[Fireside Chat] The UX Landscape: Present and Future

In this webinar, our experts, Lam Huynh and Matthew Gessler discuss where things currently stand and emerging trends in the ever-evolving world of UX.

The conversation will explore:
UX Evolution
Role Specialization
DesignOps
Service Design

https://youtu.be/Uj06OEHBoEY

 


[Webinar] How to Win your Tech Demo with UX

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAjecEb7fog&t=14s

Are you a contractor company working with the federal government? Are you losing too many of your tech demos? Let Matthew Gessler show you how to stand out from your competitors and win more through the power of UX.

by Matthew Gessler, Radiant Director
User Experience Leader | Strategist | Keynote Speaker

All rights reserved. © 2020 Radiant Digital Solutions


Impactful Digital UX Trends in the Time of a Global Pandemic

The current pandemic teaches us that properly leveraged UX makes life more meaningful and lessens the inconveniences of social distancing.

For example, I needed a part to fix a leaky pipe during the lockdown. I wasn’t sure of the part’s exact size, so I had to go to a hardware store physically. When I arrived, there was a long, socially distant line outside. Mask on, I joined the slow-moving queue, and as I approached each 6ft marker at a snail's pace, I couldn’t help but imagine a better way.

 What if the store could spin up an app that lets shoppers pre-book a shopping slot? The app could be based on a First-Come-First-Served algorithm with considerations for people with special needs.

This way, shoppers would not need to wait in long lines and reach the spot minutes before their allocated shopping time. This is an instance of how UX can ease inconvenience, ensure safety, and ensure business continuity without hassles.

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely change how we work in the years to come, increasing the significance of UX in our daily lives.

In this blog, we demonstrate examples of how UX/CX is more critical than ever.

During the lockdown, people started to realize how dependent on technology we are. As more users look for information and services on the internet, user experience and usability become more beneficial to UX designers, developers, and users.

From financial institutions designing their digital products and services for support and transparency to government agencies providing relief over apps, UX has become a much-needed source of hope.

According to the latest from PYMNTS.com, online shopping spaces are flourishing in the U.S. based on the following statistics.

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These services have become increasingly popular during isolation because of the value-addition made by UX and CX on these digital platforms.

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Image Source: nypost.com

Users prefer managing financial transactions, mortgages, loans, payments, and more on a secure platform over their banks' visit. Transactions are quick, safe, and more reliable while assuring social distancing for those sheltered in place. Social media platforms offer uninterrupted entertainment. They also spread awareness, provide live updates on the pandemic situation in different parts of the world, help us stay in touch with loved ones, and allow people to reach out to those who need help during emergencies. UX on networking platforms is guided by practicality, accessibility, and cost-efficiency.

Companies do not have to spend millions of dollars on campaigns or conventions. Instead, they can continue to promote their business on social media platforms.

Similarly, with cinemas closed, people have become accustomed to binge-watching on streaming platforms like Netflix. The binge-watching phenomenon demonstrates the power of UX in this domain as well.

The seismic shift in the digital climate has expanded users’ horizons.

Telehealth services have been life-saving for patients and doctors alike. A recent survey conducted by OnePoll found a 154 percent increase in the use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

76 percent of respondents said they’ve utilized delivery services to get their prescriptions during the pandemic.

Online pharmacies, researchers, and doctors alike need tools with great UX design and functionality to deliver orders, find vaccines and get an advanced understanding of patient health issues.

Here’s how PMD has summarized Telehealth growth during the pandemic.

Image Source: Globe Newswire

Based on the guiding principles for Telehealth design, UX impacts these key areas.

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The UX design of Coronavirus case, risk, and proximity tracking apps like the John Hopkins Map help millions of users monitor the outbreak on the county and global levels. The intuitive dashboard provides insights on confirmed cases, deaths, and the fatality rate per region. The user dashboard also keeps a tab on the critical trends and recent developments in COVID-19.

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Image Source: coronavirus.jhu

Additionally, Microsoft AI for health introduced the AI for Health COVID data page that visualizes human progress against COVID-19 with real-time data analysis, interactive visualizations, and key metrics like COVID-19 Cases, Progress to Zero (P0), Rt, Testing, and Risk Levels. This has aided in the following endeavors:

  • Data and insights
  • Treatment and diagnostics
  • Allocation of resources
  • Dissemination of accurate
  • Scientific research

While essential and business travel continues with restrictions, travel for tourism is slowly opening up. The accuracy of apps about safety zones, weather conditions, the proximity of hospitals, and crowd density, backed by advanced intelligence, reliable navigation software, and an intuitive UX, make this possible.

