Nowadays, with so much emphasis on user-centered design, describing and justifying the importance of designing and enhancing the user experience seems almost unnecessary. We could simply say, “It’s important because it deals with our users’ needs — enough said,” and everyone would probably be satisfied with that.
However, prior to the user-centered design era, things were different. Design decisions were based on just two things: what we thought was awesome and what our clients wanted to see. Even today many organizations continue to design products based on what they think would work — and end up making great products for themselves than the users. The focus is on aesthetics and the brand, with little to no thought on how users would use the product and feel about it.
To make it worse, the web has rapidly become more complex and feature-rich. Additionally users have been accessing the web in an increasing number of ways: mobile devices, a vast landscape of browsers, and different types of Internet connections. Also the importance of accessibility, i.e. providing universal access to those with special needs, cannot be ignored.
Our philosophy of creating a rich user experience revolves around the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users. Give them ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.
Our UX COE comprises of a dedicated team of Creative UX professionals, that spend all their time thinking and rethinking design and usability strategies to offer a experience that is simple, yet powerful, to the end user. Our toolset is broader than just colors and font-styles, as it also includes user-research, prototyping, usability testing, and more. We work hard with our Clients understanding their goals and vision, so that users develop the exact same perception of value towards their products and services, as they had intended to be.
We follow some unique design guidelines and discipline, that has helped us create great products, strengthen client relationships and most importantly make our end users content.
We live in a dynamic world with mix of people, products and technology. The User Experience strategy cannot be same for every situation, user and technology. It must be tailored to the goals, context, audiences and platform. We study each situation deeply and craft the user experience strategy accordingly, based on the specific needs of a product.
While UX and Usability are two distinct fields of design, we like to take an Integrated approach in our design solutions. Instead of dealing with UX and Usability in isolation, we integrate our solution that creates an emotional connection between the user and the system and at the same time making the system intuitive and user to use.
To make a product accessible, you don’t need to add extra functionality or to duplicate any content. The key is simply to assess the requirements of those with different skills and limited devices when designing the user interface and content. We go an extra mile to make sure the content and the user interface meets relevant Accessibility guidelines:
"The details are not the details. They make the design." - Charles Eames. From fine details such as user friendly and informative error messages to the choice of typography, we carefully go over each aspect of design element again & again. We believe small details go a long way in winning users trust and confidence.
We use various tools and techniques, tried and tested, to enhance our design capability and build standards / guidelines.
If a system already exists, we first evaluate its current state. Then we report issues and finally suggest fixes, be it minor updates or a complete overhaul, based on the analysis of our research data.
We interview existing and potential users of the system to gain insight into what would be the most effective design. Because the user’s experience is subjective, the best way to directly obtain information is by studying and interacting with users.
We develop detailed wireframes including different layouts and also higher-fidelity prototypes that truly reflect our design thoughts and approach towards a specific product / context.
We also develop User Flows clearly depicting how users move through a given system. By clearly defining entry and end points, we cut all ambiguity and redundancy from the system.
By engaging the emotions of users and drawing on familiar elements, we reveal design in stories to bring the personal touch and emotional connection back, that we seem to have lost in the ever-changing technology world.
Patterns provide consistency and a way of finding the most effective “tool” for a given task. With user interface design patterns, for example, picking the right UI elements (e.g. module tabs, breadcrumbs, slideshows) for certain tasks based on their effectiveness leads to better and more familiar experiences. We not only propose design patterns that are industry standard, but also develop custom patterns specifically for custom needs.
Knowing the audience is the first step in UX design that enables us to develop experiences that reflect the voice and emotions of our users. We use personas in the design process to focus our attention and efforts on the needs and challenges of realistic users, which in turn helps us develop a more usable finished design.
Content inventory is an organized list of content pages in an application. We perform periodic content inventory checks that help us propose changes in the information architecture to further enhance the user experience (e.g. user flow, findability and efficiency).
Consistency is critical in crafting a great user experience. We write detailed style guide documents that give writers and designers a framework for creating content and developing a design. The style guides ensure that the brand and design elements align with the product goals and also form a checklist of detailed design elements.