In my article before, I’ve written about how to make a good user interface, what aspects we should be focusing on. This article is a follow-through of my previous article. In this article, I will talk about user experience. What is user experience? What is the difference between user experience with user interface?
Talking about user interface, we mostly talk about design. How does it look like? Does it have a great combination of colors and patterns? When we talk about user experience, we mostly talk about how our user feels when interacting with our system. Is it easy to operate? Does the user feel comfortable using it? User experience is more about the interaction, not only the display.
In my previous article, I’ve talk about the 8 golden rules by Ben Shneiderman. 3 of the 8 rules I consider related to user interface design. Meanwhile the rest 5 rules I consider as the rule of creating a good user experience. Here are the 5 remaining golden rules:
- Enable Frequent Users to Use Shortcuts
The system we build must consist of shortcuts. For example to copy and paste, we can use the ctrl+c and ctrl+v instead of right clicking several times. Expert users might find the following features helpful:
- Function Keys
- Hidden Commands
- Macro Facilities
- Offer Informative Feedback
When our user does some actions in our system, it’s a must to offer a feedback. Feedback must be meaningful, relevant, clear, and fit to the context. For example when using email and we need to enclose attachments, the system will display the uploading process, and notify when the uploading process is done. If there are no feedbacks, user might be confused and attachments will not be sent as it’s meant to be.
- Offer Simple Error Handling
A good system should be designed to avoid errors as much as possible. When error happens, the system should notify the user. The error notification should be clear. For example when user is signing up in a social media application, and they don’t fill their first name, the system will show an error notification saying that the first name field must be filled.
- Permit Easy Reversal of Actions
In some coincidence, users do make mistakes. A good system will provide a simple undo button to prevent users to restart all the process over again. For example in an e-commerce application, the wishlist should have the delete button for the things that users don’t want to buy anymore.
- Support Internal Locus of Control
It’s important to give control and freedom to your users so they’re able to feel they’re in charge of the system, not the other way round. Avoid surprises, interruptions, or anything that hasn’t be prompted by the users. Users should be the initiators of the actions rather than the responders.
The 5 rules above are to make user more comfortable using our system. It’s useless if you have a good design of application, but lack of user satisfaction. Outsystems, is one of many application that allows you to create your own application. The functions, the interface, the flows, and etc. With outsystems, you may create your application as free as you want, whether it’s a mobile application, or a website. It is free, so I guess it’s worth the try.
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