Google Maps introduced COVID-19 related public transport information and direction alerts for local transportation on the app. The user experience includes features to analyze how crowded an area is at different times, provide driving alerts, and notify one about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along the route.

Apple tweaked its facial recognition software to make unlocking your iPhone easy while wearing a mask by moving right to the passcode or password screen when the user swipes up. This key enhancement of UX usability with AI embedded in image recognition is a game-changer.

Apple’s intuitive UX design made critical contact tracing tools more user-friendly and effective in lowering infection levels. Apple and Google also developed APIs that other apps can plug into for tracking and tracing.

The APIs help location-based apps, health apps, and COVID-19 tracking apps integrate and communicate with each other from their respective devices. You can read the detailed article here.

Imagine your mobile phone detecting when you haven’t worn a mask while stepping out and sending you prompts to do so. This is the kind of personalization that UX promises when it comes to the human side of technology.

Screens offer salvation to humans during the pandemic with remote home security control, pre-authorizing food delivery, kids monitoring, business meetings, virtual-cuddling your kids, completing a target, doing virtual tours of museums or national parks, celebrating birthdays, dating, and what not!

Yes, the human presence is missing, but UX can significantly uplift the human touch and experience on touch-based, sensor-based, or data-driven apps.

UX design pertains to easy-to-use interfaces, ethical interactions, intuitive flows, and a coherent, visually attractive design. In times like these, it elevates the human connection with technology to provide the aid people need during a global crisis.

At Radiant Digital, we enhance the human-technology connection with our experience in futuristic UX design. Connect with us for impactful UX designs for your business.


A Response to Skeptics of User Research

Product Managers often understand the value of user research and regular testing in theory but may face practical challenges in implementing it.

Even as user research's value becomes more and more evident, there are still skeptical individuals and organizations that feel like they know their users. Sometimes they align their thoughts to the Henry Ford quote, "If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

UX research should have designers carefully observing their users, along with targeted inquiry and thoughtful analysis. Observation often helps designers see the interface from the users' perspective.

The usability testing point is to discover unexpected problems that the average users lack in insider know-how about the system is "supposed" to work face.

Stakeholders dubious about whether they should trust findings from usability- tests often assert that test participant observations are not entirely reliable or that there aren't enough test participants to take the results seriously.

In contrast to this belief, usability testing is a task carried out with a small number of participants without asking what they want.

In many cases, stakeholders deprioritize user observations because of the lack of time and resources. While others don't understand the method or lack enough experience in it. By clearly explaining usability testing methods and communicating findings in a compelling format, one can bridge stakeholder understanding gaps.

In this blog, we look into the different ways of handling stakeholder skepticism to substantiate the following facts.

  • A large number of users is not necessary to test your design. It can be done with just five persons, no matter how large your user base.
  • You don't need a fully-fledged prototype to get answers during user testing.
  • User research provides qualitative insights that complement the quantitive data from market research.

Preparing Stakeholders with Proactive Explanation

UX Designers must explain their research method before conducting usability sessions. Clarity and transparency are always better than defending UX research methods post-performance.

The ways designers can achieve this is by,

  • Sharing videos, articles, observation reports.
  • Providing evidence-based notes on usability tests, including answers to,
    • How users react?
    • What they do and their approach?
    • What are their body language, facial expressions, and tone while interacting with an interface's different components?
  • Performing regular exploratory work, contextual inquiries, careful observation of users, and keeping stakeholders in the loop.
  • Prepare stakeholders for surprising findings of a product.
  • Convince stakeholders quickly discover common issues that need to be improved for the design rather than repeating tests to check the validity of observations.

Access to Direct User Responses

Many stakeholders believe that usability test reports are biased and opinionated (by the researcher who prepared the report).

In their own words or a video, direct feedback from first-hand users always comes through loud and clear. Even recording live sessions can help stakeholders understand the end-user's perception of the interface. Feedback develops user empathy for their struggles with the system and shows that the researcher is not leading or influencing users in any way.

Even if one user participates in your usability test, you need to find natural and cost-effective fixes for the problem unearthed by him/her. UX designers have to check for an issue's criticality level and perform a further investigation before committing to a design change.

