Most important tip for UI/UX development

Care about your audience.

I mean, really do care about your audience. Find out all you can about your audience, anything and everything that you can about their browsing habits, browsing vernacular, and browsing history.
The more you care, the more it will show up in your audience’s User EXperience (UX), which in turn will influence the User Interface (UI) to provide the best UX.  It’s a circular iterative loop, as the UI influences UX, and UX influences UI; that’s why you may never be completely satisfied with UI/UX.

How to care about your audience?

It’s more “do research” about your audience rather than “care”, but eventually the line will blur.  The more research you do, the more you understand how your screen might be perceived by your audience.  Below are some ways that you can

  • Analytics data: Get analytics data from the older iteration of your application (if any), find out analytics sites that are similar (for first iteration and subsequent iterations of applications).
    • Age range, Gender, Location, Language, etc.
    • Browser, OS, Device, etc.
    • Time of the day most active, time of the week most active, time of the year most active, etc.
    • Bounce back rates, time spend on your site
    • New visitors vs repeat visitors
    • et cetera
  • Application type:
    • Internal company only or public, or anything in between
    • Security measures needed
    • The business client
  • Ask the users what they want.
    • They may not know exactly what they want, but you will get ideas on how to start your UI/UX development.
  • Think like a user, not like a developer.
    • The trap that developers run into when dealing with UI/UX is, they start to think of ways how to implement said UI, and if it’s too much, programmers tend to change the UI.
  • What ice-cream they like. Seriously, find out all you can (be it legally and financially feasible); even if you know that you may not use that information ever.

How do you use this information?

A deeper understanding of this comes from experience.  So, if you can, seek out someone who has experience, someone who can share their wisdom.  Or alternatively, look at other sites that serve a similar demographics.  There is no easy answer to it, I understood UI/UX through experience, and also a few books to start, as follows:

  • The non-designer’s book of design -Robin Williams
  • Don’t make me think -Steve Krug

What should the end result feel like?

  • It should appeal to your audience.
  • They must be able to do exactly what they set out do to.

Extra item to keep in mind.

Your interface, in a way, is also the user manual and guide on how to use your site.