Source: Google Image
User Interfaces Are “Visualized Requirements”
It is usually said that it is possible to cook bad food from good ingredients but it is not possible to cook good food from bad ingredients. That is a good metaphor in this case even with excellent visual designers and front-end developers, high quality user interfaces cannot be released with poor requirements. So well-defined requirements can be supposed by applying suitable and effective methods and techniques in the stage of gathering and documenting requirements (that will be in other coming posts; if you are interested, you should looking for business analysis techniques and requirement management tips).
Creating fancy user interfaces cannot ensure the success of products because the ultimate objective is to build user interfaces best meeting requirements. Hence, it is highly recommended that we should focus more on outcomes (values) rather than outputs (deliverables). It seems like a popular said “doing the right thing is always more important than doing the thing right”. User interfaces are also requirements in visualized form, so in order to reach the objective, both business analysts and UX designers should well understand requirements.
5 main types of requirements
UX Design and Usability Guidelines
While UX design principles that are human-centered remain up-to-date for a long time; due to significant changes of technology and social trends, most of UX design and usability guidelines become obsolete. However, guidelines based on physiological and behavioral attributes of human beings (that mostly remain the same) can be used to create standard UX design templates. The following items are some of those “standard” guidelines:
– Colors should be used for several purposes such as to get attention, to group items on user interfaces and to show status. But please remember that do not utilize more than 5 colors.
– Sufficiently provide feedback to users. Albeit informative, giving feedback too often will interrupt the user experience. Feedback should be provided in some cases like wrong data entry, long response time (if the waiting time is more than 4 seconds) and needing confirmation or approval from users for further progress. In addition, feedback should be performed in professional and positive language not blaming users.
– Default values create convenience, however, they can cause a risk of selecting wrong options. So please be careful!
– Use simple metaphors. Based on users’ profile, the most appropriate and familiar (with them) metaphors should be used.
– Expert users prefer to shortcuts.
– Yayici also claims that usually users focus on faces in the first time they experience a user interface. So he advises not to use face visuals on low-priority areas of interest.
– Users are not subscribers, so please do not ask too much personal information from them at the beginning of an interaction. In the case of collecting user data for CRM purposes, rewards should be sent to them as well as let them know future benefits of providing accurate data. Otherwise, the database may become garbage due to incorrect data.
As a Business Analyst, I have experienced in receiving feedback from end users such as “I feel uncomfortable to use that software but I don’t know why”, “The application is weird and it’s difficult to get familiar with it” or “I have to behave many steps to get my tasks done”. Maybe these are subjective opinions when comparing the current application with applications which they had used before; however, these comments reflect that the current software had problems in UX design and usability. It inspires me to publish serial posts about UX design and usability and hopefully these posts can provide primary knowledge to those who are interested in this topic. From my perspective, UX design and usability is important element in software industry and I also found that it is really useful for those who follow business analyst/ business consultant career to learn and understand this field that certainly positively contributes to their work accomplishments.
These posts following micro-learning platform are compiled from various sources ranging from print and online reference sources to personal work experience. Especially, this series is primarily based on a book named UX DESIGN and USABILITY MENTOR BOOK With Best Practice Business Analysis and User Interface Design Tips and Techniques written by Emrah Yayici.
Source: Google Image
Define UX Design Roles and Responsibilities
What is UI, Usability and UX?
UI – user interface – is simply understood as everything designed for users to interact with an information device like a computer system or a machine, etc.; for instance, it may include display screen, keyboard, mouse, help messages, illustrations, etc. UI design focuses to bring visually aesthetic values to users.
Usability refers to a quality attribute contributing to ease of use of user interfaces; and Nielsen (2012) states that usability is evaluated by these 5 quality components: