5 Ridiculously Common Misconceptions about UX

Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/5-ridiculously-common-misconceptions-about-ux/

User Experience, a.k.a UX, is an obligation upon you rather than an option. It’s a business’s need to ensure conformity to improved product’s interaction and usability. It involves how users feel when they use the product. And, what would be their reactions and attitudes, as a result.

Though the term was coined in the mid-90’s by Don Norman, and is recognized as the key player in influencing conversions, UX still hasn’t been strategically incorporated in the core design operations by many businesses.

It may be their inability to grasp its metrics, or perhaps they are simply ignoring UX from the start. Whatever the case, I think it is time we lay out some of the critical misconceptions surrounding UX to let you amplify its rewarding effects on your core conversions.

Misconception # 1 – UX and UI Are Synonymous

Though User Experience and User Interface ride the same boat and have the same destination, each boards at different locations and pays separate fares. Yet, some (the uninformed ones) beg to differ and to them UX and UI are interchangeable.

On the surface the two concepts might appear very similar, but delving deeper into it you will be inclined to think otherwise. UI is “a component of User Experience, but there’s much more” says the co-founder of Adaptive Path, Peter Merholz.

In short, UI is a step in the overall process that delivers User Experience, and not the process itself. It is an element that can significantly influence the experience of the users (customers, visitors, etc.).

User Experience Process Overview

User Experience Process Overview – See, what I mean?

Here is an example of what UX actually is, and how some see it otherwise:

UX Is Not UI

Reality vs Misconception – UX Is Not UI

Misconception # 2 – Fancy Elements Compliment UX

Tempted by glittering bells and whistles, some designers tend to go bananas by adding fancy elements to the design. They believe that the more the glitter, the higher the level of engagement, and ultimately conversion.

Design isn’t just about making things pretty, but also about how a piece of work can be streamlined in its performance and simple in its usage. Hence, what some designers believe to be attractive can sometimes add complexity for the users. And complexity negatively impacts conversions, but only drop-ins in the product usage.

As said by Don Norman, >“The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that fits the task, that is understandable, usable, enjoyable.”

In short, try to avoid overstuffing your design and make it as simple yet powerful as possible.

Yahoo Homepage: Came here to use the search, but then got distracted. No wonder why Google is more preferred.

Misconception # 3 – We Needs Only Designers, Rather than UX-Specialists

Nurturing a design-centric environment might leading you to a visually-stunning design, but not a user-centric experience. Deem UX specialists as a non-essential part of your team and lose the user-focus you so desire!

The main difference between the two (UX and UI designer) is that a designer tends to think in terms of client-driven creativity, whereas a UX specialist would think in terms of user-driven decision making. As such, it makes sense to have a UX specialist onboard right from the start.

A designer might give face to a product (app or website), but a UX specialist would typically research the market, review the analysis strategically, conduct interviews or surveys for feedback, approve the storyboard, amongst other tasks all focussed on creating an excellent overall experience.

Sometimes, a UX specialist may be an individual with a great deal of expertise in the field. And other times, it can be a group of expert individuals from different areas such as marketing, story writing, product management, information architect, etc.

In short, designing a great UX is the job of both the designers and the UX specialist(s).

Here is the difference between a UX and UI designer:

The difference between a UX and UI designer By Ana Harris

By Ana Harris

Livia Labate, principal of IA and UX at Comcast, says, “User experience isn’t just the responsibility of a department or a person. That compartmentalist view of UX is evidence that it is not part of the organizational culture and hints to teams not having a common goal or vision for the experience they should deliver collectively.”

Here’s how both parties add to the overall project:

UX design vs UI design

By Wassai

Misconception # 4 – UX Needs No Testing, It’s a Done & Deliver Task

A great User Experience is the deliberate result of a finely-planned strategy, not chance!

Continue reading this article on SitePoint

Here is a tip, if you want to be taken seriously when talking about design, usability UX etc.

DON’T say it in blurry useless F infographics.

And don’t link to candylike shiny low-contrast-sites that uses frilly “handwritten” fonts, like it’s 1998.

My, my Mats.

Not sure where these misconceptions come from, but UX is a total team effort, that large bullet list of ‘how UX wants to be seen’, is ridiculous. UX is a team effort, having one ‘UX’ expert or ‘IA’ expert handle all that is small shop thinking. In large enterprises you need a product manager and a dev manager working with their subordinates to delegate and achieve all that. Not sure why UI design gets broken down into these ‘roles’ or ‘careers’, a great web designer should have an outstanding eye for user flow and layout and should be lead by a functional team that is reviewing their app’s analytics and providing the guidance for new features and enhancements based on those metrics. UX is definitely important to a product’s success or failure, but I’m tired of hearing that you need one expert to set it all in stone for a project. UX usually becomes ‘paralysis by analysis’ for products when you heed to ‘the’ expert. The most important part of UX is setting a proper user flow for conversion goals, you don’t need a scientist to figure that out. Personas are important too but that is a web designer’s job. UX falls under web design period.

UI has a much narrower view - is the app/website beautiful. UX is so much more than digital - it is an understanding of the end to end journey as a company you are asking your customers to complete. It can be in a store, on the phone and on a website.

UX is relatively new and I think everyone is still working out exactly how to define it.