User Experience, UX, has a simple goal: engage the consumer and guide them through to a goal. You can determine what the goal is – it could be a purchase, registering a form, downloading a document – but the intent is the same. There are many elements to the UX journey. Here you will focus on core fundamentals of UX.
Know who you are building the solution for using Personas
Who is your customer? This may seem like an obvious question but consider this: how many times have you started building a solution when you have been told about a problem. For instance, you might get a request such as we need a website to promote our products! The next move is to build a website. Work and effort are put into creating a complicated and expensive solution that is likely to fail on day one. Fortunately, getting to know your customer is comfortable. There is a lot of work that has gone into the concept of “Personas.” The following is an example of a persona, the characteristics, and motivations of that person:
With one page you now know who you are building a website or app for. Companies, such as GM, have been using Personas to help design their cars and marketing materials for many years.
Using Mood Boards to drive emotions, colors, and textures of the experience
The next stage in your UX journey is to identify the key emotional drivers for the experience. Mood Boards are an excellent way to collect together colors, textures, and images that will be used in the final solution. Reviewing the following Mood Board immediately drives a set of emotions the persona can engage with:
Your client should be able to sense the feeling you want to use from the Mood Board.
Use Storytelling to drive an engagement
The final stage in the fundamentals of UX is Storytelling. UX is a strategy that can be applied beyond software to all products. The successful products tell you a story. For instance, there are thousands of smartphones, but Apple dominates with the iPhone. The iPhone (despite Apple’s claims) is not better than any other phone. However, Apple sells a story in all of their iPhone commercials. The iPhone is about friendship, family and captures the moments of your life. The story is used to sell a lifestyle that the product will let you live. Also, the Storyboard is a tool that can be shared with the client to illustrate what the final product will achieve. This is a good time to check and adjust with the customer.
Learn from the best
The techniques listed above are foundational to User Experience. The good news is that the best companies share the knowledge of how great UX should be accomplished. Here are some useful links to keep:
- Google – https://design.google.com/
- Apple – https://developer.apple.com/design/
- Microsoft – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/design
- Adobe – http://www.cmo.com/
- UX Design – https://uxdesign.cc/
Let me know in the comments what fundamentals of UX you use to get a project started.