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Good UX Design Tips To Improve Your Software Product

If you want to create a successful digital product, you must pay attention to user experience. Here are some essential good UX design tips to guide you!

Product design
June 24, 2021
5
min

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Good UX design is all about user-friendliness. But what does this mean in practice, and how can you improve your digital products with a better user experience? We’ll share some must-follow tips.

As its name suggests, user experience is virtually inseparable from the product itself - we all determine the quality of products based on our experience of them.

But if you’re not a UX designer the ins and outs of this discipline can be a little hard to grasp. So, let’s start with the basics and shed some light on this concept.

What is UX Design?

Before we dive into the question of “how to create good UX design”, let’s clear up the terminology first. Although these days it mostly refers to digital products, good UX design can be applied to physical products, as well as real-life systems (e.g. the layout of a supermarket is a decision a UX designer makes). In short, user experience is a design process of creating a system or product that can be used easily and intuitively.

When it comes to digital products, a good UX designer will always pay attention to these 3 aspects:

  • Information architecture: While user interface designers need to think about how to present information in a user-friendly way, it’s really the job of a UX designer to figure out how to group information in the most user-friendly way.
  • Visual design: A UI designer has to ensure a digital product looks on brand and allows users to fulfill their goals. A UX designer observes the visual design of the product in the context of the complete user experience/journey.
  • Interaction design: This is one of the most vital aspects of good UX design. User experience interaction design means creating ways for users to use the product, whether it’s a simple CTA button or the right context for products to be used.

What is good UX design?

Perhaps you know the answer to the question “what is good UX design” intuitively. Simply, it’s design that makes products easy and pleasant to use. But if you want to know how to create good UX design, this isn’t all that helpful.

So, here are a few characteristics of good UX design.

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  1. Usability: The design should be easy to use, intuitive, and functional.
  2. Clarity: The design should communicate information clearly and efficiently, without confusing or overwhelming the user.
  3. Consistency: The design should be consistent across different devices and platforms so that users can interact with it regardless of their environment.
  4. Accessibility: The design should be accessible to all users, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities.
  5. User-centeredness: The design should be based on an understanding of the user's needs, goals, and preferences.
  6. Aesthetics: The design should be visually appealing and enjoyable to use.

6 Good UX design tips

Want to know how to create good UX design? We can help! Here are 6 simple tips that will help you create a better user experience for digital products.

Test with real users

Any good UX designer knows that buyer persona does not equal user. While you have to base starting assumptions on research provided by your client/brand owner, the finished product always needs to be tested by real people. Research can help you understand who, why, and where people might use your product. But the all-important “how” can only be determined by testing on prototypes. Ideally, you can test both early prototypes to spot major problems, as well as the almost-finished product to determine the details which can transform the user experience from good to amazing.

Use real content and avoid Lorem Ipsum

Real content gives users information about the product and improves usability. Of course, you don’t expect to have dummy text in the finished product. However, it’s advisable to input the finished content into the UX/UI design as early as possible. This way you can make more informed design decisions, and testing will be more efficient.

Additionally, try to avoid using dummy text in your products altogether. Let’s look at an example.Forms are an almost inevitable part of UX web design. Since it’s up to the user to fill them out, you may think that dummy text is a simple solution. However, adding real content as input suggestions greatly helps users understand what’s expected, and complete forms more quickly.

Design for short attention spans

It’s no secret that our online attention span is at an all-time low - around 8 seconds. This means that even if someone needs to use your product, they may be put off if they have to put a lot of time into using it.

Minimize the number of steps and provide critical information from the get-go. Whether it’s the layout of your homepage, or items in a drop-down menu, include only the elements that are actually useful for the user.

Again, you don’t have to look further than a simple web form. The length of online forms is the second most common reason why users will abandon them.

Create usable designs

We’ve already said that usability is one of the most critical characteristics of good UX design. So, it’s worth noting, again, that the ultimate goal of any good UX designer is to create products that are easy to use.

Here are a few tips on how to make UX more usable:

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  • Make navigation simple: No one wants to spend time learning how to use a product. Help users navigate with clear cues, and use as few options as possible to maximize usability.
  • Prevent errors: Whether human, or technical, errors can happen. Plan for these situations and ensure users are always aware of the issues, and how they can fix them (e.g. a 404 page, and the “return home” button).
  • Give feedback: Ensure that each action a user takes involves feedback. It can be a simple loading bar, or a message like “Are you sure you want to close this window without saving?”
  • Make actions reversible: Another key aspect of preventing errors and avoiding user frustration are reversible actions. A back or undo buttons have become an indispensable part of digital user experience, so this is the bare minimum you should include.
  • Be clear and concise: Avoid wordy text, and overcomplicated user journeys. Make each action as straightforward as possible

Avoid significant design changes

Any good UX designer knows that new is not always better. In fact, familiarity is one of the main characteristics of good UX design, so you should always strive to make the experience as close as possible to what people are used to.

Similarly, you should avoid making big changes to a finished product. Unless you’re going through a major rebranding or, more importantly, want to improve the user experience significantly, don’t bother with huge changes.

Instead, focus on the little details that can make the user experience better (e.g. small design changes, or finding ways to make your software perform faster).

Tap into human recognition ability

What’s the difference between recognition and recall? Recognition means that you simply have to recognize (correct) information. Recall, on the other hand, means you have to remember information.. A good example of this is a yes/no question (recognition) versus an open-ended question (recall).

Good UX design always prioritizes recognition over recall. We’ve discussed that familiarity is one of the main characteristics of good UX design, and this is true. However, be careful about assuming what users know or don’t know.

Instead, provide clear-cut directions (essentially, yes or no questions) that the users can act on without relying on recall.

Here’s a good example. Lyft’s homepage already prompts different users to take appropriate actions (request a ride or apply to drive). It’s essentially a simple “this or that” choice that everyone can make in a second.

The open-ended question (where are you going) is placed in the top menu, giving users the freedom to interact with the website in different ways.

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Closing remarks

Creating good UX design is a long process that requires a lot of experience. If you’re looking to become a UX designer or want to understand if your UX works, stick to these tips to guide you in improving your UX.

If you want to learn more about the topic, check out our articles on the difference between UI and UX design and this helpful read on how to improve user experience with motion graphics.

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.

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