Job descriptions for UX Designers are replete with complex-sounding technical descriptions of skill sets. How do you make sense of it all to forge a mid-life career in this highly sought-after field?
First off, you need to get your mind around the fact that UX, or User Experience, is a huge area of knowledge that involves engineers, psychologists, marketers, sociologists, and mathematicians. Donald Norman, Director of the Design Lab at the University of California is credited with coining the term, ‘User Experience’. In very basic terms, User Experience is most often described as a way to solve human problems in the most simple and efficient manner possible.
Consider a smartphone platform designer who needs to create an app that helps you weed out facts from rumor. Rumors spread quickly online over social media and by word-of-mouth and breed irrational behavior. A newspaper might want to sponsor such an app in order to build its reputation as a source of authentic news. How would a UX Designer go about designing an app to stop such tendencies?
Do your Research
As with any problem-solving process, the first thing that the developer would do would be to state the problem clearly. To create the problem statement one would need to find out who is the person who would want to use this fact-checking app. You would want to find out not just the number of people interested in this app but also why they need this app?
You would also need to prepare questions to interview users and conduct surveys. You should have the necessary skills to analyze the data and recognize patterns. That would help you in building what is called the User Persona in Design Thinking – the typical user who would be using your online tool.
Listening to People
Quite often you as a designer would need to empathize with users when they are being interviewed to discover hidden cues. In UX terms these steps go into building the User Persona. When interviewing typical users, for example, you would want to find out hidden biases in the survey questions. These would prevent the research from finding the truth about real user wants. The misleading results so gathered could result in a fatal failure that discredits the fact-finding ability of your app.
Pay Attention to Detail
Attention to Detail is a caption found in many successful job-resumes that one need not be born with. Consider all factors that could affect the usability of your application. This is a practiced skill that is vital to business. This is because it helps the business in catching discrepancies and saving money for the organization.
Collaboration is the key
You should frequently compare your app with other attempts that have been made in this direction. Programs can be developed that track down the origin of suspected fake posts, for example. You can also ask other developers, designers, and mentors for help in identifying problems. Learning how others think will help your own advancement as a UX Designer.
Hone your Problem Solving Skills
Because we talked about User Experience development as a function of problem-solving skills you should work toward honing your mental capacities. Good reasoning skills are necessary. Good mathematical skills are desirable but not absolutely necessary. Practice aptitude and reasoning questions to boost your IQ. This can only come from regular and sustained practice.
Focus on Interaction Design
More than an aesthetically pleasing look for your app you should think about how users are going to interact with it. Although this is an advanced skill that comes at later stages of the UX ladder it is nevertheless essential to design. At the stage of prototyping, typically, you would need more than one interactive prototype to determine which one is easier and more efficient for the user.
The process could involve several iterations before you get a definite answer. The goal should be to not disturb established customer interaction expectations.
DesignBoat UI/ UX design school has been offering some of the most acclaimed curricula in the field. Begun by some of the most inspired young entrepreneurs who have found success in the design industry, DesignBoat has been helping young designers reach the pinnacle of their potential since 2016. Their new programs in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Gurugram, Chennai, and Pune, have been receiving phenomenal responses.
New innovative products and services are coming up in the market everyday to make human lives easier. We have to admit that, all these things are possible through technological revolution only.
Advancements in products or services are being made for our comfort. Just like in making of an Eco-friendly car, reaching out to mars or unlocking our phone by a glimpse of our face. This has only been possible because of the continuous and visionary advancement in the technical filed. The technological revolution has not only helped us perform everyday activities in the blink of an eye but also has opened us billions and billions gate of new opportunities to strive for.
However, technological revolution has made humans completely dependent on computers, smartphones and mobile devices. Businesses have gone online, markets are now virtual, and currencies have become crypto. And all these dealings are done with the help of some minuscule mobile applications, but not to forget, made with some great visions and for bigger purposes. These mobile applications not only give a boost to your business but also play a key role in maintaining its efficiency. Now, such applications have now become an integral asset for any business and its operation.
To dominate your competition you should always be lurking for new opportunities and be adaptive enough to accept and inculcate emerging trends, quickly. Otherwise, the 21st century doesn’t accept and serve the obsolete.
A decade ago, nobody thought of applications like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, LinkedIn, Tumblr will become giants and open a new horizon for everyone. But, now with them you can talk to and see the other half of the world in a mere second.
It has been rightly said that “a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing” and to educate people more about mobile applications, MUSER has tried to provide a small overview.
What is a mobile application (app)?
A mobile app is a computer programme designed to run on portable computing devices such as mobile phones, smartphones and tablets. These applications are developed specifically to run on the above mentioned devices rather running on desktop or laptop computer.
Benefit of having a mobile app
Benefit of having a mobile app is just like the benefit of using mobile phones over fixed dialers. Mobile apps cater to different categories, different fields, and different sectors. As a businessman, these applications help you to visit different marketplaces present anywhere in the world and help you to trade any services or goods you produce or distribute. And also helps catapulting your visibility to significant leaps and bounds.
Some of the few common misconceptions about mobile apps
With the advent of the technological era, learning and education are flowing from everywhere to everywhere. But still a lot people are living in a dilemma and aren’t ready to break the ice to accept these applications for their daily bread and butter.
1. Mobile apps are expensive and complex
When it comes to develop a specific mobile app centered for business, people often take it as a complex work to perform and stick to not going for it. Perhaps, costing factor also plays a key role in decision making. These preconceived thoughts are the major reasons which are preventing middle-class businessman to go on-line and spread their reach of doing business. But, in today’s world, the cheapest thing to buy is technology. We still remember buying a SIM cards for 1K each. But now, we get them for free for lifetime. Basic mobile phones were close to 10K but with the help of latest technology we can buy the most advanced smartphones in less than the same amount, easily.
