Understanding the difference between good and bad user experience design can be subjective and sometimes hard to notice. But I have some helpful tips that can help us understand what makes for a good user experience.
Grasping these tips is one element, seeing how you use them in practice is another element of understanding good vs bad user experiences. In this article, we will explore some examples of good vs bad ux designs.
Reveal current state
One of the heuristics developed by Jakob Nielsen, visibility of system status states that users should be informed about what is happening inside a product or website, in a reasonable response time following the action.
This means that applications that don’t provide timely feedback on what the status might be, may create a negative or confusing experience. Take for instance the action of uploading a file. As a user when you upload a file, you want to be able to know whether your action was recognized. Delaying, or not showing a response to the action leaves a user questioning.
Effective use of color and hierarchy
Though the visual aesthetic may not be the top priority in a ux process, ignoring visual design can lead to bad experiences. The practice of pairing thoughtful experience design with clear, hierarchical visual design can create easy to understand digital experiences that lead to higher effectiveness.
Using clear and understandable language
A good user experience is one that speaks to the user with words they understand. Even top apps fall into the trap of using highly technical terms that only experts may understand. Even if a user understands, or can make sense of it, in a tense situation, highly technical language can lead to user error and costly mistakes.
Mistakes and errors happen, every human errs. Whether someone runs a sequence that uncovers a rare bug or the wrong button is clicked before the action should be completed, we have to be able to handle errors. Good ux not only inform a user when an error has occurred, but they also actively design to prevent errors from happening in the first place.
Communicate errors and next steps
When errors happen, it’s important to communicate to the user. Language, tone and design are important in these communications. It is important to provide a clear and understandable reason for an error wherever possible and give instructions so that the error can be solved. Leaning on technical language, or database error terms (as mentioned before) will not be beneficial to the user. Color is also important as it can help indicate the severity of an error or warning.
From these examples, we can see that some designs are a pleasure to use and others are a challenge! We should not assume what the users like or dislike, but should rather talk to users to be able to satisfy their actual needs. We have to backup our decisions with valid research and by following best design practices and guidelines.