Convince that the Qualitative Data from Users Complements Quantitative Market Research Data

Market research is often conducted around data that we already know and not the opposite. Collecting qualitative feedback from real users helps uncover truths that are the most unexpected called ‘insights.’ These help you delve further, understand the why or the exceptions behind facts, and improve customer experience and product value.

Amazon is an excellent example of this. They have succeeded because they collect and analyze enormous amounts of data. But, they always compare the data with customer insights to add credibility to it.

Check Independent Data Sources to Estimate Frequency

To estimate the frequency and depth of a problem (something which stakeholders would be interested in), you have to pick data sources such as usage analytics or support requests.

You can set up analytics for a particular interface feature like sorting or check out frequently used. A quick check of how many users use the feature and how many face issues can help translate it into the value addition to stakeholders.

The Question about Enough Participants to Prove a Problem

A common stakeholder concern is over a small number of people experiencing a problem that doesn’t necessarily make it a common issue.

They believe that these participants could be “outliers” who have unusual expectations or habits that may not necessarily be common to a larger group of diverse users.

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Image Source: uxdesign.cc

According to Norman Nielsen, a leading user research company, only 15 users will uncover 100% usability issues. Additionally, only a third is required to discover 80% of these issues.

This statistic is accurate for several main customer groups as well.

Addressing Objections that Participants aren’t Representative

Stakeholders often raise objections that test participants are not representative of “real” users. This issue can be tackled by sharing in advance how you plan to recruit them.

Using analytical tools like Ethnio can help target specific types of users for independent sections of your product.

Carefully define the essential characteristics of your target audience and share their candidate profiles with stakeholders. You can also reference personas. You must ensure stakeholders’ active involvement from the planning stages of the study until the final report.

Conclusion

Convincing stakeholders about usability testing is not a cakewalk, but once you achieve this feat, it can make your designs more credible and workflows smoother. This step can help identify serious issues that prevent users from completing a task, cause great frustration, or directly impact your key design goals.

The key is to get to the reason why they are skeptical about changing the narrative.

Once you get to the heart of the reason, you can establish a useful dialog to get them on board. A lot of times, people don’t understand what user research is. It isn’t asking people what they want but instead observing, understanding their workflow/process, identifying pain/pleasure points, etc.

More importantly, UX designers need to,

  • Understand why stakeholders are skeptical.
  • Use facts to quell their skepticism.
  • Remind stakeholders that UX research is a journey, and cultural changes take time.

Connect with our UX Design community at Radiant Digital for more useful tips on handling skeptic stakeholders.


Is It Time to Take Hamburger Off the Menu?

For many, the three-stacked, neat-bar Hamburger menu icon is synonymous with responsiveness and modularity in web and mobile standalone/companion apps.

Most UX designers are beginning to think that hiding features off-screen behind a nondescript icon, side menu, or navigation drawer isn’t a great mobile design choice. In fact, it impedes engagement and visibility, in addition to cramming a ton of functionality into an app.

The UX design world is drifting towards other agile navigation schemes on single-purpose mobile apps. Thus, when the goal is to unravel core features and keep them in the users’ line-of-sight, ditching the hamburger button is a wise move.

Here’s why a Hamburger is not a Healthy Choice

Revelations surrounding the Hamburger menu’s use from many popular apps suggest that it doesn’t belong in standalone apps.

Product owners believe it’s unnecessary to put thought and care into the navigation taxonomy, which should otherwise be a quick and effortless exercise.

The Points that substantiate this include:

  1. Top-level navigation options and core functionalities are hidden behind the Hamburger and are forgotten by users or used less.
  2. It can be difficult to understand the taxonomy of your navigation and retain what the app features do.
  3. The placement of the button on the top left corner is not ideal for effortless browsing.
  4. Hamburger buttons need more taps to open up the feature you want, which makes them less efficient.
  5. A Hamburger menu interferes with your app design's navigation patterns, forcing you to swipe back or across multiple screens to go back to where you started - the Hamburger Menu.
  6. Hamburger menus expand to cover notifications, messages, and new content on your app.
  7. Hamburgers ultimately lead to a drop in customer engagement rates and an increase in customer churn.

Healthy Alternatives

As natural language search options become more robust and conversational interfaces gain steam, do we need to take our focus away from the Hamburger menu?

