The first question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is, “How does this app interface with the user?” While it may seem like an obvious answer, the way in which a product interfaces directly affects the overall user experience. When thinking about the way in which a product interfaces, it is important to consider all aspects of interaction: hardware and software capabilities, screen size, screen resolution as well as location-based interaction.

For example, a mobile phone is more likely to be used on-the-go or on public transportation than at home or at work. This means that mobile applications must take these locations into account when designing their UI/UX and structure their applications in such a way that they are easy to navigate during these transitory states. Additionally, as technology advances and becomes smaller and more compact (think smart watches), interaction will become even more ubiquitous.

Therefore, it will be crucial for designers to continue considering how users interact with their products regardless of whether or not they are using a traditional mobile phone or tablet device.

The second question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is: What are your goals? Looking back at our definition of UX design above, we can see that one goal is to satisfy people’s needs and wants through an enjoyable experience.

The third question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is: What value do you want your product to provide? Every product has its unique value proposition, which can ultimately lead to different design goals and techniques.

Think about the way in which most popular social media networks operate: Facebook has a goal of providing its users with a platform for connecting with friends and family. Accordingly, Facebook’s UI/UX designers have designed an interface that promotes sharing content between users. On the other hand, Instagram has a very different goal that revolves around providing photographers (and others) with a platform to share their photos and connect with the community surrounding them. For this reason, Instagram’s UI/UX designers have designed an interface that promotes selfies and other types of photos over text-based posts; they want to encourage people to post beautiful images rather than just posting information.

The above examples illustrate two very distinct ways in which designers approach designing products for two completely different goals. While both are effective at accomplishing what they set out to do, it is important that designers consider these goals before diving into the actual design process so that they can create experiences that are not only engaging but also relevant to each product’s overarching value proposition. The fourth question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is: How will you measure success?

In order to be successful at creating something worth recommending to friends and family (as mentioned above), there must be metrics or measurements used by our company or team members (CMOs, CTOs etc.) on how we track user behaviors within our own product as well as those of competing products within our market space. For example, if your company creates an application for mobile phones, then your team should have specific metrics in place regarding logging into the app from various locations (e.g., home vs work), frequency of use per week or month as well as number of app downloads. By setting these types of detailed metrics for your product, you can begin to identify key areas of improvement and continue to refine your UI/UX design over time so that it is better than the competition.

The fifth question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is: How will you collect user feedback? User feedback helps a mobile or web application’s designers accomplish a few things.

First, it allows them to identify which parts of their application are not working as they had hoped.

Second, it provides them with insight into what can make the experience more enjoyable and meaningful for users. So how do we go about collecting this valuable information from our users? There are a variety of different ways in which companies collect user feedback on their products, including: Surveys – traditional surveys allow users to take part in open-ended discussions about how they feel about specific aspects of an interface (e.g., their experience with the login process). This type of method gives you access to qualitative data points that give insight into a broad range of topics (however often these methods fail at capturing detailed answers).

Usability Testing – usability studies are done by having actual people use your product and giving them immediate feedback on how well they thought it worked; this is one way in which you can collect quantitative data points related specifically to interactions within an interface instead of simply asking them questions based on feelings (a la survey). Analytics – tools such as Google Analytics allow you to get a good sense of what users are doing in your application, which pages they are using and what actions they take within the app. While analytics don’t necessarily capture qualitative data about how the user felt while using the application, they can often provide you with enough insight to make decisions on where your UI/UX design should improve.

Surveys, usability studies and analytics are just a few ways in which we can collect valuable information from our users. However, there are many more ways in which companies can gather feedback from users about their experiences (e.g., customer service calls, email etc.). The key here is not necessarily the method used but rather that the designers at your company are collecting feedback from their users and making it a part of their overall design process. Ultimately, this will lead to better UI/UX designs over time and help your product stand out from competitors in its market space. The sixth question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is: How will you test your solutions with real users?

Testing with real people is one of the best ways for designers to see how effective their solutions actually are. While it is easy for us as designers to solve problems in silos inside our own heads (and even easier for us to be wrong), it isn’t until we have actual people interacting with our designs that we truly get meaningful insight into what works and what doesn’t work within an interface or product as a whole. In order for testing with real users to be effective, however, there must be questions asked prior to designing a solution so that testing has something specific against which to measure improvements.

For example, if I were designing an application that would allow me to keep track of my daily water intake (for healthy living) then I would ask myself specific questions about how I wanted my app experience to work before ever approaching a designer: What does my audience look like? What categories do I want them to record? How will users go about using my app?

Once I have answers to these questions, then I can create a design that follows the specific processes and categories I’ve designed. Once the design is complete, it can then be tested with real users who will provide valuable feedback on which parts of the experience worked for them and which parts didn’t work as well.

With this information in hand, designers can then take what they’ve learned from their tests and improve upon their designs (creating a new version of their app with even better interfaces).

The seventh question we must ask ourselves when assessing the UI/UX design of any application is: How will you iterate your designs? After reviewing each of the above questions, you may realize that it is impossible for you to answer all seven. That’s okay!

If you find yourself struggling with answering one or more of these questions (and if you are looking for an alternative), consider using design sprints to help inform your decisions when designing the interface and structure of your product.

Design sprints are a series of exercises that allow teams to quickly set goals, narrow down solutions, and test those solutions with real users; all while achieving quality results within 5 days (which is an extremely short amount of time). Designing products that stand out from competitors in its market space requires designers to re-think how they approach designing interfaces for mobile and web applications.

While there are countless resources available online about how to approach designing user-friendly experiences, many people are still confused as to why so many apps fail at meeting expectations or worse yet provide a bad experience altogether. The answer lies in knowing where our companies want us to go (our goals), understanding what value we want our product to provide (our value proposition).

Marco Lopes

Excessive Crafter of Things


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