What Makes a Good User Experience? 4 Fundamentals You Need to Know
Poor user experience is like a staircase that leads to nowhere. It’s distracting, awkward, inaccessible and frustrating. It’s technically functional — you can still walk up the steps — but it has no purpose.
Great UX, on the other hand, works so well you don’t even notice it. The user journey is seamless and you never miss a beat.
Any UX or product designer would say the same: the best product or website is rooted in a functional and enjoyable design. By understanding your users’ needs and knowing the factors of a good or bad user experience, you can take steps to ensure higher user engagement and digital adoption.
User experience requires a 360° view
Providing a great user experience requires optimizing every touch point of the user journey. It means putting the user at the forefront of your product, website, or service, anticipating and addressing their needs. Every interaction a user has with your company contributes to their overall user experience.
Web design, customer service procedures, support protocols, and product releases are all part of the total experience. It is important to acknowledge how UX fits into each of these disciplines in order to coordinate and provide a holistic experience.
What makes a good user experience?
Top-tier user experience begins with researching and understanding who your users are. You’ll want to make sure that whatever design, procedure, or strategy you use makes sense for each demographic and meets their goals.
The greatest user experience is designed to satisfy individual users needs and evoke a certain common emotion.
For example, Apple’s UX can be summarized as straightforward, clean, and innovative. On each product, the interface is minimalistic in design and clearly highlights their products and support functions.
On the other hand, Patagonia evokes a feeling of exploration. The site design includes earth tones and exciting photos of nature alongside products.
When identifying what makes a stellar user experience, consider the following steps:
1. Map the user journey
Ideally, the user shouldn’t have to look far to find what they’re seeking. But in reality, this is not always the case.
That’s why it’s important to create a user journey map, so you can understand the general path that users take to complete a task on your product.
Can you cut down on any steps? Can you minimize the number of clicks it takes to reach the end-goal? Is it simple for the user to find what they’re looking for?
The user journey should be frictionless. Creating a user journey map enables you to identify barriers to smooth usability and implement solutions.
2. Apply aesthetic design
Design is a major part of what makes a good user experience. While the design should stand out, it shouldn’t interfere or distract. It should promote your company’s brand image and overall philosophy while supporting a smoother user journey.
To make your UX more aesthetic, minimize clutter, remove distractions, and include ample whitespace. Certain aspects, such as wide margins, text that is easy to read, and a consistent color scheme creates harmony among the text, layout images and overall visual design.
According to a study, end users form an opinion of a site’s visual appeal in the first 50 milliseconds of visiting the site. If they don’t like what they see, they probably won’t spend much time on the site.
3. Make it credible and functional
Users want to engage with sites they can trust. Trustworthiness and credibility of your brand should be visible in the design of your website and in your procedures. Things like typos, broken links and too many gated pages will elicit distrust toward your brand.
The Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility maps out a few key points, including making it easy to contact you, keeping your website up to date and demonstrating that trustworthy people endorse your brand.
4. ‘Spark joy’ by decluttering your site
If something on your site doesn’t spark joy, throw it out. That’s the fundamental rule of Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up your physical stuff. The same thing applies to your user journey.
When your goal is to create a journey that is seamless, efficient, and pleasurable, you don’t want to force your users through any unnecessary stops or bombard them with superfluous information.
When in doubt, declutter wherever possible.
What makes a good user experience? Keep it simple
User experience varies among platforms, depending on their use and user base. Creating a satisfactory and seamless user experience demands more than a one-size-fits-all strategy. It is a web that allows you to weave the components together in a way that makes sense for your platform. By focusing on these fundamental principles, your users will swiftly turn from first-time visitors to product advocates.