Creating a product and making it successful is the biggest challenge a company can face. With the ever-growing competitive market, the “build it and they will come” fallacy no longer works and we have seen that with Microsoft’s biggest mistake, Windows 8.
In order to prevent products from being big financial liabilities and burdens to companies, this short read will provide 5 key tasks that a UX designer can do to help a product convert better and become more successful on the market.
Conducting user research
After receiving a project, the first key task that a UX designer must perform before beginning any other work is to conduct user research within the field in question. Understanding the needs and challenges will help the UX designer to feedback the UI team on what should be done in order for the consumer needs to be met.
In a nutshell, during the initial UX research stage, a designer is responsible for identifying who it is that you are designing for and what the user’s potential goals and objectives may be from visiting your platform or application.
If we use a fitness enthusiast as an example that is looking for prep meals, their core goals and objectives would be to find meals that are suitable to their diet, lifestyle goals and budget.
Personas and information architecture
After successfully conducting thorough research on the target audience, the UX designer will work on creating user personas. This is a process in which the UX designer will take a closer look into what objectives each persona/user will want to perform on the website and why.
A basic example of a persona within the fitness industry would be a fitness enthusiast in the age range of 18-55 who closely monitors their nutritional intake. An example task for this type of persona would be:
“Michael likes to order ready-made nutritional meals through the website because it is easier and less time-consuming than cooking it himself.”
After configuring all of the different types of personas and visitor website tasks, the UX designer will begin to formulate a content plan and how it will be structured on the website or application. This process is known as information architecture.
When a website or application has a logical and well-structured content layout, the user experience will be in times better as the user will be able to reach their destination without too much thought.
User flows and wireframes
User flow planning is a strategy used by UX designers to plan out the potential journey of a user through a website or application. The user flows are step by step flowcharts which provide a visual representation of the complete path a user takes on the platform, right from the start point till their final interaction.
This essential element helps UX designers decide upon the most efficient and logical website structure to better user experience and increase conversions.
While user flows map out the potential journey of a user, wireframes are responsible for demonstrating what interface elements will exist on key pages. It is an essential part to solidify the effectiveness of a website structure after the user flow stage is complete.
User flows and wireframes are essential stages that can have a significant impact on your product conversion rate. Their main responsibility is to eliminate any ‘fluff’ or in other words, unnecessary website content that can delay a customer from reaching their objective on the platform.
Prototyping and user testing
After the product layout is finally complete, the UX designer’s next responsibility will be to create prototypes and run some tests to ensure that the product is functioning as intended. By definition, a prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product to test a concept or a process before being officially released or further developed.
In website design and application development, there are different stages of product prototyping where a UX designer will ensure that everything is running smoothly before beginning the next stage of development process.
A UX designer will be able to work closely with real users who will be testing the product samples and redesign any flaws before the final product is created. Additionally, as mentioned above, a product may require several tests and prototype designs until the product is completely right.
Having a visually appealing platform that your users can effectively navigate through is perhaps the most important aspect of your digital platform that you must get right if you want to convert your traffic successfully. As you may have already noticed, none of the above tasks are focused on the visual design of the platform.
That is because the UX designer is responsible for ensuring a great overall experience to the user rather than focusing and optimising individual elements.
While some UX designers also specialise in visual design, all visual aspects of a platform fall under user interface (UI) design. In other words, images, colours, themes and icons will most often be done by a UI designer.
One of the reasons why a UX designer is so fundamental to a business is because their job never ends, despite if the product is finished and is launched. The UX designer has responsibilities beyond finishing the initial product. Some of them include – small changes, new releases as well as gathering and analytics data.
If you want your product to convert right from the beginning and continue growing, a UX designer will be an extremely valuable addition to your team.