With the advent of Machine Learning and AI-enabled solutions, we have better replacements for the Hamburger button.

The Tab bar consists of a row of persistently visible buttons at the bottom, sides, or the top of the screen to open different parts of the app. In addition to instant accessibility and discoverability, navigation options offer:

  • The availability of multiple pieces of core functionality with one tap.
  • Rapid switching between features without retreating to the home screen.
  • A better view of notifications, messages, and app content.
  • Toggle between the tab bar view (appear and disappear) with a tap or drag.
  • Improved app speed and unbundled features.
  • Scalability to include additional functionalities using a “More” button.

The Intuitive Natural Language Search buttons at the top line of your app can help in straightforward searches by typing in the conversational text by even non-tech users. What you get includes:

  • Search keyword recommendations in a dropdown list for making the right available selection.
  • Single tab, type, or click actions that return access to core features instantly.
  • Complete visibility of notifications, messages, and new content.
  • Improved speed of feature access.
  • Flexibility to search for all app features.
  • It simplifies information architecture.

It’s Time to take the Hamburger off the menu because…

Your engineers worked too hard building features for you to conceal them inside a menu icon. Playing hide and seek with the Hamburger menu icon to find features is annoying and deteriorates customer experience.

Finally, if people don’t remember what your app offers after trying to figure out what it offers, the purpose of a menu itself is defeated.

Radiant Digital can help you replace the Hamburger Menu with a befitting navigation scheme on your app. Call us today to learn more.


[Webinar] How Atomic Design is Revolutionizing Enterprise UX

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxzMuPpddRg&feature=youtu.be

Atomic Design pairs software development with the laws of chemistry to build easily modifiable user interfaces. Business leaders can now embrace cost-savings, ease of maintenance, and increased development speed through component-based, nimble design.


[Webinar] Enterprise UX: An Enabler for Legacy Systems Transformation

https://vimeo.com/413245659

Imagine capturing significant cost savings while increasing employee productivity and enhancing corporate culture. If you are leading or supporting digital transformation initiatives for your organization, you can't miss Matthew Gessler discussing how UX plays a critical role in the digital enterprise.


Understanding the Limitations of User Personas for UX Design

Capturing and implementing personas is a ritual in most UX design lifecycles. User personas are useful to visualize your design's consumers while incorporating the UX design philosophies in your business.

According to experience Dynamics, "A persona is a vivid, narrative description of a fictitious person who represents a segment of your user population. It is based on primary research that uncovers the real attitudes, goals, and behaviors of the users it represents."

While user personas may help you progress in design to quite an extent, their credibility is still questionable due to the weaknesses that they exhibit when taken too literally.

What is disconcerting about user personas is that after spending significant time, effort, and money on them, they don't quite cut the mustard in terms of universal user acceptance for a product.

In this blog, we delve into some of the common problems of UX designers' user personas.

Inaccuracy

Personas driven by insufficient or premature data, doctored with many assumptions, can be catastrophic in a real-world environment. The goals and pain points of actual users must be captured with significant accuracy. Creating a balance between business and user needs makes this imperative.

Designers sometimes become biased or self-referential when collected data is inaccurate or flawed. Choosing an inaccurate target group can also cull the progress of a design.

However, the need for accuracy can pose problems for UX designers that need to portray the personas and predict their responses quickly.

Lack of Empathy

Personas dwell not only on designer perspective and technical point of view but also on a certain degree of user empathy. UX designers’ focus on meeting business objectives can stand in the way of thinking about how they would use a product themselves.

Thus, empathy often becomes the missing link in creating functional designs. Basing the target users off individual bias and intuition can be a formula for design catastrophe. There is a fine line between emotions and practicality in design that can be met through applied empathy.

Although, problems also arise from overconfidence in the ability to empathize or unreliable inferences made from user behavior.

Significant Effort Spent on Research

It takes a lot of leg work to develop and maintain personas, which is why capturing the right personas empirically is paramount. Basing a design on workflows without evidence-based execution is often pointless, especially when the product is designed to cater to different users with varied requirements.

A single persona hypothesis can lead to a single-use design workflow and can even lead to variants of a persona being created that are never used. This defeats the purpose of leveraging personas for future design success.

Low Credibility

It takes a lot of leg work to develop and maintain personas, which is why legitimate research-based persona development is important for making evidence-based decisions.

