Good User Experience Begins With Empathy
Author: Emily Rothchild
People bring their own perception when interacting with a brand from iPads to desktop computers. Leading web strategists and user experience designers suggest empathy is key in getting to know the customer in Web 2.0 and beyond.
User experience, "UX," is based on the findings and exploration done by an individual. But needs change as time passes and it merely depends upon the situation which comes before you. Even the user's environment plays an important role as it influences the decision-making process.
There are different definitions pertaining to user experience. According to ISO 9241-210, experience includes many features such as behaviour, response, beliefs, perception, preference, and accomplishments. Even usability is another crucial factor which is one of the aspects related to the experience of the user. Donald Norman has given his own theories and philosophies about UX and how it caters to people. His case emphasizes more on the efficiency as well as effectiveness which are very essential. The holistic perspective deals about what people think after the use of a system and what feedback by each of them.
The three broad categories of user experience are the user's state of mind, the situation and properties of logic. This is all about the influence which an experience can make on a person. Let's consider a few examples to see the impact which the experience of a user can make. When you are interacting with someone over a phone you have various feelings and emotions towards the caller, your feelings towards your phone and towards what you are saying to another person is the experience that you have. This is very similar to a user's experience when engaging a brand over the web.
A user experience always comes from the practical knowledge and after using any system. It is rooted in the perception. For solid user experience design, you need to include all the above features as they are paramount, making them well defined.
According to Steve Krug, the meaning of usability is to see whether the things work out well or not. Even a medium person must be able to use the system. The system can be either a website or it can be remote control. The experience with the things can change as and when you change the environment. Krug fundamentally stresses that good usability and its influence affects user perception.
DC Griffith, UX designer and strategist at DCG ARTS, writes on his blog at Griffopolis.com that UX design must answer the individual's needs. In order to get an excellent experience, you need to provide the best satisfaction to customers and render high quality products. Hence every person holds a different view regarding the experience and its significance:
"Interaction design is more about psychographics and empathy," Griffith claims. "Field observation is the key [if not the main] ingredient for solid user interface design. You can go into a lab and treat people like lab rats, or you can actually immerse yourself as the user in their home, their neighborhood, their office, schools, grocery stores. Social marketing begins with the people behind actually being social, that includes away from the screen."
Inferior marketing strategies result in a waste of time and money, as well as a loss of exposure. Whether you are in the web design industry, marketing, or you own a business, you can make use of your experience and gain the advantage against competitors.
Hence, in the end, user experience design plays an extremely vital role in any field you are working. The knowledge and understanding is one thing that creates a difference so if you have both the qualities then you can get success in whatever you do.
About the Author
Emily Rothchild is a freelance writer in Beaverton, Oregon.