UX Designers, Are You Asking These 8 Product Design Questions?
The businesses of creating exceptional digital products requires an important skill: asking the right questions. A product or UX designer who presumes to have all the answers will inevitably miss opportunities to improve their design and even jeopardize the success of their product.
User experience questions start in the ideation stage, long before the product materializes: Will people buy this? Where are my competitors failing to meet consumer needs? How can I create value for my customers? Asking questions about the user experience should continue throughout each step of the design the design process.
In this line of query, the options are endless. However, we have put together a list of a few great user experience questions to ask. This should get the ball rolling, the rest is up to you!
Where are my users getting confused?
This is the number one user experience question that UX designers should ask. Confusion is UX kryptonite — it means your user is not meeting their goals. Avoid at all costs.
The best way to start combating user confusion is to perform user testing: Ask real users to complete tasks using your product. Once you find where the problem areas lie, you can start to tackle simplification. The solution will vary according to the website or platform, but these general tips will help get the ball rolling.
- Use industry standards: Users tend to apply rules they’ve experienced outside of your website or product. It may be worth sticking to certain trends in order to capitalize on a shorter learning curve.
- Simplify copy: Reading is an art, and not all your readers are artists. Your content should be accessible to a spectrum of educational and cultural backgrounds.
- Rethink structure: Does the hierarchy of your site or product lack logic? This could be the culprit of user confusion. Consider reworking your page structure.
- Add cross reference links: If the categories are causing confusion, make navigation easier by providing several routes to get to a desired result.
Is it easy for my users to complete a purchase?
Whether you are designing a site for online shopping or hoping to convert browsers to a paid subscription, the ultimate goal is to get users to buy from your platform. Asking this eCommerce user experience question forces you to examine and define any barriers to purchase.
Should I add on-screen guidance?
Reverting back to our first question — implementing on-screen guidance is a great way to ease user confusion. Here is how to gauge if this option right for you: Does your product or site require users to perform tasks that involve multiple steps? Do you have a large population of diverse users? Are you looking to reduce support costs?
Nearly every product can benefit from this kind of usability add-on. WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a code-free layer that allows businesses to cut onboarding time for new users and reduce tickets. It does this by providing step-by-step instructions at the moment users need help. This is definitely a user experience question that is worth looking into.
What colors will drive my user to the desired action?
Colors are one of the most powerful tools in design. It’s a well-known fact that different shades of the rainbow can provoke different emotions from their viewers. The first step is to ask yourself what feeling you want to create for your users and then find the right colors to reflect that. Note that this color theory may vary according to culture, gender and age.
What should my menu look like?
There are many different options for designing a menu. A good menu will be accessible but not distracting, and most important, easy to navigate from any point. Different menu styles afford different benefits.
For example, you are probably familiar with the hamburger menu, a common phenomenon on mobile apps. Its three horizontal lines have come to symbolize menu entry point and are often used to simplify the homepage on a small screen. The biggest benefit is saving screen space which allows for clean design. On the other hand, this menu choice can be taxing for the user. Users less familiar with digital applications might miss the cue and become confused.
Menu design is a critical aspect of the user design, and your design process should include user experience questions such as: Who are my users and what kind of menus are they accustomed to? What do my users need to achieve by using the menu? How can I simplify this menu and still meet my users needs?
Do your users understand what is important?
This user experience question is critical to avoid user overwhelm. A user should understand at a glance the visual hierarchy of any given screen: what information is high priority and what is low priority. That way they may navigate efficiently and extract value accordingly.
This effect can be achieved by playing with font size, contrast, color, negative space and shapes. Good design visually indicates which elements on a page are priority — these should draw the eye. Additional information should be accessible but not distracting.
How should I display my contact forms?
Should your contact forms be exposed or hidden? Should it be on your home page or on a distinct contact us page? Each option poses pros and cons. The farther removed the form is, the more action is required of the user. It requires the user to be informed and work harder (which is not always a bad thing).
However, an overt form can lead to passivity and create distraction for those who not wish to reach out. Ultimately, every product is different and asking this user experience question will help define what is right for your users.
What should my input forms look like?
The way you frame a question can significantly affect the answer. A similar dynamic can occur with input forms. There are many ways to ask a user for their information — signup flow, a multi-view stepper, or a monotonous data entry interface to name a few. Besides data integrity, some input forms are simply more comfortable for certain questions than others. Choose your input forms after carefully asking yourself what each form’s purpose and intended answer type are.