You Are Reading

OUGD603: Brief 02/03/09 & Design Publication // Designing for UX critical research 01

I understand this post is practically an essay, so I've bolded all the important works and phrases.

In this post, there won't be many images to be seen. It's mainly documenting research undertaken regarding designing for user experience, or UX for short. Although one of the briefs tagged in this post has been completed, OAC Photography. I think this post will bear relevance with the brief from an evaluative standpoint, and for the briefs which are in motions, the website for Coffee Culture, SAC Ampleforth and my design publication, which will take the form of a digital publication, this research will be implemented into the design process. 

It's mailing links and paraphrasing of blog posts, but it's important information which will change the way I design.

The first of which, titled 'One Magic Formula to Calculate UX? (click to see full article), is about the different elements of user experience, the things which impair and enhance our user experiences. To summarise; 

The first point of contact and engagement with a website relies on the digital loading speed. "If software is slow users become cranky, and if the speed is too slow they may abandon your product altogether." You need to consider the internet connection, the speed of which is out of our hands, the device the user is using, the server which the website is being hosted from and the code. Impairment or improper treatment to any of the above can hinder the loading speed, which will compromise the experience.

Secondly, the cognitive loading speed – I didn't know what it is either. "The cognitive load theory was first mentioned by G.A. Miller in the 1950s; he mentions in a paper that the working memory of humans seems to have an inherent limit. He states the working memory seems to be capable of only holding 7 (±2) chunks of knowledge at a time, being numbers, words or visual elements. The working memory of our brain works exactly the same as the working memory of computers. It processes all information inputted. Dr. Graham Cooper created this explanatory image in his 1998 research paper that makes it understandable:"

On the back of which, you must recognise that the interface complexity also plays a part in the experience of the user. Interfaces which are too difficult with too much information will overwhelm the users. Similarly to the digital experience. An abundance of content flooding the page will become too over powering for the user. "When a product has a complex interface, but the user has previous experience with this or similar products, the cognitive load can still be low. If there is a lot of previous experience with the product, the complexity might not even matter. This can result in  the fact that a product with a complex interface and experienced users can be more effective than redesigning a product to use a simple interface that sets all legacy user understanding back to zero."

The purpose of a website must also be taken into account. "A digital product must have a purpose to provide value. Without a purpose there will never be a user to experience the user experience at all." The website must benefit the user. "The most important thing for a user to use a particular piece of software is that they believe there is a benefit in using it. This can be acquiring information, social interaction, (digital) goods or just good old fun." A factor that can’t be ignored since we are dealing with human behavior here is status. Status can be a strong force that drives people to take action. If a product has the power to increase someone’s social status then it boosts the intrinsic motivation of your users.

Finally, the most important part of a website, the interaction. The aesthetics of a website are not as important – which is difficult to level with as a designer. However the do play a role in the experience of the website. It's a team effort with all of the other elements discussed. Last but not least is communication. By communication I mean everything from the copy used in your interface to the emails from customer support. The way you communicate with users should be human, kind and understanding, with a dash of humor. Every human being likes to be treated nicely, your product is your voice, so use it wisely and kindly.

Comments for this entry

Leave your comment


Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

RSS Feed. This blog is proudly powered by Blogger and uses Modern Clix, a theme by Rodrigo Galindez. Modern Clix blogger template by Introblogger.