UX, like any other field of study, encompasses a broad and deep range of technical knowledge, paradigms, patterns, and methods, leaving one to wonder if they’ve done everything they can to design a good user experience.
Today, we’ll cut through the dogma, frameworks, and even most activities to get to the heart of what makes UX work and how you can give your users an exceptional experience.
The fundamental principle of user experience is that people have problems. As UX designers, our job is to solve these issues in a way that is:
- 1. Emotionally fulfilling
- 2. Result-driven, and
- 3. Simple to comprehend and work with
This can take many forms, but let’s take a closer look at what this means in terms of the value that the user is looking for. Users want a solution that is better than what they have now and provides them with more value with less effort. Users, above all, do not want to think about it; they simply want it done.
This is consistent with the jobs-to-be-done philosophy, but when viewed broadly, it is the most obvious metric to compare against – does the proposed solution produce the desired outcomes?
- 1. Elements of Value
- 2. Emotional value
Emotional value refers to how a user feels after using your product or service. This is critical because if your product makes a user unhappy, they are unlikely to use it on a regular basis.
Furthermore, users are far more likely to interact with your product or service if it makes them feel good about themselves, their outcomes, or their decisions.
This can be a good thing or a bad thing, and in order to fully satisfy the other two elements of value, your product must first aim to satisfy a user’s emotional needs.
Inquire of yourself and your users:
- 1. How are they currently resolving their issues?
- 2. What effect does it have on them?
- 3. Where do their interactions with their current solution make them feel frustrated, aggravated, upset, disheartened, dejected, or otherwise off-put?
To get a clear picture of what’s really going on for your users, listen to what they say and observe what they do. This combination will reveal more information about their mental and emotional state than either one alone.
Utility Value refers to the outcome that a user achieves after using your product or services.
Inquire of yourself and your users:
- 1. What is the job that it is assisting them with?
- 2. What can a user expect as a result of using your product?
- 3. How are the results produced by your product superior to those produced by competitors?
- 4. How can you show or directly show a user the outcomes that your product promises, and how can you make the value of these outcomes appear to them?
You build a trusting relationship with the user by assisting them in achieving the desired results. Getting more specific about what your users need and what outcomes you specifically offer is a way to amplify utility value and it is often the best way to improve user experience.
Convenience is one of the three elements of value that is frequently overlooked but extremely important to a user’s experience.
While emotional and utility values refer to how your product makes a user feel and what it allows them to do, convenience value refers to how simple the process is for your user. Convenience refers to how simple it is for your user to achieve their desired result (s).
- 1. How simple is it for your user to get from point A to point Z?
- 2. How much faster can you make the process for them, with less thought and effort?
- 3. How frequently do they need to intervene in order to receive input, make decisions, or provide additional information to ensure that your process runs smoothly?
- 4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of their current solutions? By comparison, how much more convenient could you make yours?
All of these questions are meant to start a conversation within your company, and they should help you feel empathy for your users when designing a solution that is tailored to their specific value requirements.
In UX discovery, your goal should always be to uncover the values that your users require and desire, as well as to answer the following questions:
- 1. What emotions does your product elicit in its users?
- 2. What does your product enable users to accomplish?
- 3. How simple will the process be for your users if you use this product?
You’ll be well on your way to a successful, highly valuable product offering once you’ve answered these questions and applied them to your designs.