01 Dec User Experience (UX) – Understanding Your Audience
Part of the reason for the resurgence is based on a new term called ‘online audience optimisation’ – which refers to how Google interprets information (words, images and metadata) on a website and its relevance to how a particular user may be searching and using your site – and for this reason (because we need to be good to Google for Google to be good to us), we need to revisit what constitutes good UX.
In its most simple form, User Experience (UX) refers to what it feels like to use a system, product or service and is made up of 3 fundamental elements – these being; functional design, aesthetic design and experience design.
Functional design refers to those elements on a website which need to perform a particular task – such as a online form which aims to collect data from a user. This is a seemingly simple functional element however, if we start considering the different users that could be using this form, we may need to consider the type of information we want to receive from that particular user and – vice-versa – the type of information that user may want to provide. For example, if your company wanted to collect certain information from a user via a form, your marketing department would want very different information to that of your technical support department – and this is where UX comes in…how do we harvest the correct information from the numerous user personas that are using your site in such a way that your in house departments can receive valid information to assist that client.
Aesthetic design tends to be a very subjective element i.e. because many of us are very visual, we often find the situation where ‘everybody is a designer’. Design is in fact one of the most time consuming (other than content gathering) processes within any development project. The reason for this is that many people don’t understand that there is meaning and action associated with design elements…such elements as buttons and CTAs are created to make the user think, feel and behave – these elements are a catalyst for decision making. There is science to design – so potential new clients – a friendly warning… design is not just pretty colours and not just anybody can ‘do design’!
Experience design is the last element making up UX and refers to how the person felt using the system – it refers to how well your site managed to differentiate itself from the other 50 sites offering exactly the same thing. Experience Design is about how your particular system, product or service adds value – and this means understanding what value means to the numerous personas that ultimately make use of your platform.
In summary, UX is requiring that we start getting very scientific about who your audience is and understanding the psychological, qualitative and quantitative elements that help drive onsite participation and engagement. The tools to gather such data are at our disposal and as such, should you want to find out more about who your audience is and what makes them tick, then why not contact T2 today to see how we can help you add value to your online audience. We can help you build your online potential.