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User Experience (UX) Tips for Software Developers

User Experience (UX) Tips for Software Developers

Within the developers’ community, user experience is an area often overlooked. Developers are more focused on the functionality of the application and are rarely worried about how the user might feel. Additionally, I have observed that often software or services are designed from the perspective of the developer and not from the user. 

The result, the product might be great and it can leave the user feeling confused and frustrated. Remember, a user with negative experience is more likely to stop using the product. 

In his book, Emotional Design, Don Norman agrees that on a visceral level, all users want is to feel safe, comfortable, and secured. This is how they decide at an unconscious level if they like the software or product. Furthermore, corporates are realizing the same day by day and want to appeal to the emotions of their users. 

In my opinion, developers should improve their understanding of UX UI design and how it connects with the overall user experience.

“Why?”- you may ask. Because it can help you use design theory as a base, work well with designers, and create an impactful platform that the users will like. 

Remember, developers know very well how a platform works, but only designers know how a user feels. There is a big gap here that can only be bridged by understanding the basic principles of user experience. User experience for developers can cover a wide array of topics.

However, I feel these six attributes of a platform can define its ability to meet the needs of the user and provide the best user experience. 

1. Ease of use 

Users generally prefer applications that provide information upfront. The application should be easy on the eyes and allow them to easily switch between pages. That means the navigation links are to be given in the right place. And, providing too many links in the content makes the user confused and limits the ease of application as well.

For instance, Providing the hamburger menu easily helps the user to move to another page from wherever he is reading. However, if we provide him the links to go to the next pages after the contest is over (i.e., at the bottom of the page), chances are they are not going to use them.  

2. Turnaround time

To relate to the above point consider a scenario where the user wants to find something quickly. In this case, providing search filters can be effective. However, if we don’t provide a proper search feature it kills users’ time and might make the user doubtful about the whole app usability.  

For better understanding, consider two bus booking apps below

App 1:

User has many filter options based on price, duration of the journey, arrival time, type of seat which helps him to book a seat faster

App 2:  

User is not provided the filters and he needs to search from 100’s of buses

The first app will make the life of the user simple by saving time.

 3. The simplicity of the language

Imagine an application with fancy words that force the user to use a dictionary to understand even the simple menus. I suggest using icons instead of words. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words. 

However, if you are using words, Keep It Simple Silly!!!

For example, consider these two sentences:

  • Jack ate pulao – Easily understood 
  • Jack devoured pulao – Difficult to understand

 

4. The relevance of the content 

Consider a scenario where you opened an application for some purpose and were bombarded with irrelevant information. Naturally, as a user, you will feel annoyed and tired. An application should provide relevant information in a precise manner. 

For instance, consider these two recipes for an omelette.

Recipe 1

Ingredients needed:- eggs 2, onions 1, oil 3 spoons, chili powder ½ spoon

Procedure:-

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork and add onions, chili powder and mix them well. Pour oil on a pan and after it is hot, pour the mixture on the pan and cook it for 3 minutes. Once it is cooked slide it onto a plate and serve it hot. 

Recipe 2

Procedure:-

Beat the eggs and mix all the ingredients you have in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan and cook it. Once cooked, serve it on a plate.

The first recipe helps you to cook better rather than the second one

5. Look of the platform 

Along with the above-mentioned features, the look and feel of the application also matter. The fonts and colors used affect the users’ readability. The goal is to not strain users’ eyes. 

For instance, consider the two paragraphs below

Para 1:

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Para 2:

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

The first paragraph is difficult to read while the second paragraph is easy to read because of the font color. 

6. Device adaptability

There are different kinds of users and they use different devices to use the application. Your users might prefer a mobile, laptop, desktop, or a tab. If the application is responsive, then it will fit and adapt to all the devices seamlessly. 

Take a look at this INCX app from our portfolio and how it fits both the mobile and laptop perfectly. 

No matter how good your app is, if it is unable to keep up with the users, then it’s going to fall flat. Users should feel comfortable while using your product, system, or service. That’s why for developers, user experience should take the front seat. I hope these small design changes can help you increase user engagement; Win-win for all. 

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