It is crucial to include links supporting research and workflow analysis, even in a simulated environment, when a designer develops a persona.

In researching his book, Validating Product Ideas, Tomer Sharon interviewed 200 product managers and found that 86% of product managers are inspired by a personal pain experience vs. only 2% who do User Research for product design idea validation.

Depending on where you get your data/ insight, Persona authenticity and credibility range from low to high. Experience Dynamics has depicted LOW credibility for these data sources.

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Lack of Leadership Buy-in

Leadership sometimes devalues personas as they feel they “know” their users. Inside-Out decision-making can enshroud personas' primary organizational benefits and the quantification of design constraints based on real-time users' lifestyles and abilities.

The lack of leadership support & involvement in exploring & defining personas makes designs highly opinionated & biased. This could lead to pushing back on user personas and not leveraging their potential.

If creating a persona doesn’t involve all stakeholders, it will be viewed with skepticism, which slows or prevents design adoption.

The engineering culture today requires that everyone, including designers, opines about developing personas. Dismissing a collaborative environment can lead to design repercussions.

Low ROI Risk

Forrester Research studied redesigns and found that teams using personas had a four-fold ROI over teams that did not. Outdated user personas or unused personas can increase redesign costs, support costs, & training needs while demanding more documentation work to lead to product implementation delays.

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Image Source: Experience Dynamics

Low User Adoption & Acceptance

Just developing smart personas is pointless unless the majority of the product consumers adopt and accept it. Fear of technology is an important factor, especially with older users, that affects the adoption rate through design.

The problem here is that discussions about desired functionality may be an emotionally sensitive topic. Understanding the emotions of all the product user types is great but close to impossible. The emotional needs of one user persona may not be suitable for another.

A product design that appeals to some and not others can lead to project failures and low user acceptance.

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Image Source: Experience Dynamics

Ineffective for Special Needs

Personas don’t help accurately represent users with special needs, like those with vision or hearing impairment or users from marginalized communities. These users might find it uncomfortable discussing their requirements and expectations.

This makes it difficult for the researcher to assess the impact of personas on the design problem fully. Capturing emotions and having an empathetic outlook in these cases can be challenging for the UX design researcher.

Conclusion

While personas are extremely effective for aiding the design of products, working with a large cast of personas given their limitations is likely to be unwieldy.

Personas can never provide a perfect prediction of how end-users will respond. But, totally forgoing them can be a risky exercise in modern-day UX design.


The Five Qualities of a Next-Generation UX

It is shocking how often enterprise clients ask designers for a "next-generation user experience" without articulating beyond that.

Debates around measuring user experience or modernizing designs often leave UX designers trapped in a subjective spiral, struggling to prove their work's worth. These arguments lead to inevitable back and forth with clients as we aim to hit a moving target. However, if we fail to define a next-gen user experience's qualities, how will we ever know if our design missions are truly successful?

Much like these 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, we at Radiant decided to quantify what a next-gen UX is, so we have something measurable designers can work against.

Though metrics and KPIs help determine design quality, the degree of customer satisfaction through design impact still awaits to be discerned. Now, here are the five essential attributes of truly next-gen UX designs.

Adaptive

An adaptive user experience bends the technology to the needs, goals, and preferences of active users. In this case, the system usually keeps track of the user’s activities and customizes data and functions to user needs.

The idea is to give each user type a powerful and personalized experience. An adaptive UX with an intuitive design and information presentation lowers the common user’s learning curve.

For example, a business analyst’s view of an interface may have the following elements,

  • A dashboard of reports/graphs/performance metrics
  • Important market updates
  • Business messages
  • An elementary and neutral look and feel
  • Profile Information
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Image Source: Oracle Blogs

On the other hand, for a travel blogger, the UI usually,

  • Looks and feels vibrant with colorful elements like images/videos based on personal choice
  •  Displays the latest trends/news in their field
  •  Offers quick access to their work files, client messages, etc.
  •  Includes frequently used work tools (Photoshop/Instagram)
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Image Source: Collect UI

Thus, different themes and components must be visible (or invisible) and the right amount of information based on the active user's job responsibility and persona. This ensures that the UX design is user-friendly and that components or features that don’t apply to different users are filtered. In the example above, the common system components visible for different users include message inbox, profile info, application settings, etc. Simultaneously, reports are displayed only for the business analyst, and travel videos are displayed solely for the travel blogger.

