User experience - what exactly is it about?
One of the generally accepted definitions of user experience says that these are the sensations experienced by the user when using an interactive program. However, there are tons of definitions of UX on the internet. Unfortunately, most are missed. Here are a few myths about the user experience that are circulating on the web.
User Experience Design is just designing the appearance of websites?
The general view is that user experience design is just about keeping the website looking good. Yes, it is part of the concept. However, all UX work requires creating the perfect website design so that it is functional and useful for the recipient. It is also important that the use is easy and intuitive and gives pleasure, not difficulties.
Perfect design is visually nice, but also functional. When working on a new website, a UX specialist uses not only basic tools, but also prototypes and usability tests. He must know his users, their perception of the world, how they act or think.
Expensive usability tests?
There is still a perception that usability testing is costly and requires laboratories to run for weeks of testing. This is not necessarily the case. In the user experience, you can use the paper prototype method, which consists in designing website prototypes in the form of interface sketches on sheets of paper. This option is not only cheaper, it also saves time because you can eliminate many errors before you start writing code. It also works well when introducing corrections to an existing page.
To reduce research costs, you can also limit the number of respondents. Five users are enough to identify the main usability problems. Only with more detailed research is a greater number of recipients needed.
Lots of graphics
On many websites, we can see the same error, i.e. over-color graphics and highlighting the main issues with flashy graphics. Meanwhile, when looking for information on the website, users pay attention to a specific text or links and even avoid colored visualizations, mistaking them for an advertisement.
Jacob Nielsen's research has confirmed that Internet users, when following the text, avoid banners or anything that looks like an advertisement. However, this does not exclude that a slight display of the content with contrast may positively affect the reception of the website.
Websites accessible to the blind are ugly and costly
For the website to be perfect, it should also be useful for visually impaired, blind and deaf people. The functions by which the design can meet these requirements include letter magnification, contrast and word dictation. However, many websites do not have such facilities because it is believed that they are not visually attractive. The interface, however, is defined by stylesheets, and it has nothing to do with the accessibility of the page.
However, when it comes to the costs themselves, in order for a website to be available, it does not have to have any additional functions, so designing it from scratch costs practically the same as a website without accessibility.
Modifying an already existing website entails additional costs, but then running it requires much less effort, and the website itself is cheaper to maintain. Besides reaching more audiences, it also guarantees faster download times, cross-browser compatibility, and is SEO-friendly.
User experience is a field that requires continuous development and adaptation to new user requirements. Therefore, it cannot be closed in rigid definitions, as this excludes its idea and purpose, i.e. serving users.