These are the biggest challenges in the implementation

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The UX design puts users and their needs first. At the same time, however, the product designers must comply with the technical requirements. How companies master the challenges of implementation.

In order to design products in the interest of users, the team responsible for implementing UX design must have adequate information about potential users’ wishes, problems, and behaviors. The word “sufficient” is crucial here. In practice, it often happens that designers either receive too much data from the client or no data at all. In the first case, the data is often confusing and chaotic. In order to classify the information correctly, designers need additional details: When, how and why was the data collected? In the second case – if there is none at all – the situation is even more difficult. For gut feeling, intuition and vague ideas are not enough to bring a successful product to market. Every step of the design process needs to be validated – even if it costs time and money.

UX Design: Evaluate data and avoid dark patterns

What is the solution? If no user data is available, it must first be collected and, above all, processed. Designers can participate in this exploratory process by formulating the necessary research questions. When too much information is available, the design team must review the data to get a clear picture of the situation. If necessary, hire a data analyst – but basically one is recommended anyway.

Unwanted purchases, newsletters, and services that are difficult to unsubscribe from, or even consents that are given by accident: dark patterns are the dark side of UX design. This term is a collective term for tricks that confuse users and thus cause them to perform unwanted actions. Because they are used against and not for the user, dark patterns are the epitome of bad UX design. Those who use them forget the principles of user-centric design, act unethically and put the interests of the company before the expectations of the users. This can have fatal consequences: Users get angry and want nothing more to do with the product. Above all, it costs trust and damages a company’s reputation.

Balancing the gap between business goals and user needs

The challenge in UX design is to walk the tightrope between the company’s business goals and its mission – to identify and meet users’ needs. Sales are important for any business, and most websites and apps are created to sell a product or service. From the UX designer’s point of view, however, there is no reason to manipulate its users or prevent them from opting out of the unwanted service.

For UX designers, the situation is clear: Anyone who wants to cancel a service is unhappy. This is important information for the company. So it makes a lot of sense to find out why people are leaving, instead of locking users into the app, newsletter or subscription. The useful feedback means that the online experience can be continuously adapted to retain future users. Anyone who learns more about customer needs and pain points can improve the product.

UX design: test, test and test again

The 3G rule in the UX design world is test, test, test. Why is it so important? Properly performed user tests are a prerequisite for a large financial investment in the further development of the product actually makes sense. Although an idea makes sense, it must first and foremost be validated.

An example makes this clear: A customer approaches a development company with a product idea. At first glance, the idea appears relevant and valuable. But: Instead of directly imposing the implementation on the development team, the design team conducts a comprehensive user test and finds that potential users are not interested in the product anyway. The customer is obviously disappointed. In the end, though, it can save a lot of time and money.

The problem: Many customers are skeptical about user testing. They believe that testing is time consuming and expensive. In fact, a test round can be completed within one to three weeks. Although tests can not currently be performed on site, they can be performed remotely without any problems. These even have another advantage: Testers from all over the world can participate – all they need is a stable internet connection.

Availability is relevant to all users

When I’m young and in physical shape, accessibility is not a problem for me, is it? Not really. All people are at risk of encountering a disability, whether temporary or permanent, at some point in their lives. For example, if they have had eye surgery, if they are dazzled by the strong sun, or if they are trying to use their phone and are out at the same time. Well-designed products are available to everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability. For it makes both ethical and economic sense to exclude certain population groups as users.

The difficulty? Available design can only be achieved through good collaboration between designers and developers. Accessible solutions are not always easy to implement because many existing websites and apps do not take accessibility into account. Therefore, it is always worth thinking about availability from the start of product development.

Competitor analysis can not replace user analysis

Competitor analysis is one of the most important steps in the early stages of product development. But it’s also true: Competitive analysis can not replace research into the actual needs of future users. Ideally, new products should not only be better than what the competitors offer, but also solve the target audience’s actual problems.

Hard to find buttons, strange links, unreadable text: no one has time to deal with bad UX design these days. Ease of use and user satisfaction are the most important prerequisites for a successful product. But good UX design does not just fall out of the sky. It is therefore worth investing in user testing, validation, data analysis and well-implemented accessible solutions. To create a product with real added value, you need to understand your users’ pain points, do adequate tests and make sure the application is accessible to everyone. And stay away from dark patterns that only annoy users.

Moon cascade
Indrek Ulst is a co-founder of Mooncascade. (Image: Mooncascade)

About the author: Indrek Ulst is a co-founder of Mooncascade and currently works as a technical sales engineer. His career began in 2000 as a freelance web developer when he was only 15 years old. Over the last few years, Indrek has held various positions at Mooncascade: CTO, Interim CEO and now Technical Sales Engineer. In a leadership position, he was significantly involved in various product development projects, including for unicorns such as Wise, Monese and Tune. Mooncascade was founded in Tartu in 2009 by software engineers Ahti Liin, Asko Seeba, Indrek Ulst and Priit Salumaa. The company supports digital product development. This ranges from consulting to design and software development – whether it’s business goals, revitalization of existing services or introduction of new fintech products. (sg)

Also read: New work: Why usability and user experience are so important

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