To make any interface more useful and more enjoyable for your users, there are essential factors to consider that should be applied regardless of whether it’s a physical product or a web product.
Clients of all kinds talk about usability. Conducting a heuristic evaluation of existing products and websites should be one of the first things that a company should do to spot common issues. User Experience (UX) best practices and expertise from professional developers should be used to assess areas of opportunity resulting in the management of priority changes and recommendations for improvement.
There are three main issues that often arise in product usability: poor visual indicators, inconsistent interfaces and interactions, and constrained availability. Read on to learn more about why each one matter and what steps you can take to address any arising issues.
If you want to improve your product usability, here are some of the ways that you can do.
1. Stay Consistent
It’ll be simpler for your users to understand and interact with your product if you use traditional styling and a single set of interaction patterns throughout your development. A precise set-up on the page can help users in orienting themselves on how it works quickly by logging in, signing up, or checking out.
If you don’t have one, explain your UX design processes to your team. Better yet, reach out to growth strategist’s websites like decemberlabs.com, and explain your product usability improvement ideas.
The reference guide explains how elements in your sections or webpage should appear, including color patterns, typefaces, font styling, form fields, button shapes, and most importantly, key interaction designs, as well as occasionally even copywriting. Style guides speed up development and design and ensure consistency for a reduced cognitive load on the user. The user will get confused if your iconography changes as they learn them. It’s essential to have consistent navigation titles for users to understand and go back to.
2. Meet the Expectations of the Users
User experience is improved when the product’s form, function, sequences of steps, layouts of information, and user interface terminology are matched to previous experience and expectations. Consider the standard user interface conventions and patterns. Understand your users’ needs and do the form follow function principle.
3. Utilize Visual Indicators
Providing consistent and well-placed visuals can significantly impact consumers whenever they’re in your product ecosystem. Visual indicators, like consistency in design, help users know where they are and what they have to do. The supportive text, the control panel from a wizard, and toggle switches are examples of visual indicators.
Visual indicators can make an experience more enjoyable. They’re widely used in games as a reward system, a way for users to gain points and level up. You can find it in many other applications as well. You can utilize your visual indicators to improve your product usability.
4. Apply Minimalist Style of Functions
There should only be an absolute minimum of possible actions. The user might be overwhelmed with choices if there are too many options being provided on their screen. Clearly define secondary and primary buttons and keep unnecessary functions and features out of your product. Consider separating complex tasks into smaller portions. Focus on the user experience rather than the parts. Especially these days, when e-learning platforms are on the rise, product usability must be simplified with more understandable functions.
5. Make It Accessible
Software and websites must be accessible. In comparison to this concept, any facility of a building becomes convenient to locate anyone. Sites should be designed and built in a similar way in which anyone can use them easily, including those who can read the sites and programmers.
To make your product accessible, it should have an interface where normal users can conveniently enter one page to the next. Incorporating visually clear buttons make your clients from any age group access your product without wasting time searching where to click.
6. Encourage Interaction and Learning
Usability strategies like user persona development and usability testing are utilized to understand the needs of the users. These are features that encourage learning and interaction. The user should feel like they’re the one controlling the experience all the time. They have to constantly feel as if they’re making progress and witness the results through positive feedback or feel like they’ve created something. In other words, engagement measures how meaningful an experience is for a consumer. Focus on the work rather than the interface so users can focus on the task at hand.
The user’s experience should be personalized based on the task. Build an interface based on the idea that it’ll become an extended part of a user’s daily life where they can enjoy and learn at the same time.
7. Know Your Target Audience
To ensure maximum usability, designers test and measure their products based on their target audience. When you evaluate your design, you become aware of defining your users and test your product usability according to these target sectors. For example, you can test your product usability to several participants who are similar to each other especially if your target is only a specific user. But if you’re aiming for a mass-market audience, this will not be a viable way to test your product usability. Hence, it’s vital to plan a usability study with different participants representing different major user types.
Don’t simply design for engineers. The majority of your users aren’t going to appreciate being exposed to your design’s technical inner workings. In contrast, you should give your target clients as much authority as feasible if their primary position is engineering.
8. Prioritize Solving Users’ Problems
You don’t always have an elegant user interface with a refined architecture. Sometimes, designers are drawn by architectural solutions that solve the engineers’ problems. For example, a usability problem is easy to detect when users encounter issues with the interface. It could be particularly difficult to know what to do with them. However, making usable user interfaces often begin by knowing what is causing the problem in the interface and making an action plan to solve it. Here are ways to fix usability problems:
- Detect and take note of the symptoms of usability problems
- Check the interface and check what is the problem
- Evaluate the severity of the issue
- Come up with solutions
9. Prevent Errors and Sustain Recovery
To avoid slip-ups, irreversible actions should be classed as critical, and the user must confirm them first before doing anything else.
Preventing mistakes from occurring in the first place provides the best chance of reducing the number of errors a user makes. Form UX/UI practices should be applied. Don’t allow removing forms without dialogue. Don’t eliminate information when a client leaves a form.
Addressing inconsistent behavior, poor visual cues, and accessibility will significantly increase the usability of your product. A robust bottom line comes from improved user experiences and increased adoption.