UX to take away

Last week, the team from Empatic UX gave a morning session on the subject of User Experience Design. Some early birds have found their way to Werkstätte Wattens to learn more about UX methodology and methods of operation. Here’s a recap for those who couldn’t take part.

“Experience design is not about how to position a button on a website,” was a statement during our Morning Glory. Can you tell us what user experience design means and how companies can differentiate through good UX design?

Exactly, UX design is all about product strategy and not about positioning a button. In our work, we deal intensively with the business and the users and develop new ideas and concepts on how to offer the customer an even greater value and thus expand the business even further. These decisions are crucial for the product portfolio and business alignment. Unfortunately, product decisions are too often made in the boardroom behind closed doors and not based on research and customer-centered development work. This is what we want to change!

You work, inter alia, with the user-centered design process. What are the most important steps and where can you see the benefits or also the limitations in this method?

The most important aspect for us is the research and interaction with the user. And of course we should not forget the iterative aspect in the user-centered design process, which is incredibly important to us. Therefore, at the beginning of a project, just as during and after the development of a prototype or product, the user is repeatedly involved in the development process. Each concept has limitations and these become visible quite quickly depending on the customer and the project. Therefore, we always decide on a customer-specific basis, how we set up the project holistically, and will therefore use other methods or concepts if they simply make more sense for the project or team.

You talked about the importance of the research work. Why is a good research so important and what should it include?

A solid and intensive research phase avoids wrong decisions and saves money and time because we do not develop in the wrong direction. We would advise every company to spend more time analyzing their customers, the market and their own business, because in the end it pays off. We can test critical assumptions in advance and know exactly if they can bring down our idea or what we need to do to make the product not only ‘useful’ but also ‘easy to use’. As I said earlier, UX design’s product strategy and in-depth research helps us to decide, for example, what features a product will get and how much the customer is willing to pay for it. Based on that, the project team also sets up price strategies. So what should necessarily be part of the research is the analysis of the users, the business and the competition. Sounds easy, but it is not always, because we analyze at a lower level than most.

As you have already stated, UX (user experience) design is not about positioning buttons. But when it comes to UI (user interface) design, it is. What are, in your opinion, the three most important aspects of UI design?

In general, UX design is, of course, also connected with the experience of using & interacting with a product, that means, button positioning does matter to us, because in the end a user has to know how to reach his goal and also we want to motivate the user to act in a certain way. In UI Design, consistency and visual hierarchy are the most important things for us. And a simple rule that work miracles is “less is more”. Less information but the right one and ideally at the right time.

Last but not least: Ask your costumer! At the end of design sprints as well as at the usability test dinners that you organize, it’s about asking potential users and costumers and gather feedback. Do you have any tips on how to integrate testing the product development process in companies easily?

We always advise our customers to block fixed days for testing, we call it Testing Day, where six users test a certain aspect. Certain aspect means to set an exact goal and focus only on that one. Defining an exact goal is really very important.

Contact detail

Empatic UX Weissstraße 9 6112 Wattens

Josef Mayerhofer
Jessica Eibert