Mobile application is not as much expensive as people think they are. Cost of a mobile app depends on the number of features you want your app should have. The complexity and the time required to develop an app play a crucial role in determining the its cost.
Some of the responsible factors are as follows:
Number of features your app should have.
Compatibility on platforms (Android, iOS, Windows or Hybrid) or (Hybrid apps are the ones who work on iOS, android, windows and blackberry)
Complexity level of the user interface (UI) i.e designing and animations.
Many people think that websites are better than mobile apps, but this myopic perception is wrong. The 21st century is the dawn of smartphones. Every third person living on earth has a smartphone and is busy surfing internet for better opportunity. According to a research hosted by Statista, there are about 2.53 billion smartphone users in the world and 67% of them are surfing internet for grabbing learning and networking and expanding their business reach . In fact, many firms have observed and analysed that conversion rate of getting new business is almost 120% higher for the companies who have their personal mobile app.
3. Finding an app development company is easy
Finding a mobile application development company is easy? What do you think?
To be very frank, no, had it been that easy then why 80% of businesses don’t have their mobile app. For this, we can consider the fact that they have never thought of developing one for them. But, what about the other people who are interested? They want to have a business app, but they haven’t found an experienced and knowledgeable app developer to look to. There are more than 12 million app developers in the in the world but to find the right candidate of your choice can be a real pain. You might find handful of app development agencies within your proximity but getting the most suitable one after analyzing its work is undoubtedly tough.
So, if you want to hire the best suited mobile app developer who is capable of understanding your requirements and deliver the best result in time, these are the following things to check. Years of experience, efficiency, palate for designing are the most crucial things to consider of the developer. You should also see his best work which he has produced so far. If a proper analysis of mentioned things satiates you, then you are good to go. Kudos! You have the best mobile app development company for your business app.
4. Mobile app is useless in my business
People are often confused about the usability of mobile app for their business. It only happens when the concerned person doesn’t have knowledge of how to make his business go online or doesn’t care for flourishing his business. But when it comes to business, one should never jump to a quick conclusion, take a deep breath and do some research to find out some scope for a mobile app. Just think the other way round. Think of what you are losing without an app and new target audience you can reach with it.
Don’t forget that company like PayTM started from ground zero and has managed to strive ahead with its contemporaries and is the most trusted payment gateway app in India.
5. In-house team is better than outsourcing
It is very common that people don’t like outsourcing their mobile app development tasks. Rather, they prefer to hire some app developers to get their application developed. But, this is not the way one should think. The most important thing is to get in touch with a like-minded and experienced team. The forte of the app development team should match with your app category. Also, don’t forget to check its portfolio. A responsible team will always look after its clients and deliver the beyond expected results in time. As a client, you have the leverage to track and control the process until you get the desired work. Whereas, newly made, in-house team will not have that harmony and camaraderie to work as efficiently as a proficient App Development Agency. Outsourcing is really a great idea to get the work done with lesser cost involved compared to hiring an in-house team.
6. It is just about coding and nothing else
If you want to develop a feature rich and cool looking app, all you need to know is “coding” and nothing else. But, you are completely wrong here, attractive mobile app requires ample number of efforts and knowledge to design an interactive user interface. It requires a lot of mind work to think and find the evitable problems a user can face. During the development of any app, the developer becomes a user to tackle each and every issue/problem he might face in future. Once clearing this stage with this, a proper testing is done. Testing is a time taking process to find out the errors and glitches the prototype has and several random checks are conducted to eliminate each of them. Every single button, feature or element needs to be tested a lot to check whether they are working properly or still requires improvement.
That’s why you need to create several prototypes and wire-frames before finalizing a layout for your app. In short, Application development is surely not about coding only!
7. Your app can go viral without marketing
This is one of the biggest myths most of the business owners have, nowadays. People think that if they have a well-designed and features rich app, then it can go viral in a very short period of time without doing anything for it. To be very frank, it is not that easy or possible, I would rather put. Marketing an app is not easy at all and to make it go viral is a hard nut to crack. But, just for a second think about your application. Other than handful of developers, designers, yourself, friends and family members, who else know about your application? Right, no one! So, viral marketing will not happen on its own. You need a good team to do it for you. A good digital marketing agency is a one stop shop for you to marketing your application.
Now, what to do?
As we said above, you need to market your app to get noticed. But, what If you don’t have enough capital to invest then you can follow some app marketing strategies. They are absolutely free and can give your app some organic downloads without needing excessive efforts. But, if you seriously want instant results then you need to market your app through paid social media ads, Google ads and other available options.
It would be better to use a combined approach of organic and paid app marketing strategies to promote your app and get the best result without spending a lot of time, effort and money. This will surely increase your number of downloads.
Every startup or stable business needs to grow continuously. When it comes to 21st century, if you don’t have a mobile app for your business, then you are definitely losing a lot of customers and money. You should figure out a suitable mobile app idea and get a great mobile app developed on a suitable platform (Android, iOS, Windows or Hybrid).
We are an App development and Digital Marketing Agency and doing the same from a long time. We really hope that this article will help budding startups to steer themselves in the right direction without toying with the possibility of expanding their business reach.
Anish Tiwari is a Digital Marketing Analyst at Muser and handling the entire digital and social media activities of the company. Muser is a swiftly growing IT Company and offers website designing and development, android, iOS mobile apps development services. The company also has a niche in Digital Marketing and branding.
Special thanks to Siddharth Sharma for giving his valuable inputs and thoughts for writing this guest blog/post.
Note: All Images are exclusively provided by Team Muser.