If we break down user experience into its component pieces, what do we get? A bit of psychology, a bit of visual design, much planning… It sounds easy, but UX is more than just blending colors and doing a user survey here and there.
When companies become more competitive, UX designers need to have better knowledge of all aspects that make users interact with their product. Moreover, it is what helps us stand out.
Psychology of UX
Long story short (very, very short), UX designers need to understand the psychology of users. If they know behavior patterns they can tell which feature will keep the user on your website for longer than just a quick look.
From a neurological point of view, our brain uses the eyes to understand UI elements as a whole and individually, and our attention has limits, this is why sometimes we use “selective attention.”
For instance, when someone asks you to count all the red objects in your room for 30 seconds, that is all you focus. If after those 30 seconds they ask you how many were in a different color, you cannot answer. It does not mean that you cannot see anything but the red ones, but that your attention was focused selectively on the red ones. This sort of mechanism works with website users, and it is essential that it be used to the best of your advantage as a product owner.
Good UX is never a monologue
People interacting with technology need to be engaged and to feel like their interaction is a conversation that goes two ways. The most accessible example is iPhone’s Siri, the most “human” way of navigating a phone using friendly technology.
From this perspective, Design Thinking needs to focus on persuading the users to act, and therefore feel involved, but also to educate them, to help them simplify tasks, to perform the functions more efficiently, and even to impart happiness. In many similar cases, the impact significantly improves when there is a human conversation involved that resonates with your user.
Behaviour patterns in User Experience
Understanding your users’ habits is the key to having them return to your website every few days. It is the key to making sure that they do not abandon your products after a few months, and to understand this concept the UX designer needs to focus on several aspects.
First, they must identify what it is that brings the users back, and then they need to map individual personas on those loops for a better understanding of the patterns.
The next step would be to enable the user to jump from a shorter loop to a longer one, and the other way round. Users could learn how your product works, which is what would keep making them return.
Also, the last and crucial step (concerning development) is creating new engagement loops from these findings- expanding!
The conclusion is that a UX designer must continuously improve these skills of recognizing patterns and understanding psychology and behaviors. It is an evolving market, and there is no time to wait and to practice the same old routine over and over again. So if you want to launch or improve your product, your UX designer must know about what motivates users, how the brain takes in views of a piece of information, and how to innovate.
In a nutshell, make sure your UX designer is not just a color specialist, but an expert in improving the user experience.