UX/UI Design Analysis Through Other Roles’ Perspectives
People in software development teams often analyze business and system requirements so that technical debts and business needs are always at the top of their priorities. But hey… what about good UX and UI design?
In this article.. I’m going to point out essential points in UX/UI design techniques that are useful for software development professionals (who are technically strong but could learn more UX/UI analysis techniques or work in a team with no UI/UX professionals) to help them understand and point out possible underlying issues before code implementation.
The differences.. to be brief:
Examples of UX related areas = interaction design, information architect, user research, scenarios, wireframes, UX psychology, competitor analysis, usability testing
Examples of UI related areas = visual design, visual psychology, graphic design, layouts, typography, customer analysis.. and Front-End coding knowledge is a huge PLUS ;)
Before we get to see mock-ups and prototypes in sprint backlog refinements.. what went down (or.. should have gone down)?
In no particular order.. these tasks (but not limited to) often bounce back and forth especially if the design thinking approach is used:
- UX Research
- User Journey Mapping
- UI Design.. and UI Redesign.. lots of sketches and wireframes
- Demo prototypes with stakeholders
- Usability testing (with the prototype)
- Feedback.. and more feedback
- and redo journey.. redesign.. repeat
Okay, now that the UX/UI design and analysis are done.. we now get presented with it. The design is so beautiful and has got all the cute buttons. Time to develop, right?
Even though we are not UX/UI professionals, we still should always challenge the design by thinking about it in popular scenarios, negative scenarios and edge cases. What can possibly go wrong in UX and is there a journey to handle it? We will be thinking about this from the user’s perspective.. and also of someone who knows the system’s vulnerabilities.
Examples of what could happen:
- Text and button alignment and broken label issues in different data length and different screen sizes
- Design doesn’t support responsive design
- Poor color contrast
- LOOOONG SCROLL
- Too many tabs
- Unclear navigations
- Inconsistent font sizes and types.. also data format
These might look like they should have been aware during UI design phase, but it is not uncommon for them to be found after implementation (even found during user acceptance testing period!). So, it is always good to think about this before implementing the product.
Interesting UX Psychological Theories and Principles
There are so many psychological studies related to the UX field. I’ve listed the ones that I find interesting and helpful here.
- Aesthetic-Usability Effect (The more the UI is aesthetically pleasing = the more usable for the users. that tiny rounded button corner matters!!)
- Jakob’s Law (Preference in familiar design.. if it looks like Facebook, they might like it more ;) )
- Law of the common region (Clearly defined boundary. We don’t want logout button in Upload section)
- Law of Similarity (Similar elements = similar function. A white upside arrow means Upload on this page but the black one means Going Up in another page.. not good)
- Miller’s law (We are capable of learning and recognizing 7+-2 items in working memory.. adding more options is a request for us to recall)
- Pareto Principle (Similar to a Software Testing principle, it’s often the case that 20% of customers generate 80% or more of revenue for a company. So, we will put effort into making sure this 20% is the user persona we are trying to impress UX to)
- Postel’s law (Accept liberally, send conservatively.. this is very useful for when designing data input, output, and display)
And more to learn..
It is essential for anyone who works with software development to have basic UX/UI knowledge. We might not be the one who produces the UX/UI design, but we can add ideas and concerns to it. This will add more perspectives and, most importantly, another pair of eyes to spot unpleasant journeys and errors.