It may now be called UX or User Experience, but as soon as the internet was born, the need to understand how users interacted with it became very real. The likes of Google demand a positive user experience to ensure higher SEO rankings, while the customer demands to feel appreciated and enticed to engage.
But with more devices, faster apps and even greater levels of information than ever before, it’s no longer about offering a broader experience to the user. UX is now all about offering a deeper one.
The Depth of Interaction
Historically, the successful web developer could wow their clients with forecasts on navigation trends, and the miniscule number of clicks required to checkout, and then move on to the next project.
In today’s online experience however, UX isn’t about how users maneuver around the web or what they did yesterday. Now we’re moving into why users interact the way they do, and, more importantly, what they will want from us tomorrow.
Design vs Experience
Design has always been a very important facet of the UX phenomenon, and we can guess that it always will be.
Nevertheless, no amount of optimum design configuration and overall color definition is going to mean anything if the user isn’t enjoying their experience. As users become more aware of the ways they can manipulate their online interaction, they are demanding more and more attention from the sites that they visit. Thankfully, with these increased demands comes more information on how to satisfy them. You just need to know where to look.
It used to be that if you had a whizz bang checkout system, you could hang your hat on that and let conversion rates take care of themselves. Now though, every detail on a site has to be refined and perfected, and every element has to suit the needs of today, while also anticipating the needs of tomorrow. The best web developers know that the only way to stay ahead of the game is to make sure your site is always moving on.
You Have to be Singing from the Same Sheet
Initially, the main focus of any new site has to be in achieving perfection. Creativity in design can only set you apart if it comes hand in hand with a defined strategy that will improve the usability of the site – just as the experience of a site cannot be optimized if the design does not immediately draw the visitor in. These two elements are key, but, for today’s user, every aspect of the site has to aspire to the same levels of faultlessness.
Ultimately, each single person that is involved in the ongoing development of a customer interface needs to understand the demands that today’s customer brings, and anticipate the changes that will occur tomorrow.
On top of this understanding and anticipation, they also need to have the commitment and drive to keep building on their knowledge, and making the tweaks necessary to move towards the ultimate interface. It’s not about one product, one app or one process. It’s about building a holistic service that leaves every user satisfied and wanting to come back for more. And this, my friends, is exactly where UX is heading.