Understanding UX – what are personas?

UX PERSONAS

Understanding UX – what are personas?

In this post, we’ll help you start taking steps to improve UX.

The first step to better user experience is a better understanding of who your users are – and what they want and need.

Referring to these documents and sharing them with all teams should lead to a user experience (or UX) that better aligns with their real needs. In reality, personas rarely cause these results. In many teams, personas’ documents remain abandoned, left aside while web designers and ergonomists continue to create products based solely on their intuitions.In contrast, data-based personas can be real protectors of the user. They help us control the work of UX Design, web design, and ensure that we are building what our users need.

Why make personas? The 7 good reasons

The personas allow you to:

  1. To really address the need of users and not just to remain in the discourse
  2. Identify the real and precise needs of users. This will allow you to create a simple and adapted product and not a catch-all of features
  3. Understand, humanize your target audience and create empathy towards users
  4.  Have a simple, clear and explicit communication tool
  5. Have a common referent
  6.  Streamline decisions
  7. Prioritize development efforts

In two sentences (or almost!)Peopleas are also a great communication tool both to raise awareness and to convince and bring a different vision of the user experience.

On the other hand, just because your personas are well done does not mean that your site, your service will be properly designed. There are other methods to use and other rules to follow to achieve this!

 

 

 

 

The use of Sitemaps with clients

people working on sitemaps

These days I saw an article that talked about sitemaps and how effective (or not effective) they can be when showing the structure of a site during a meeting with the customer. The article caught my attention because I stopped to think that in the most recent projects I worked on the sitemap had not been very effective in communicating the structure of the site to those on the other side of the table or the line.

Some points I’ve noticed:

Depending on the type of project, showing the structure of the site is not important for the project and for what is being decided at the meeting. But this varies according to the type of navigation that is being designed In a Facebook application, for example, which has a more linear than hierarchical navigation, it makes much more sense to show a user flow than a sitemap. And what I realized is that this kind of project has been much more common than building websites with menus and submenus.
The sitemap is not a very interesting document to go through. It is clear the customer’s disinterest for the document, especially when the person to whom the sitemap is being presented does not have much experience in building sites. Put yourself in that person’s place: it’s all a big succession of rectangles and lines that can often scare you more than clarify.

Precisely because of this, in some cases, the client approves the sitemap without having understood very well what this approval means. It is important that, in the speech, the UX Designer makes very clear the purpose of the document, the implications of that structure that is being presented and even why you have not opted for a different structure. If you do not take these precautions during the presentation of the sitemap, the client ends up approving just by approving. Only in the stage of wireframes, the client will realize that a link he thought important ended up being too hidden within the structure of the site or the menu.

It is dangerous to show only the sitemap and cause the false sensation that the experience always starts from the homepage of the site – mainly because some of them happen in very different sites of the great worldwide network of computers. An experience can start on a user’s Facebook wall, proceed with an application, go through an SMS and end up inside the brand’s institutional website. In these cases, it makes more sense to show the way from the user’s point of view, and not from the point of view of the structure of the site – which usually starts on the homepage.
The article I mentioned tries to list some alternatives for the sitemap, some of them even interesting. What I’ve been trying to use is a hybrid between sitemap and user flow – and as far as possible from gray rectangles to avoid scaring the client too much.

But of course this deliverable decision should be thought of on a case-by-case basis and there is no “definitive formula” for that.

When in doubt, common sense and old common sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch versus Adobe XD

Adobe XD vrs Sketch

Sketch versus adobe XD

 

The digital product design community is currently split between Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator when it comes to “design tool of choice,” with Sketch gaining serious ground the past few years. Design blogs are stuffed with Sketch vs. Adobe XD debates, with Sketch coming out tops in most instances. As a result, Bohemian Coding (the makers of Sketch) has eaten into Adobe’s dominance in the design tool market.

These leaps forward in prototyping will definitely push Sketch and other tools to follow suit with similar features. Adobe is also working on both iOS and Android apps for previewing purposes. Pretty nifty

 

Pros and cons of Sketch

PROS

  • Use of extensions – Directly generate code from the sketch and paste it on for HTML/Swift/Objective-c/Kotlin/Java.
  • Exports – Directly export the design to other software like Zeplin.
  • Ease of use – The easiness that the tool carries is quite good as compared to other software in the same category, even a novice can start using it in very less time.
  • Community Support – The best part is that the software is used by a very large audience, and the community support is quite large and good.

CONS

  • Quick saves – sometimes quick saves don’t work, and the progress for last few minutes is lost.
  • Layers choices – Choosing layers among nested layers becomes complicated if you have not kept this in mind from the start.
  • Pre-designed styles – Some pre-designed styles can be given to be built upon to reduce design time even more.

 

Pros and cons of Adobe XD

PROS

  • User-friendly, dissimilar to many Adobe products that have a steep learning curve.
  • Simplifies Application development with interactive prototypes.
  • Gives you the ability to create really attractive prototypes and integrates with Photoshop / Illustrator seamlessly.

CONS

  • It would be great if the software helped to generate usable code. It does not.
  • Only allows for simple transitions and not many effects.
  • Image editing within the application is limited. Should at least be able to crop images.

 

 

Traditionally, the software development cycle goes through the “alpha” then “beta” status with, according to the editors, a “Preview” passage available to users in order to give a preview of the product. While most distribution to as many people as possible is at an advanced stage of development, it seems that Adobe has made the choice to distribute “urgently” to all its Creative Cloud subscribers, software that we hope is still under construction….

Sketch is clearly Adobe’s target with its XD (for “Experience Design”): a “Preview” launched on Mac only (the playground of Bohemian Coding’s software) and an interface so well copied inspired, that it is far from the Creative Cloud suite’s cannons!

It also has a pretty loyal following already, but XD’s innovative features will force Bohemian Coding to keep pace. Although that means a mass exodus is unlikely, we’re going to start seeing XD pop up as a strong contender in those Sketch vs. Photoshop debates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The UX DESIGN PROCESS

You might want to make sure things look fancy, but you must first make sure that your stuff is going to be read. Also, be sure that you’re thinking about colors and layouts. The wrong colors will be hidden or hard to see against certain backgrounds. Sometimes this comes into play with templates, so make sure you have everything under control

What Is User Experience?

User experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, is generally denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).

UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying products from the website easy and pleasant. They could delve deeper by studying components of the sub-system, such as seeing how efficient and pleasant is the experience of users filling out input fields in a Web form.

Compared to many other disciplines, particularly Web-based systems, UX is relatively new. The term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users).

We built interaction based on what we thought worked — we designed for ourselves. The focus was on aesthetics and the brand, with little to no thought of how the people who would use the website would feel about it.

What Situations Would Benefit From UX Design?

  1. COMPLEX SYSTEMS
  2. START-UPS
  3. PROJECTS WITH “OK” BUDGETS

Things To Know About UX Design

UX design is an amazing discipline, but it cannot, or will not, accomplish certain things.

Here at Sweven we can help you improve any process or site

Image from FRANÇOIS BOUNIQ