User Experience Perspective of Quality

Posted by Nancy Neumann on August 05, 2015 in categoryUser Experience

There are seven dimensions of quality for digital products. One of these dimensions is user experience, (UX). UX design is a multi-disciplinary design approach that focuses on the customer.

Quality can no longer be defined as simply meeting a checklist of features and functions. Quality has to include the overall user experience – the experience IS the product. We design for a return on that experience, inspiring your audience to become engaged with you and your brand, and to build loyalty.

Some of the main focuses of this perspective are usability, end user(s) needs and goals and designing an overall beautiful, consistent and cohesive aesthetic.

First and foremost, we strive to understand, and empathize with your audience. Who are they, what are they trying to accomplish? What are the different contexts in which they are using this product? What aesthetic, interactions, and transitions will delight them?

Next, of course, the product must be usable. It must be intuitive and efficient. We design to follow conventions and best practices, while seeking places to innovate that will enhance the experience. Interfaces and workflows that are familiar give users a sense of competence, relatedness and autonomy. Anticipate the users needs, design to avoid possible pain points, look to innovate for the purpose of adding value, and you are on a solid path to building an experience your users will share with others.

Accessibility, the practice of making sites or applications usable by people of varying abilities and disabilities, is part of usability. The goal of accessibility is to allow people with disabilities to navigate and interact with your digital product, to provide equal access to content and features. By simply designing for accessibility up-front, we avoid the cost of retro-fitting later on and ensure people with disabilities have access to content, help enable them to complete tasks and achieve goals that they might not otherwise be able to do independently.

It’s worth noting that about 19% of the US population has some sort of disability (over 55 million people). Having an accessible site or application is not only the right thing to do, but it’s simply good business sense.

And of course aesthetics play a key role in the experience. A product that is beautiful, polished, and professional builds trust and interest in a brand. The visual design helps convey personality, and shapes how we feel and respond. Focus on consistency, attention to detail and creating a beautiful, visually cohesive experience. Great visual design simply translates into a more usable, trusted product.

Of the seven dimensions of software product quality, user experience is only one. Done well, the experience that you provide for your customers will become your competitive advantage and add real value to the lives of your users.