fast and clear feedback. That is actually the way how the product communicates with the user. Pushing the button or uploading the file, adding a follower or searching the necessary item users should clearly see how the system has reacted and what is the next step. Other aspects to consider in this perspective are the issues of readability, navigation, conventions, affordances and signifiers.

 

tubik studio blog app

Blog App by Ludmila Shevchenko

 

I want it helpful.

 

In vast majority of situations people see the technologies, in particular applications and websites, as a helping hand in their everyday life and/or professional routine. This help can be totally diverse: from literal assistance in buying things, ordering tickets, connecting with friends or saving important data, to a bit more metaphoric, like helping with good and suitable ways of entertainment, chatting, self-improvement, aesthetic satisfaction. As soon as users see what kind of help your product provides to them, they are ready for next steps. This is the good ground for enhancing positive user experience.

 

One more aspect of helping is forestalling and preventing possible user’s problems, mistakes and points of confusion in the process of interaction with the product. Efficient and intuitive navigation, fast and clear feedback already mentioned above as well as various tips, autosearch, prompts and other stuff of this sort could make the experience natural and help the user to avoid negative emotions.

 

I want it useful.

 

The first and foremost thing behind any product is providing some useful features. It’s easy to say that there are a lot of applications and websites which have no purely practical use and exist only for entertainment or other “not-serious” aims. It is one more huge trap. Entertainment, rest, aesthetic pleasure, presentation, collecting and loads of other things or activities which seem to be “not-serious”, “not-useful”, “time-wasting” and so on, are also as important for the person’s full life scope and routine as “serious” and “business-like” stuff.

 

When adults see how the kid is fiddling with the simple set of building blocks, most of them do not realize that this kind of “non-serious stuff” is highly useful for the child’s development and, what is more, correct design of the blocks can influence and improve this process. The same happens with applications and websites. To create a successful product, it’s needed to find not only well-known unique selling points, but also unique useful points. No matter what kind of product is created and designed, they always exist. That is why user research and analysis is an important stage of designing effective user interface. It helps to find the problems that could be solved and the wishes that could be satisfied with the product, which is the most important feature for retaining the user. Nothing can make the users stay with the product is they do not see the personal interest and benefits.

 

tubikstudio library widget

Library Widget by Sergey Valiukh

 

I want it fast.

 

Creating designs, it’s important to consider what are going to be technical and physical conditions of the product use. Out of this data, designers and then developers should make important decisions how to make design working fast. And it’s not only about the fast interactions and navigation enabling user to find the quick way of transition to anything potentially important in a couple of swipes or clicks. It’s also about the time of loading the pages, screens, animations, complex images etc. No user is going to keep around your product for long if he or she needs to waste their time on waiting for downloading. It is forgiven in exclusive cases but not on regular basis. Neglecting this aspect can kill even the product of great importance and functionality.

 

I want it updated.

 

In the fast-pace world of technology, it is vital to stay tuned and trim the sails to the wind. Certainly, the power of habit is a great thing retaining users, but regular shade of minor changes aimed at improving usability supports the feeling of refreshment in experience.

 

There are, nevertheless, two things to keep in mind about this aspect. Firstly, the changes should improve and support positive experience via usability or attractiveness. Secondly, adding something new, in most cases it’s better not to do it as a bright revolution bringing a totally new life, since for a particular segment of users it can become a shock and will be the reason of rejection. Being careful, user-friendly and consistent is a great policy of changes.

 

tubik studio UI design

HomeBid — Live Furniture Auction by Violetta

 

I want it nice and stylish.

 

The famous guru of usability Don Norman once mentioned that “It’s not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and yes, beauty to people’s lives”. This is actually a philosophy we support here in the studio.

 

There are lots of tips, proverbs and sayings assuring that wise people do not judge the book by its cover, but in reality a good dress is still the card of invitation. Certainly, this sort of good dress for the app or a web will mean nothing if it is empty in content, useless and not solving any problems. However, if the product is not attractive, the users will not even turn their eyes to your product. They will not identify it among the others in AppStore or PlayMarket. They will not feel that flash of interest and curiosity that is the start for so many great meeting, events and relationships, including choosing the products for everyday use.

 

So, appearance really matters as it stands among the most important factors encouraging the user to try your product. Moreover, beautiful, attractive and appropriate to target audience, nicely done and consistent visual style of all the design elements satisfies aesthetic needs and beautifies everyday life. Practice shows that this is a great factor of retaining for great deal of users.

 

tubik studio page 404

Tubik Studio | Page 404 by Ernest Asanov

 

I want to have a choice.

 

The last but not least position here is the choice ability. There are loads of discussions on simplification and unification of UI/UX solutions in design sphere, in which we often read that designs should be minimalist and limited to activating only basic and necessary operations. Application or website should do only what is really necessary and the additional stuff is always the element of distraction , they say. Users do not need complex animations, users do not want funny illustrations, users do not wish bright and unexpected color combinations, they say. And so on, and so forth, here and there.

 

There a loads of arguments and proofs, examples and debates, criticizing and preaching. The only thing is missed. There is no user behind all this stuff. User, who can be totally and absolutely different, who can have millions of different preferences, likes and dislikes, various cultural and educational backgrounds, diverse environments and abilities of using technology. And all of them, as well as in any sphere of human activity, are keen to have a choice looking for the applications and websites. Users are those who really benefit from the diversity of offers and designs on the market of digital products. They really adore the opportunity to choose. And hope not to see it killed with ubiquitous unification.

tubikstudio UI stats concept

Stats Concept by Ludmila Shevchenko

 

No doubt, the topic is really deep, so today’s post has been concentrated on the major basics leaving more details for further posts. However, considering those factors provides good support in creating efficient UI/UX design solutions. Designing for users, we should keep a user and only a user as a highest priority. This is the best way to get all the features of efficient and popular product via usability, utility and desirability.


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