Sunday 4 October 2015

Starting with Usability and User Experience

There is a vast number of different web pages, tools and IT solutions for almost every problem. Beside the speed of those tools, performance, efficiency and other characteristics, there is one very important: Usability. If your users cannot use your IT solution, it is worthless to them.

Just think of how many times you got frustrated by web page or software you could not use properly. You were unable to find what you were looking for. Useless stuff just kept popping up on your screen. How many times did you quit e-shop in middle of checkout process because you did not understand something or were irritated by long forms on the page?

Thats all linked to usability. It is one of the factors that lets you as user decide whether something is worth your time and effort. Therefore it is important for developers to pay attention to usability and overall User Experience of their products.

User Experience in real world

Some time ago I started to work as User Experience (UX) Designer. UX is wide field that requires multiple roles to be done with highest effectiveness, but it is pretty common to find so called 'generalists'. Generalists are people who do everything as opposed to specialist who specialise in certain areas only. I am one of those generalists guys. So that makes me jack of all trades and master of none.

Normally you would have UX Researcher who takes care of gathering information before and during project development. Then there is UX Designer who is responsible for the 'feel' of the developed product. So basically, what is the experience user has when working with the product. Then you have other things like Information Architecture, UI Design, Interaction Design and other words that together merge into perfect User Experience.

Shamefully not every company has enough money, faith or is accustomed to UX principles to have full team of specialist. In that case one guy must be sufficient till the situation changes. It is also a lot better opportunity for beginner such as me, because it lets me explore the whole concept and all aspects of the UX Design, not just some parts.

Working on UX

I just recently started and therefore I am pretty inexperienced in the field. However I try to improve myself constantly. Not only reading education materials, blogs and opinions of other UX orientated people but by also trying it all out and making my own decision, implementing my own ways and solutions.

As I go on this journey I would like to make some notes here and there about it. What methods I use, how I perform certain tasks, what I value and why is all of this important.

Discussion is open so that all things mentioned and talked about could be addressed further and if there is any incomplete or incorrect information, comments are always a good way of pointing it out x)


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