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Good UX is easy, bad UX takes work

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by Peter Cura
on

Good UX is very easy. All you have to do is understand what your user – they might not be a customer – wants to do and then help them do it in as painless and uninterrupted a way as possible. That’s it. However, while UX is about making the experience good for the user, the experience of creating the user experience in the first place is also getting better. But it does require experience and restraint.

 

Taking the “you” out of user design

Creating a good UX ought to be easy, but until now, building the accompanying UI to make it work has been more difficult. For web UI this meant building a system to work on all browsers, load fast, and scale to every size of screen without bugs. But now there’s a whole new business area of providing ready-to-use UI and UX packages, ready to tweak to your needs, and ready to publish by coffee time. Better still, you may never need to touch a line of code to do it.

 

Flat pack design

The idea with companies and products like SiteBuilder, Weebly, Squarespace, and others, is that you take their templates, plug in your own content, and voilà, your site is up and ready with responsive design and slick navigation. All you have to do is add a few menus, buttons, images and whatnot, and drag them to where you want them on your UI. Add a few words, hit “save as my awesome template” and you’ve pretty much set up the look and feel of your whole site. It’s quick, mostly easy, and does actually work. It’s assemble-it-yourself web design in a cost-effective, easy to deliver package.

 

The future of UX: Templates for everything

While a pretty UI does not guarantee a good user experience, many of the new breed of web tool company also provide the whole gamut of tools to make your UX painless, too. The likes of Shopify promise to take your shop online, including the whole purchase flow, and more, in a customer friendly way. Companies like this offer templates and plugins for everything in the user journey. Whatever the future brings, the buy-it-ready-made approach is where the future of UI and UX lies. Be honest with yourself, it’s not really as if you’re going to build your own AI from scratch to make your UX cool. As with all the latest tech, some people will know how, everyone else will buy the service from them.

What the user wants to do is not the same as what you’re going to make them do.

Keep it simple

Now that making a nice UI with a pleasant UX is easier than ever, the only thing standing in the way of good UX is you. Yes, you. You want to add something to it, don’t you? Good UX is simple and I guarantee that anything extra you add to the process will make it worse. Make people open an account just to buy something? Please don’t. Interrupt them with a user survey? I wonder why the feedback is negative. Add a countdown timer to make me buy faster? I might lose the will to live. Don’t add that stuff. It’s universally, without exception, horrible UX. The more extraneous interactions you foist on your user, the worse their experience will be. You may sell more but they’ll be swearing about you on Twitter.

 

Bad UX takes work

There’s more. I promise that all the fancy new tech you’re in love with is mostly going to get in the way of a nice UX. UX should be clear and simple. It doesn’t matter whether your UI uses physical buttons, touchscreens, html5 apps, or a holographic kangaroo with a Dictaphone. It really doesn’t. How do I know this? Because of office printers. A printer needs to do only one thing and that’s print. Nothing else. But somehow, for at least 20 years, the world’s printer engineers have been constantly working on printer UX. A quick check of our very own office printer reveals 25 physical buttons and a touch screen with at least 25 submenus. There’s also printer status and printer setup software on the PC. Click “Print” on your document and you actually get another set of printer menus. You still have to click “Print” again to make it print. Occasionally, you’ll even see the setting “fit to page”. What’s the other option, “dribble ink on floor”? Good UX, this is not. 

 

You might need an expert

Despite these warnings, if you’re new to UI design and UX, you might still be tempted to use all the blinky blinky things your new DIY UI package offers you. That’s where experience would tell you, “no, stop tweaking now.” Luckily for you, dear reader, Luxus has a lot of experience in UX and UI design. We’ve worked with everything from webshops to product unboxing experiences, from app UI’s to loyalty programs, and even a button that orders pizza. So if you’d like someone with experience to help you with your UX needs, contact Luxus.