7 User-Centric Development Strategies

Keval Padia
by Keval Padia 29 Sep, 2016

:: By Keval Padia, Nimblechapps ::

With an increasing number of sites and apps offering sophisticated user experiences (UX), today's consumers (both B2C and B2B) have much higher expectations of the digital properties they visit. Here are seven UX strategies and tips to keep visitors, for longer.

1. Address users, psychologically

The primary objective for strategizing and designing for UX is to offer the best conditions for visitors/members/customers to complete their "jobs" (whether it's to buy something, play something or to research something), and as quickly as possible. Sometimes even the most easy-to-use interfaces, however, fail to garner good engagement. Making the UX clean and usable alone is often not enough; you need to address the issue psychologically. 

Human motivation is influenced by outside factors as well as internal elements. External factors like a reward, recognition or any kind of monetary or material value influence our propensity to like/want something. On the other hand, internal factors like simply enjoying doing something or engaging in an activity also works as motivation. Thus, developers need to plan for UX with these two aspects, combined (e.g., gamification, social sharing and enjoyable processes). 

To understand external and internal motivations, developers must realize many of the answers they seek "hide" in user profiles. Where do these users live? What associations do they have? What is their motivation to use your app, or visit your website? In order to develop a truly user-centric app or website, user-centric questions need to be asked - and the answers live in user profiles if a company collects the right information and at the right time. 

2. It is about customer experience as well

While we all concentrate on user experience, we often forget that it is the customer experience (CX) as well. Often, technical issues are the main reason for the majority of apps getting deleted. Developers have to map out the various phases of the product's lifecycle in order to make sure each step is painless, like quick registration or the use of digital wallets for payments. 

3. Validate your assumptions with actual users

Developers who are exposed to real-life users and their feedback are fortunate - even if it doesn't feel that way when receiving unwanted feedback. This is because developers typically have deep-rooted biases concerning usability that continue to influence their decisions - despite the product being developed or the feedback received. Test real users often, and make sure to expand your radius of testing as those within your immediate geography may have some of the same biases, and their opinions will do little good if they are the same as yours. 

4. Remember performance is just as important as functionality and design

You have made several great features live, and you have a killer design; but what happens when the functions do not work properly? The first thing is to remember that performance is critical, and anything that is not working will kill conversion. Since you only have one opportunity to make a first impression, kill the features until they are working properly or UX will suffer. 

5. Use clear and simple navigation

Navigation is the sole element that helps users orient themselves quickly within/on a digital property. Developers should use large, prominent calls to action and follow the "rules" users are very aware of (like clicking a logo to go to the first screen/homepage). 

6. Use recognizable, and consistent icons

Icons represent your business, your brand identity and are particularly important for apps. They instantly make people remember the app, on their homescreens or app store search results. An icon cannot afford to present itself as a hazy or cluttered blocks of colors without any reference to the product or brand. It should intuitively tell about the product and offer consistent experience throughout. 

7. Align fonts for mobile

As apps are mainly accessed through mobile devices of a variety of sizes selecting highly scalable fonts that can easily be scaled up and down without compromising on readability is very important for the user experience. For websites, font choice also plays a critical role, as mobile is driving large amounts of traffic to websites. Developers have to remember that just because fonts look great on the desktop site, doesn't mean they won't be too small or too difficult to read on mobile.  About the Author

Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing Android game development and website development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.