You open the door to a room you’ve never been to before. You reach to turn on the light without looking. If you succeeded, you never really thought about it and continued with your task. If you didn’t find the switch, you had to stop and look around for the light, maybe going so far as to pull out your phone to use the flashlight to find the light switch.
The user’s experience is a principal balance brought in early and often during the design and development of any business, product, or process. If the user has a miserable experience, it could affect their trust in your abilities. If they enjoy the time, they may read more, learn more, or buy from you. They could even become your biggest cheerleaders.
Architects build on user experience
The designer or architect thought about the experience you would have walking through the door to the house or room. The placement of that light switch had been pulled from a set of specifications they use regularly. It is a pattern we have come to expect, with it used in thousands of drawings laying the light switch out in the same manner.
The look of the light switch could be the most unappealing switch ever, but only if you succeeded in turning on a light, as expected, could it be argued that it is beautifully designed. Installing a pleasant-looking light switch would be the icing on the cake.
Often in design, many elements are put together in a way that gives the user what they are looking for quickly and easily. Keeping it simple is the key. The user doesn’t think about anything other than what they are there to do.
While designing marketing materials and websites, universal design elements and metaphors provide a platform of commonality built with a pleasing experience for the user. Breaking up a page with images, subheadings, and quotes give the eyes a visual break, reducing eye strain.
As in physics, friction will affect the experience of the user.
Modern day Digital Architects design a new user experience paradigm
If the user is reading an article, there shouldn’t be pop-ups that stop the process of reading. Pop-ups interrupt the reader, giving them pause to reconsider why they are there. This moment could send the user elsewhere to read from another source, perhaps never to return.
Are they filling out a form? Ask only for information that relates to the purpose of the form. Unrelated questions give the person a chance to ask why they are filling out a form. If the goal is to build leads or accept donations, this can cause them to leave without completing a request, ending the relationship.
Building a platform or document using a framework that matches the personalities of the user will build trust and expectations that become synonymous with the business or product. Making it a pleasure and engaging is the icing on the cake.
After all, the goal is to create a pleasurable light switch moment for your users.