Product development in the digital age is no less competitive than it was decades before it. If we look at the level of competition various brands and businesses have today, it might actually be more intensive.
The introduction of user experience design (UX design) accelerated the development of products, leading many businesses to hire their own UX designer. Singapore and other tech-forward nations have plenty of experts in the design & development fields which makes them go-to choices for acquiring UX talent.
What does a UX designer have to do with improving the way digital products are built?
Aside from UX, these design VIPs also contribute their insights in developing other aspects of a product. The UX designer, along with other members of the team as well as the product owners, brainstorms to create a concept and initial functions of the product. This process can sometimes be a pain to standardise and organise.
Getting to know existing or potential customers’ thoughts and needs matters a lot in designing a product that will address those needs. Without this knowledge, businesses or brands may end up spending time and resources on a product that customers will not find usable or desirable.
“Clients may differ in some ways with the things they needed and wanted. However, there’ll always be areas where they will agree on the same preferences,” says Marvic, a User Experience Researchers’ UX designer Singapore based. This shared desire is what UI UX design teams look for before creating a concept.
User research is a vital part of product development. By conducting user research, design teams can gain insights into what customers want in a product. There are various approaches to user research, which can be split into two categories: quantitative and qualitative methods.
Quantitative methods may involve surveys, eye-tracking, and analytics – some of which may involve getting data from actual users of a product, and that’s if the objective of the research is to improve it. On the other hand, qualitative methods involve getting educated insights and non-numerical information such as preferences straight from actual or potential customers.
When designing a product, a UX designer should consider in advance how target users or customers will navigate through the product and use its features. Making use of research methods such as usability testing gives developers a thorough compilation of data that they can use to create products that address all user needs.
Another idea to consider in creating product concepts is to reduce the number of people creating ideas to avoid further muddling the brainstorming process. This is common in brand teams that already have a UX designer.
Singapore businesses, especially those of relatively large sizes, have their in-house development teams that include designers specialising in UI and UX. With competition becoming more aggressive in the digital world, products that stand out with striking visuals and convenient usage will more likely gain loyalty from users.
Once the user and UX research analysis has determined the needs and preferences of target users, the team can find out what visual elements will work best for them. Along with this, the development team must plan the shortest way for users to accomplish their objectives with the product – be it a website, mobile app, or other kinds of software.
By creating a user-centred UX design, businesses give more than just convenience for users – it also improves their reliability and image. According to some studies, 90% of users stop using an app due to performance, while on the other hand, a well-crafted user experience design can raise conversion rates up to 400%, according to Forrester Research.
When it comes to usage, two things stand out with digital products such as software and applications: speed and clarity. These two factors are valuable in websites and mobile apps and are always a big help for device interfaces and terminals.
“The more complex a design is, or the longer it takes to be fully appreciated or utilised by a user could make or break user satisfaction,” says Marvic, a UX Designer in Singapore. “Whenever people use an app or a website, their priority is being able to perform what they want or need to do in the least time possible, so the fewer steps there are to completing it and the faster the interface elements load, the more positive the user experience will be,” he says.
Another example that users commonly observe is copy and clutter – in the sense that text elements such as copy should be concise and laid out to be visually balanced against other items. In UI design, it is vital to give users an optimal visual flow to prevent confusion and frustration.
Originality will always have impeccable value, but innovation will always give those willing to risk, the opportunity to thrive. This principle also applies if you already have an existing product in the market – don’t fix what is not broken. A reliable UX designer can immediately find out if your product can be further improved or would need a separate, updated version altogether.
For example, some features may better be off left alone if users see them as good or works as intended and expected. If there is no need to update said function and access it, then it might be a disservice to users or even potential users if the feature would suddenly change. It’s also a good idea to check design and technology trends to see if there are innovations you can use to improve your current product or include in a new one.
Finally, it is imperative to evaluate a product before release as much as possible. Ensuring that the prototype or version created by the development team is up to par with both the objectives of product owners and lines up with target users’ needs should be a priority for both developers and testers. A UX designer, ideally, should also have an idea of how to evaluate his work prior to testing to help save time and filter more errors before submission to the product owners as completed work.
“When creating and improving product design, there are two signfiicant processes involved: testing and evaluation. Part of what makes UI UX design user-centred is how the customer journey through the product is fine-tuned to be responsive to user needs and preferences. The aim is to make sure they have everything they need within the product,” says Anna, another UX designer from Singapore.
An important part of evaluating your development process is Quality Assurance (QA) testing. When your QA is sound and implemented well, there are fewer chances of committing mistakes in the development process.
Another part of the evaluation also comes from analysing user feedback, which can be obtained by issuing surveys, getting feedback from contact forms, and other reports. It’s important that product owners align with their customers or users on what they can improve in the product.
Want to know more about how to design better products? Get in touch with the Frontline team at https://www.frontline.com.sg/contact/ and let us help you with your project.