Every day over 5000 apps are submitted to the app store. Some are successful, while many fail to thrive. What are the differentiating factors in these cases?
The truth is that creating a successful product isn’t just about building something that “works''. What users really want is an app that works well and feels good to use. Having a positive experience with an app is the result of great UX (user experience) design.
UX design is all about optimizing your users' experience by understanding their needs, and creating an app that will allow them to meet those needs in the easiest and most pleasurable way possible.
Beyond just creating a positive experience for your user, great UX Design:
Over the years we’ve experimented with hundreds of UX methodologies and tools, carefully curating our toolkit to include only the most effective exercises, tools and methods, including:
If your goal is to create a great product that people will love using, your first step should be getting to know exactly who your product's ideal user is. Having a deep understanding of their needs, thoughts and emotions will allow you to create a product that meets their needs and solves their problems. To really get to know your ideal user, we recommend utilizing:
Carefully planned user interviews are a great way to uncover your ideal users' underlying motivations and potential biases. Start by brainstorming who your product's ideal user will be - consider their job, age, and the problems they have that your app will solve. Doing a bit of brainstorming around these topics should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of people you’ll want to interview.
Next, you can create a list of questions that will provide you with deep insight into your users and their needs. Once complete, it’s time to recruit and interview your users! You can find more details on the user interview process, including how to create great interview questions, in Yeti’s 100% free App Design and Development Masterclass.
Empathy maps are tools used to articulate everything you know about a particular type of user. By externalizing all of this knowledge you are able to create a shared understanding of your users needs, which will also aid in decision making throughout the app development process.
There are many other benefits to empathy mapping, including removing bias from your designs, discovering weaknesses in your research, understanding what drives users’ behaviors and much more. We’ve detailed our method for creating empathy maps, including a downloadable template, here.
A user persona is a fictional representation of your product's ideal user. It captures what they are hoping to achieve by using your product and the various factors that may contribute to their use of the product.
Good user personas are extremely helpful in creating user-centric products. They should provide your team with insight into the users motivations and needs, and create a unified vision of exactly who you are building your product for. They’ll also inform every aspect of the app you create, from the language, images and designs you use to the messages you convey, so it’s a good idea to dedicate some time to them. You can find more detailed information on creating user personas here.
UX design is all about solving a user’s problem, so establishing a clear idea of exactly the problem your app will be solving is an important step. Creating a meaningful and actionable problem statement will help you fully understand your project goals, and create a clear-cut objective to work towards.
As an example, imagine you are working on an app that will help solve some of the problems surrounding remote work. After doing some thorough research into your users and the problems they are facing, your problem statement might be:
“Small teams of young technologically savvy professionals need a quick, convenient, guided way of staying connected remotely”
There are a few methods we like to use to condense everything we know about our users' problems into a single, concise statement - the 4 W’s and the 5 Whys methods being our favorites. These question-based strategies help you delve deeper into the problem and drill down to the root cause, allowing you to create a statement you can act upon.
User Journey maps document a user's experience with your product from start to finish, including how they will be introduced to it, and when and why they will use it. They're excellent tools for creating user centric products because they allow designers to see the product from the users point of view, and they document the value it will provide for its users, helping to ensure the product is meeting expectations.
Mapping the user’s journey also allows you to identify pain points and opportunities to add additional value for your users, allowing you to create a truly great user experience.
While user journey maps come in many formats, they’re commonly represented as a timeline of all the touch points between a user and a product.
A really simple user journey map could look something like this:
And a much more complex user journey map might look something like this:
When thinking about your users journey, you might want to consider the following questions:
The answers to these questions will help you better understand your users motivations, and what they’re likely to desire and find helpful in your product. Using this information will allow you to create an experience that truly hooks your user.
If you’d like to create your own user journey map, our free masterclass includes downloadable templates, team exercises and clear steps to building the most accurate and useful map possible.
The quality of your product is truly dependent on how much effort you put into researching your user.
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