The Importance of User Experience (UX) in Digital Platforms

Digital platforms vary in the nature of purpose, users, and scale. There are several classifications of new businesses that have evolved entirely on digital platforms. Some have evolved as a digital transformation involving the adoption of technology to complete tasks and resolve issues faster.

Digital platforms can unify and streamline business operations and IT systems. It serves as an organization’s backbone for operations and customer engagement. A digital platform can also be viewed as software that allows producers and consumers to trade information, products, or services.

The experience a digital platform provides the user can often make or break its success. User Experience (UX) is a person’s overall experience when using a software product or service; this is a critical part of software development. It should be a priority for any organization looking to create a high-quality digital platform.

UX often defines the success or failure of a product/application/platform. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise when MarketWatch published that the services market for UX is all set to grow ten times by end of this decade. According to Peter Morville, a pioneer in the UX field, seven facets or qualities of the user experience include: useful, usable, findable, credible, desirable, accessible, and valuable.  Each of these qualities can have a high impact on the user experience and can vary based on the user journey/user story being addressed.

How to get started with UX-oriented design?

Here are a few pointers to help you take a comprehensive approach to the creation of user experience: –

  • Doing UX research allows the design team to identify problems and opportunities related to the usability of functions and solutions you plan to implement. All insights and valuable information gathered at this stage can be fed into the next process. UX teams use the below to conduct the research:

        >> Qualitative measures (e.g. interviews, CQA) to figure out why customers do certain things.

        >> Quantitative measures (e.g. customer journey, analytics, and statistics) to discover patterns and test the assumptions made after qualitative research.

We should apply UX research methods throughout the entire digital transformation process, not just at the beginning. At CCS, UI experts are part of the digital platform/software development team from the discovery phase onward. Talking to users and understanding how they use an app/platform can have a tremendous impact. UX experts can interview customers countless times but that will bring about only an understanding of the customer’s basic needs, create some sketches that can be further discussed and tweaked.

Another point to consider is the organization of the information presented to users, which includes identifying different types of users who use the application. The next one is to allow users to interact with the displayed information and the graphic tools you provide to make that possible.

  • Create prototypes – Rushing into the development process with no prototypes isn’t a good idea – even if we have strict deadlines. Prototypes will help us connect information architecture with a user interface. Building prototypes is the fastest way to see if a solution has convenient navigation. Besides, prototypes will allow a design team to experiment with different ways of displaying content on screens. This will give us a chance to choose the perfect UX for our solution.
  • Work on experience optimization – UX is a continuous process. Getting the platform designed to perform mere functions and developed won’t bring long-term benefits if opportunities for experience optimization are ignored later.

UX determines how likely a user would adopt and use the platform. If users cannot find the functions they need in the platform’s user interface, this would hamper their experience with the platform. By building user experiences that are effective, efficient, and engaging, businesses can increase customer satisfaction, grow their user base, invest less in acquiring new customers, build customer loyalty, improve their SEO and sales, and improve overall communication across their organization. Only when the interface and interaction function as a fluid mechanism that neither creates obstacles nor causes usability bottlenecks can a high rate of UX satisfaction be attained.

Summary: UX design is the lifeline to success as you are catering to multitudes of people with diverse backgrounds, intent, motivation, expertise, and patience levels. Keep it simple.  Keep it user-focused. Understand your target audience’s needs and demands. Make different elements visually distinct and maintain the consistency of the user flow throughout the user’s journey on your platform. Engage professionals who understand UX the same way you understand your business.