Published on March 4, 2014
10 Ways to Improve Your UX Now Easy-to-follow tips for a better user experience
UX An effective UX strategy requires advanced planning – but what if you can't spare the time or are handed an existing design? 4 10 1 3 We've highlighted 10 easyto-follow principles you can immediately apply to improve the user experience design of any digital product. 6 9 8 2 7 5
10 ALWAYS OFFER A WAY OUT Never leave users wondering where they should go next, especially when they’ve gone down an unwanted path. Suggest a way out or an alternative route. EXAMPLE Add “you may also like” links at the bottom of ecommerce pages.
9 PROVIDE GOOD WAYFINDING Being confident that you’re headed in the right direction is often more important than getting to your destination faster. You don’t have to bring every option to the forefront, as long as the path is clearly marked. EXAMPLE Use descriptive and clear terminology in Navigation menus so users know where to go without hesitating.
8 MAKE IT A DIALOG For every action or effort you are requesting of users, give something back. If users must input something, show them why and how it will be used. EXAMPLE When asking for a phone number, say why and when you might use it (“We’ll contact you if something is wrong with your order”). Photo by Flickr user Daoro
7 GROUP ITEMS LOGICALLY Look at the relationship between elements on your page and group them by topic, function and source. Think of the context in which users will need to retrieve or use the information. EXAMPLE When scheduling an appointment, offer users combinations of location and time. This allows users to make the optimal choice. Photo by Flickr user afborchert
6 MAKE THE LOOK MATCH THE FUNCTION Give affordance to your actionable items and differentiate them from non-actionable items. Prevent errors by clearly identifying and prioritizing calls to action. EXAMPLE If you use chevrons to signify a swipe, make sure they always function that way. Photo by Flickr user Nina Matthews Photography
5 BE CONSISTENT We’re creatures of habit. Make sure similar actions lead to similar steps, and keep your layout consistent. Keep the same voice, look and feel throughout. EXAMPLE Keep your primary call to action and “cancel” option in the same place on every page. Photo by Flickr user Skley
4 LIMIT AND CLARIFY CHOICES When it comes to choices, more is not always better. If users must make a decision, expose all options clearly without using jargon. EXAMPLE Illustrate a complex, abstract choice with a concrete example that can be used to compare options. Photo by Flickr user VicBurton
3 DO THE HEAVY LIFTING Let the users be the lazy ones. Optimize your interface for the most common case. Be smart about default states. It’s better to offer something that has a high probability of being what users want, rather than making people work. Photo by Flickr user Pasukura76 EXAMPLE Use auto-completion rather than long dropdowns. Don’t allow users to enter erroneous inputs.
2 START SMALL, GO BIG, THEN GO SMALL AGAIN Start with a blank page, add what is needed, then, when done, simplify again. Use dynamic technologies to reveal content only as it’s needed. A light page is more appealing than a dense one. EXAMPLE Reveal instructions for password entry only when the user is focused on the password entry field.
1 DELIGHT THEM Don’t underestimate the power of surprise. A nice turn of phrase, an unexpected beautiful screen or a note of gratitude can go a long way. EXAMPLE Show enthusiasm for a customer’s choice with a congratulatory message. ModCloth responds to users who like their items with, “You have great taste”. Photo by Flickr user Lori L. Stalteri
THANK YOU SOPHIE HENRY Director of User Experience email@example.com 510.277.3400 x 707 www.comradeagency.com 13 10 Ways to Improve Your UX Now
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