Do We Know Anything About UX

Do we know anything about user experience? Do we know why some designs work better than other designs and the way many companies act? You would think that the answer is no. We don’t know anything about user experience. All we can do is like throw to the side of the wall and see what sticks or see what drops. We can do AP testing and then we can see which design has the highest conversion rate and that’s the one we use. And yes, you should use the design with the highest conversion rate for sure, but that’s a very impoverished way of gaining understanding of customers needs. And these kind of more like typically surface level changes that you make in AB testing are not the ones that are going to drive like deep changes in user experience or architectural changes in the way the user interface is put together. And those are the changes that will give you sometimes several hundred percent of improvements as opposed to the the smaller improvements you can get from these kind of tweaks. But luckily, we do know things about user experience that you can use to think about what type of bigger changes you may want to make and. That’s based on like several decades worth of research by now that has given us insight, anything from very broad principles, the heuristics like consistency. If you do the same thing always in the same way, then it’s going to be easier for people to learn. That’s just basic psychology to more and more detail specific design guidelines such that if you’re doing a website, you want to put the logo in the upper left hand corner. And research shows that it works much better with users than upper right hand corner or even in the middle of the page. And so that’s a lot a lot of that type of insight. And you can use that to really drive the advances in your user experience. Now, I should say, we do not know enough about user experience to have a 100 percent completely accurate understanding of every possibility and being able to one person predict exactly what’s the best design for any given problem. So we’re not in the stage of, like, no astronomy where they can predict how the second wind is going to be a solar eclipse. That’s not our our field, unfortunately, is more fuzzy with human behavior. But we don’t have to have the choice only between perfect understanding of every last detail and nothing. We don’t know nothing at all. And all we can do is throw it at the wall. There’s that kind of middle ground that says we understand a lot of principles, a lot of issues, a lot of guidelines. It doesn’t generate with one percent accuracy the recommended design, but it’s going to guide you and lead you. And so if you base your design on these principles, if you know the principles, if you think about design in this kind of usability terms in terms of user behavior and sort of what we know about those things from all the previous research, then you’re going to drive your user experience to much greater success.

So do that.

But also think about at the scene, think about these UX principles that we’ve spent decades evolving.

That’s got to be one for the blue pursuit.

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