Keeping it Context-Aware & Context-Responsive

Any ideal UX design must account for the user beyond the UI; this includes:

  • Accounting for the users’ spatial and temporal context
  • Integrating with the users’ human network (business and social)

The average user will interact with one device (mobile or desktop), then revisit their activities on another, and finally finish tasks on either device throughout the day.

As UX designers, it is important to consider this type of behavior when merging user interaction with content. Two of the most common multi-device interactions are coherence and synchronization.

With coherence, the product’s core features need to look and function uniformly between devices and platforms.

Evernote exemplifies coherence as content and tasks are allowed to flow from one device to another without user friction. The functions on each device or platform are geared towards the usage of context.

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Image Source: QRCA Views

The Evernote mobile app integrates the camera to record notes and events, while the desktop version provides the user with the ability to edit and catalog entries through synchronization.

Context-appropriate interactions can help minimize the steps for users to manage spatial and temporal content.

For example, IKEA Place detects a horizontal plane and automatically augments the selected furniture in the center of the screen to fit the user’s environment.

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Image Source: thinkmobiles.com

The UX design must be flexible enough to accommodate static, dynamic, animated, and computational spatial/temporal content based on user input and intent. We also need to account for the impact of the spatial networks on UX designs with conversational interfaces and Alexa devices.

Intuitive – Human-centric Designs

Modern designs have re-imagined the way humans, machines, and data interact. Interfaces are moving from keyboards to touchscreens, voice commands, and beyond. The key focus is on matching mental and conceptual models with the lowest friction simplicity.

Intuitive UX designs help users focus on tasks and not on how to complete them. For example, images and video feeds can authenticate individual identities and understand the context of surrounding environments.

Advanced voice capabilities facilitate interactions with complex systems in natural and effortless conversations. Moreover, by intuiting human gestures, head movements, and gazes, AI-based systems can respond to motion-based user commands. Intelligent interfaces combine computer vision, conversational voice, auditory analytics, and advanced augmented reality and virtual reality for a seamless, intuitive UX.

Intuitive dashboards display relevant information together in context, even if they don’t belong to the same information architecture bucket. With intuitive UX, users don’t have to click/jump/look around to find the information they need because of the presence of auto-recommendations, tooltips, and target messages.

Efficient

Efficient UX designs create quick and straightforward pathways to establish user goals. This involves optimal utilization of resources and industry best practices to complete tasks and eliminate noise while accomplishing user goals. A common action performed on multiple accounts or components will save time and effort while helping the users concentrate on other tasks.

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Image Source: UXstackexchange.com

Including the option to open multiple accounts will allow users to utilize the accounts required on-demand instead of waiting on the team to create individual ones.

Anticipative – Know what comes next

Based on the user’s interactions with the system, the UX design must anticipate user needs and react accordingly. This will enhance the user experience and drive more interest in the ways users interact with the system.

Cognitive UX systems utilize the power of anticipation to bring relevant data and functions to the current task based on logic, historical user activity & interaction data, and a solid assumption of the user’s expectation.

The auto-fill feature for forms on Google Chrome is a classic example of anticipating user input for cascading fields. It recollects the user's information input (based on the username or email ID) and automatically fills in the other details to save time.

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Image Source: rogertakemiya.com

Another predominant area that utilizes anticipatory features would be an E-commerce website or marketplace like Amazon. A user selects one or more items, and the system recommends other items logically relating to the user’s purchase.

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Image Source: Electronics for you

This could be based on a previous purchase or recommended based on other similar purchases made commonly by other users.

Conclusion

Here are some of the best market practices already implemented by top players regarding the five essential UX design qualities mentioned above.

Would you like to get these implemented on your UX designs professionally and make them truly next-gen? Call us today!


How Atomic Design is Revolutionizing Enterprise UX

The expectations for enterprise applications are sky-high, and the pressure to keep up with design trends can lead companies to overspend on acquiring new talent or web tools.

Organizations expect features that not only improve ROI but also provide an outstanding user experience. Things like: smooth functioning, catering to the ever-changing requirements of the company, integrating multiple sub-systems or third-party systems, and above all, security. All of this can be covered under one umbrella, the design system.

This rapidly expanding market calls for a design system that addresses patterns from the fundamental level. Industry experts recommend applying reusable components through modular concepts to your dynamic design ecosystem made of large and slow-moving applications. Atomic Design factors in device consistency, AI, intricate data visualization patterns, and conversational interfaces while maximizing benefits.

