Go to Google in your browser and Google the term “Best UX Practices” and you can see infinite number of search results will pop up on screen in a matter of milliseconds majority of which are focused on tactical activities like:
• UI Design trends
• How to design UI?
• And variety of tools and software
These all results are very valuable and can give some very impressive insight to the topic but they are only a small part of what it actually takes to deliver an impressive UX. A great UX helps the user to do things very quickly in a fluid manner and it looks good and certainly does not cause any eye strain on the eyes of the user.
A great UX is not what you design but is how you approach the design form user’s perspective.
Traditional approach to the UX design and why it fails:
• Starting with the theme
Many teams when they start a new project start with a theme. If they are using Bootstrap for instance then they pick a pre build theme in the Bootstarp and this becomes the foundation of the project and stays same throughout the project. The theme may look nice but one thing which they all forget is that the theme was built in vacuum without taking unique design challenges of the project into consideration.
• Starting with other designer and developers work
Other daunting designers do is as soon as they start the new project they hit the Drrrible and Behance to look for the coolest and hippest UI design ideas. But for a designer, your project’s challenges belong to you and what you are seeing on the screen is someone else’s solution to someone else’s problem. They can’t become your solution. In fact your problem is unique to you and you will have to work to solve it.
• Current UI trends
Ah! Did flat design pop up in your mind? Well I am not wondering because it has become so popular that lately it began to feel that it is the only trend left in the market. I am not against it but it is being applied haphazardly to and in all situations. Designers are adopting this without thinking twice. It may be appropriate or may not be for your design problem.
Another problem is with UI elements available online, designers are applying them in flat design and sometimes this makes it hard for user to understand that a particular area/element can be tapped or swiped to make additional things happen.
Why does this happen?
Why people and designers have become so accustomed to this approach? Well there are some justifiable explanations, may be!
• Small and running out of time team
Most of the times teams are short on man power and are working on compressed time frame which does not allow any time to the designers to research a new and fresh solution.
• Other departments are making the UX decisions
A person sitting in upper/other departments are making decisions for the designers like, the site should look like Amazon’s or whatever they feel is currently popular and is receiving heavy web traffic. The point is, they are not suggesting they are instead mandating the design solution all by themselves.
• Teams are being given tasks they have no experience for
Most of the teams are being assigned the tasks they have no experience for. it is because many people don’t understand that UX is not UI. Another misconception is people don’t understand the difference between designer and developer. A designer’s job is to design the front-end (frankly in very lose terms, otherwise there are front-end designers and graphic designers with totally different domain) and develop is who is responsible for implementing the front-end with MVC architecture. It is unfair to ask someone to do they are not trained for which puts lot of extra pressure and burden on the team and the individuals.
In a nutshell a great UX cannot be copied or borrowed it can only be developed which take some significant amount of time. But, in the end the solution is worth all the time.