On Saturday, March 25, 2017 our chapter gathered with the design community and a panel of four at StartUp Harrisburg to have an in-depth discussion about user experience (UX). “What’s so special about UX?” We’re glad you asked! The panel spoke passionately about the importance of UX, some even described themselves as “ravenous about UX.”
Moderated by Nick Setthachayanon, our panel consisted of Lissa Richards, Director of Customer Experience at Red Privet, Andrew Jacobs, User Experience Architect and Strategist at Williams Forrest, Teresa Van Wagner, User Experience Design Director at Neo-Pangea, and Jamie Hess, UX/UI Designer at Listrak.
The Beauty of Ugly Websites
Websites “need to be functional but being aesthetically pleasing helps. If it’s ugly, but needed and it solves problems, people will put up with a lot. Being beautiful but not solving a problem does not make you want to go back if you don’t need it,” said Lissa Richards. The book, The User Experience Team Of One: A Research And Design Survival Guide speaks of UX as a powerful tool that the world needs more of. As the panel reminded us, great ideas can come from anywhere, not just from the “UX Specialists.”
Discover, Define, Empathize, Ideate, Test
Constantly change and check your work. A good methodology to follow is discovery, define, empathize, ideate, test. Good UX is evolutionary as your user’s needs can change over time. Gathering stakeholder research over what your account manager thinks the product entails is important. Fight for what is working based on insight and what your user needs.Establish what needs to be accomplished, spell out deliverables, and be prepared with recommendations for other options.
Your Biggest Assets Are Your Peers
Be resourceful. “Hallway test,” ask people within your company that are not attached to your projects to test products, after all, we are all users. Gather insight in a patient waiting room, A/B test, do guerilla research, get on Slack, or read a book or two. Stay involved in your community and talk with the people you are surrounded by. Take to Twitter and leverage social media.
Where is the industry heading?
With responsive products like voice and face recognition and virtual and augmented reality coming to market, we are asking less and less of our users. With this shift from selecting by hand to commanding by voice, products are becoming much more integrated into our lives. As technology develops, so will the specializations or divisions of UX. Regardless of these future changes, our panel agreed that UX will always have a focus in human-centered products.