Good UX Design Is Not A Bonus, It’s A Commodity
We delve into the recent history of UX through the eyes of our designers.
In 2017, good UX design is a commodity. Yet, it only takes browsing the internet for a few minutes to be faced with software that looks like it dropped right off an assembly line.
How can designers maintain the usability and simplicity of good UX design without slipping into generic territory? How do we ensure that innovation not only demonstrates design capabilities, but also serves a purpose?
Turn away from the typical sources of inspiration
This is some of the best advice offered by our UX experts, who share that in a digitally obsessed age, it is far too tempting to browse the work of competition and source inspiration at the beginning of a project.
The design problem exists to be approached through the lens of the designer and through her personal experience. So, do not be afraid to sit with a blank piece of paper and a pencil, close your eyes and think before you find yourself on the creativebloq or Pinterest.
Head UX Designer Gemma revealed her method: “The best ideas come from within, and though it is good to stay informed and current, there is a difference between curation and distraction.”
Curation over distraction
Once you have emptied your ideas on a piece of paper, a whiteboard or various post it notes and napkins (inspiration can strike in the oddest of places), it is appropriate to move towards curation.
However, careful as to not fall into distraction of analysing the work of competitors and big players – emulating everything which is already circulating the internet.
Junior UX designer Gloria avoids this problem through a process she calls “inspecting the unlikely places”. A good designer ventures beyond the business and even beyond the industry. Gloria visits the local contemporary gallery or her favourite buildings, asking herself “What makes the journey through the vicinity feel intuitive?”
By uncovering what signals us to turn in a certain direction or what triggers our attention, designers can deliver the same level of deliberateness to the user journey of a piece of software.
What comes after usability?
Since usability is simply to be expected, it is no longer what distinguishes a good digital product from a bad one. Differentiation occurs based on how delightful the experience of the user is, when they interact with the design.
Responsiveness has also become a given in today’s software economy. Design which functions and performs as it should across a range of devices is merely an expectation, rather than a UX miracle.
Though the same goes for intuitiveness of design, that is the subcategory which will undergo the most change. As investment in voice control systems surges, design will have to adapt to those devices and the AI they help to produce. Chatbots like Siri, Alexa and Google Home are only the first step towards the conversational design which is taking intuitiveness to the next level.
Getting under the skin of the user
In a world of Zero UI, designers will require a broader scope of knowledge and research into the user. Since natural gestures and organic language patterns will be at the core of future software, design agencies are predicted to hire an array of specialists to help them differentiate their digital products from the competition.
The behaviours, gestures and thought patterns of the user must be investigated and pinpointed before they can be integrated into the design of the digital space. Especially as we enter an era of experiential design and marketing, there need to be members of the team out in the field, exploring what makes the user tick.
Ethnographers, psychologists and product philosophers are already heavily relied on at Google, but in a few years, such services will become a ubiquitous part of the design process.
As UX design evolves, the challenge becomes bringing usability and innovation in its purest form, whilst at the same time being disruptive and innovative.
The journey to discovering your voice as a UX designer is one of experimentation and veering off the road of “traditional” inspiration. – that is the motto of the Roller UX design team.