Business leaders can now embrace cost-savings, ease of maintenance, and increased development speed through component-based, nimble design.

Atomic Design – The game-changer

Atomic Design, a methodology created by Brad Frost in 2013, is based on the idea that a series of coexisting building blocks define a design system.

Atomic Design pairs software development with the laws of chemistry to build easily modifiable user interfaces. The best part of Atomic Design is that it allows UI/UX designers to understand what they are creating, thus simplifying the interface design and development processes.

Diving Deeper into Atomic Design

It starts with modular design components called Atoms. They are the primary visual building blocks of the atomic structure and can be combined to form Molecules. It follows the component hierarchy (shown below) to the fully-functional components of a website or Pages.

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Image Source: creativeblog.com

All the components are categorized based on complexity as defined with examples below.

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Enterprise Challenges Addressed by Atomic Design

1. Business associates may work on up to five heterogeneous enterprise applications every day while bouncing between different systems.

These may include diverse designs, interfaces, interaction patterns that lead to higher learning curves, more development time, quality compromise, slower speed-to-market, more errors, more rework, and higher costs in return.

2. Inconsistencies in static design mock-ups due to different internal departments' involvement or changing brand guidelines lead to longer feedback cycles and duplication of effortsThis can spike up your operating expenses.

3.  Frequent maintenance activities for large and clunky codebases make up about 70% of businesses' operating costs.

4. Lack of component reusability needs more testing for accessibility, browser support, device support, and progressive enhancement. More testing efforts/re-coding means more working capital expenses.

5. Strong documentation becomes difficult for complex heterogeneous components that increase the learning curve for new developers and designers.

Benefits of Atomic Design

Here are six reasons why more businesses want to take the Atomic Design route to successful UX implementation.

1. Allows new resources to get to work quickly

We have seen this first-hand at Radiant Digital. Atomic design helps designers work faster by pulling up the existing components from the pattern library (reusability). They don’t have to start designing from scratch. This significant curbs development/testing time, errors, maintenance efforts, UI inconsistencies, and, eventually, project costs.

2. Quicker Prototyping

We have seen our design cycles go from 5-10 days to 1-3 days because designers have to pick and combine the required elements from the library. This eliminates decision fatigue and allows our designers to focus on solutions, not the components.

3. Easy Updates and Maintenance

A centralized design library ensures that if an organization’s brand guidelines change, only one primary component attribute needs to be updated. The change can then be pushed to all other instances across the site. Similarly, unwanted components can be removed instantly. This saves the significant time spent on the retroactive update of websites, one component at a time.

4. More Consistent Code

Code duplication can be alleviated since designers can capitalize on predefined atoms to create an interface design. Atomic design principles help developers work from the same library while driving consistency in applications, development, and UI.

5. Creating a Style Guide is simplified

The atomic design creates atoms and molecules even before a site is built. This can serve as a basic style guide for existing and upcoming web applications. Tools like Invision and Zeplin help extrapolate these components and allow stakeholders, designers, and developers to simplify page construction.

6. Diminished Development Lifecycles

Developers create application layouts faster when they can reuse existing atoms, molecules, and organisms. This reduces the strain and speeds up the creation of a cleaner and leaner application.

By developing reusable components, our development time has gone from weeks to days at Radiant Digital.

Atomic Design & ROI

Companies that do not realize the importance of well-designed products are being surpassed by competitors. Atomic design can leverage your UX for a positive ROI impact.

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Image Source: uxbert.com

Atomic Design – The Differentiator between Good UX and Bad UX Design

Customers are more likely to buy a product that delivers a good UX design.

Today's most successful E-commerce sites experience improved sales because of compact designs that expedite response times or page load times.

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Image Source: Medium.com
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Image Source: Forrester.com

Want similar results for your business? Contact us to create UX design innovation with Atomic Design.

Wrapping up

With Atomic design principles, you can vastly improve consistency, increase control over branding globally, and boost greater efficiency in design and development teams for better employee satisfaction. Also, companies will spend more time focusing on the customer and delivering high-quality products as a result.

At Radiant Digital, we have a wealth of experience in implementing Atomic design to design systems for companies of all sizes. We’re here to help you create impressive designs efficiently. Call our experts for a no-cost, no-commitment demo today!