If you are a designer, engineer, or in any role that creates things, you probably hear a lot about “big data” and being “data driven.” The assumption is that data equals insight and direction. But does it? Data, any data, in any amount brings with it problems that make it very dangerous to rely on alone.
Let’s consider a few of them: First, data is just information and alone does not represent objective reality. Next, whatever data you have is never, ever complete, and finally, getting more data does not necessarily mean more clarity.
While that’s completely selling the complexity of UX design short, I get the point. After years of designing for screens, the millions of professionals in the design community have collectively come up with effective solutions to just about any problem that can appear in pixels.
Bad user experiences still abound, and it does take professionals to shepherd the business and programming folks through the entire design process (like reminding to think about the user from time to time), but I’m sure it can feel stale coming up with solutions within a rectangular flat plane. The Internet of Things offers exciting, new frontiers that go way beyond weighing the pros and cons of a hamburger menu icon. IoT is a three-dimensional world with new problems and solutions awaiting around every corner.
I’ve outlined five of what I consider the most important UX design decisions you can make when creating a new, totally in-the-real-world Internet of Things solutions.
Through Artificial Intelligence (AI), UX design could bring in much more user satisfaction, customised experiences and drive positive behaviour.
The most important tenet that propels the field of UX design forward and leads companies to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in incorporating it as an important part of their whole strategy, is the belief that customers should get a better experience and be pleased enough throughout their journey that a particular CTA (Call-to-Action) is served. The process from the landing page to that particular CTA would be meticulously designed so that the user would not lead out midway. This guides user behaviour and increased conversions.
However, there exists a gap between the positive change these UX designers bring in and what the ultimate utopian engagement scenario ought to be. The results might have become better, but no UX design in this world could guarantee that every particular user would like everything on the website or app. There will always be some users who bow out during different parts of the UX design-led conversion journey.
Picture this. You arrive at a party and you’re the first person there. There might be some music playing, maybe a bowl of chips on a table, but nobody else is around. You feel awkward and uncomfortable, so you decide to leave. Now imagine you’re the first person to arrive at the party but things are a little different. There’s a sign near the chips that says, “Help yourself! Grab a beer too!” There’s a phone on a dock that says, “Choose some music, everyone else will be here soon.” You know you’re in the right place. You feel comfortable and you decide to stick around and wait for the next person shows up.
“UX doesn’t live inside our phones or our websites,” he said from his office in Toronto. “We need to step way outside of those devices to understand what people are doing in the real world.”
These are cues stripped from the physicality of our everyday lives and replicated on the screen, and yet we don’t stop too often to think about the relationship between UX IRL and UX on the screen.
Designed for our applications is a gradation of information and specialisation based on human work patterns, which are all quite similar in the way that vehicles on the road are similar. But the controls, or tools, provided should scale to the device you’re using, just like the vehicle you drive should. These considerations guide Oracle’s applications UX.
We don’t have to convince users that a good user experience helps their business by providing a more human way to work. Because UX design is part of the workflow, users just do what they want to do; they don’t care what is on the back end.
A great UX can’t just be pretty; an enterprise application must give users the kind of control they need to be productive at work.
In essence, any digital product, website, or app is simply a collection of information. The practice of Information Architecture involves arranging this information in a way that is easy to understand, and can be scaled as the app or website grows (as you add features, for example).
An app or website that has good Information Architecture is structurally sound. It’s very much like a building. If we’re deliberate about what the important pillars are, and we start there, we have a solid foundation. When we have a solid foundation, we can continue to build without things getting too shaky.
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