The hard truth about UX design…

…expressed perfectly by xkcd:

workflow

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10 tips for mobile UX

Read: Ten Tips for Mobile UX from Red Ant

I like this article. It focuses on taking a thoughtful approach to mobile UX, rather than offering spot-fixes for your design. A great primer for when you’re ready to embark on a new project.

Thanks, @BishoyGhaly for the link!

Tl;dr:

  1. Start by designing with mobile in mind.
  2. Identify your users – are they here to get something done or to browse?
  3. 80% of app users will use just 20% of the functionality – tailor your analytics and future improvements to suit.
  4. Use task-based design – craft the easiest way to get stuff done.
  5. Keep it simple.
  6. Respect the platform’s quirks – eg. UI elements, behaviour, etc.
  7. Capture more than just touch – eg. geolocation, sound, lighting, etc.
  8. Design for interruption – mobile users get interrupted a lot.
  9. Continually evolve and improve.
  10. Fall back on best practise and your own experience.

Making heaps of decisions makes you tired

Have you heard of decision fatigue?

It’s the tiredness you feel after having to make many choices over a short period of time. I guess the anxiety of choice eventually wears you out, making you less able to assess risk vs reward, and more prone to making impulse decisions.

For the more psych-nerdy among us, this is part of a bigger phenomenon known as ego depletion – the idea that willpower is a finite resource that needs to be recharged.

Get learned, Pepe:

So what about this in the context of UX – how can we strike a good balance between offering information and choice, and not overwhelming people to the point of fatigue?

Why does choice create anxiety?

Tl;dr –

  1. We choose what other people are choosing.
  2. We try to make an ideal choice.
  3. Choice always involves loss.

How does this relate to UX?

  • Offering too many choices may make your users anxious to the point of inaction (analysis paralysis), or action at your competitor (“too hard, going somewhere else”).
  • It’s helpful to suggest why a user would choose a particular option.
  • Give users an ‘out’ if they make the wrong choice – eg. refunds, exchanges, upgrades & downgrades, a properly functioning back button.

Information vs. Experience

Most of us here are old enough to relate to this article about web information vs web experience from 11 years ago. Some things still stick I think, but we’re getting able to overcome some of the old hurdles.

Interactive TV, for example –

We have come a long way indeed.