UX: Are you designing based on perceived user experiences?
As User Experience designers and specialists, we’ve been through the same process a 100 times. Sketch, Wireframe, Experience Test, Design Concept, Experience Test, Proof of Concept, Experience Test, Initial Design, Experience Test, Draft Design, Experience Test, Final Designs, Experience Test… A few “standard” questions always come up during each design and project session:
- Is that header too big?
- Is that CTA clear enough?
- Is that banner big enough?
- Is that the correct color for that button?
- Are we giving that section enough attention?
Eventually, the answer to all of these questions is a “yes” across the board. Great news! Well, sort of… but have we asked the important questions?
- What are we testing for?
- Who are we testing for?
- Why are we testing certain elements?
- Will the answers to the previous questions be a “yes” when tested externally?
- What do we do with external feedback?
Sound familiar? Well maybe not that direct, but I’m pretty sure you’ve been in a situation like this before. External feedback comes in and unfortunately some or most of it just gets brushed off as either “That seems redundant” or “Not sure those points are valid in this scenario”. But Why?
Perceived User Experience
What is perceived user experience though? In part it is the preconception about a possible user experience where a lot of assumptions are made about what the users’ experience will be. We assume that a user will do certain things based on content, content layout, CTA’s, and overall flow of the design. While we can certainly make a few assumptions based on experience and previous tests, we still need to put ourselves in the end users’ shoes and never forget that it is not your project, it is theirs.
Make sure that you always have the end user in the forefront of your mind when you’re Sketching, Wireframing and Designing, and create a product for them that they will not only be able to use, but enjoy using. When you can start treating each project as the property of the end user, you start to think and design differently. You even start testing differently and start looking at tests and test results differently, for the better. This is when you actually start to become a true user experience specialist. Want more great UX advice?
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