The importance of user experience design
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Published on February 19, 2014
Although user experience design is sometimes dismissed as the latest marketing gimmick or just another buzzword, the reality is that UX is essential to the success of a product. In today's media environment, companies must do everything they can to ensure that their apps and websites empower users and provide a satisfying and rewarding experience. Taking UX training at the American Graphics Institute is an excellent way to learn about these subtle yet crucial design principles and enable you to create interactive experiences that will keep users coming back for more.
Reading between the lines
In addition to offering users a streamlined and enjoyable experience, strong UX design must also convey your brand's message. Jay Samit, chairman of Realty Mogul, recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal that striking a balance between sophisticated functionality and an intuitive experience is one of the greatest challenges for any UX designer.
"By leveraging each consumer interaction to improve your UX, companies can channel their data into insights for great UX," Samit wrote. "Design is how you make your first impression with your consumers. Make sure it is a lasting one."
Samit also recommended that UX designers test their products extensively before launch. Although some startups embrace "the hacker way" favored by companies such as Facebook, the mantra of "move fast and break things" can result in missed opportunities from a UX design perspective.
Every second counts
Of course, even the most aesthetically pleasing designs will fall flat if a page or app takes too long to load. Media consumers' attention spans can now be measured in mere seconds, necessitating optimized code that provides users with the information they need - and fast.
In addition to optimizing your site or app's code, it is imperative that various layouts and features be extensively tested across both desktop and mobile platforms. This will ensure a consistent and rewarding user experience across a range of devices, which is essential for brand continuity, particularly for sites and apps that serve large user bases.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.