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What is “User Experience”?

Author: Marvin Kolb

Reading time:

Sep 2023

What do we mean when we talk about “user experience”? How exactly is the concept behind it defined? What does the user experience encompass and can it be consciously increased and improved? Why is so much emphasis placed on creating a very good user experience with a product? And what are some practical examples? Have you already asked yourself one or more of these questions? Then you will find answers in this article.

We explain quickly and precisely what is behind the term “user experience” and show you the criteria for a good UX.

 

What do we mean by ” User Experience” and “UX”?

You know that “wow” experience when you first use a new product? It feels like the manufacturers have magically figured you out and understood your needs. And then there’s the handling. Everything is so easy to use, immediately understandable, and yes, there’s no other way to put it, it just feels good all around. A good user experience evokes exactly these experiences and reactions in users.

DIN EN ISO 9241-210 describes user experience, or UX for short, as “the perception and reaction of a person to the use or expected use of a product”.

This includes all experiences and feelings related to the use of the product. Expected use is also included here. What does the user expect from a product? Here, advertising and purchase are also a decisive factor for the user experience. Accordingly, the UX varies from person to person because perception is naturally subjective.

 

Why is a good user experience so important for your product?

A good UX manages to make you say things like “I love this product”. It creates enthusiasm and a long brand loyalty. If you have a positive user experience, you are very attached to the product. A negative UX, on the other hand, can cause dislike and frustration. They then dislike using the product and start looking for a more user-friendly alternative.

A study by Amazon Statistics shows how important UX is for users. Here it was found that 88% of users are highly unlikely to visit a website a second time if they have experienced a poor UX through it. (source) Especially in the corporate environment, good UX is essential for a successful product.

 

How do you create a good user experience?

According to a study cited by Skyhook, 55% of all companies invest in UX testing (source). This investment makes sense, because user experience can be improved with the right approach.

You can only achieve a good UX if you find out the real user needs. You can’t guess them – or only with luck. But how exactly can you find out user needs for sure and then implement them for the product in a meaningful way? To understand exactly that, let’s take a closer look at the work of a UX researcher.

 

A short detour: What is the job of a UX researcher?

Roughly summarized, the UX research process generates usability and UX requirements through user tests and interviews so that these can later be implemented in the product design. The user is asked to use product prototypes under observation. With the help of subsequent surveys and the analysis of the observations, the user experience is made measurable and evaluated. Here, a lot of potential for improvement of the product is brought to light.

You can find a detailed process in our article “Usability and user experience design for expert interfaces – how you do it right?“.

Then a UX designer takes over. He pours the acquired data into a design that improves the user experience in a human-centered and data-driven way.

 

Criteria for a good UX

Even though many factors are determined by subjective perception, it is possible to summarize some points that are essential for a good UX.

  • The product satisfies the user’s needs and expectations.
  • It evokes a “joy of use”, i.e. a positive user experience.
  • Design and appearance are simple and understandable and, in the best case, leave no questions about its operation.
  • The product offers a high level of benefit and very good assistance with a problem.
  • The product has very good usability, which means it can be used effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily.
  • Current technical standards are achieved. Long loading times for web pages, a lack of Responsive Design or cumbersome work steps, which should be a thing of the past, are no longer tolerated by many users.

 

Conclusion

User experience is a considerable part of our everyday lives and encompasses many subjective factors as well as measurable ones. The UX of a product can mean the difference between love and dislike.

In the corporate world, a good UX for one’s product is essential because a product can only retain and delight customers if it is subjectively perceived as very positive. Many customers do not give a second chance lightly if a product has disappointed them with poor UX.

Where in your professional or private environment have you perceived the UX of a (software) product as particularly positive? Feel free to comment on this post or get in touch via our contact form.

 

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