We’re All Unique: Why UX Is Everything
By focusing on users, we’re reminded that the products we create are for humans.
In my previous post:
I shared why calling it a “website” limits your potential. Users have expectations and the challenge is that we all expect a digital platform to do something specifically for us.
“Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.” Margaret Mead
User needs vary, so developing a focused experience that anticipates these needs is crucial. Trying to be everything to everyone leads to a complicated experience that feels like work. Instead, you should start by identifying who your main users are and what they want to do. This develops a focus on what features are absolutely necessary, it also identifies what you can live without.
At Studio Palms we create human-centered products, this means we start with the user. A core part of our process is creating user journeys. Understanding how different user groups will engage with the platform we build enables us to anticipate opportunities that will lead to an enjoyable experience. On the flip side, it’s just as important to determine what things could get in the user’s way. We encourage you to try out this template and start thinking about what your users want to accomplish.
EXAMPLE USER JOURNEY
User experience also relates to business objectives. A wireframe prototype is an essential next step in ensuring your digital platform helps get your organization to its desired future state. Wireframe prototypes allow us to identify anything that’s not quite right before getting into design and development (when changes become expensive). We use Invision to create our prototypes and it’s awesome. We can get a real feel for the relationship between different components of the platform and work out any kinks before we get too far with untested assumptions.
For CJSW, Calgary’s independent radio station, we knew they had distinct user groups: listeners and DJs — each with their own set of goals. We built a web-based broadcasting app that satisfies the needs of both groups in a way that’s super easy to use.
Listeners come to CJSW’s platform to listen to awesome radio. We made live streaming seamless and created a custom streaming tool that allows listeners to build a custom playlist based on their favourite genres and programs. This puts them in control of their listening experience.
For DJs, we built a custom system (built onto WordPress) that streamlines CJSW’s programming. It allows DJs to easily log their songs, automatically converts their shows into podcasts, and makes them available to iTunes. This saves DJs a ton of time and allows them to focus on creating great radio.
By focusing on users, we’re reminded that the products we create are for humans. People are busy and have a lot of options — so let’s focus on usefulness rather than creating a ton of pages.
In the next post, we’ll focus on ways to create digital content that will actually get read. Until then, if you have any thoughts on UX, let’s chat!