In the year 2000, Steve Krug wrote a book called Don’t Make Me Think, A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Its premise was simple—the secret to any good user experience is to enable users to do what they need to do as easily, seamlessly, and directly as possible.
A lot has changed in the world wide web since then—the dot com bubble burst, social media was born, mobile became everything, and design conventions like frames became obsolete (thank goodness!). But the UX/UI design principles Krug preached 23 years about designing intuitive user experiences ago still hold true. Largely because as fast and as frequently technology may change, human nature doesn’t.
User-centered design is human-centered design. It’s about creating seamless experiences that complement the way people see, think, and do.
In today’s industry of rapidly growing user interfaces, user-centered design has emerged as a driving force behind creating exceptional, seamless experiences. User experience is important because it aims to provide a positive, more meaningful experience for your product or service.
At 45/RPM, we believe in the power of putting your users first. Good UX/UI design doesn’t happen if you don’t meet your user’s needs.
“Don’t make me think!” is Krug’s first law of usability. It means that, “as far as humanly possible,” the digital user experience of a website, software program, or application should be self-evident, obvious, and self-explanatory. A user should be able to “get it” and use it without having to think too hard about it. The harder or more confusing it is to complete a task, the less likely it is that a user will do it.
“The best user experiences are seamless experiences,” says Stephen from 45/RPM. “You don’t even realize you are having them. But ‘invisible’ UX/UI design isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s an art form all on its own. At every stage of the design process, we take into consideration what your users aim to achieve and what we can do to help them make it happen.”
1 / Do your homework.
It’s hard to know your audience if you don’t take the time to know your audience. We start by conducting research to develop a deep understanding of your users—what they think, what they like, and how they perceive your product.
2 / Create personas.
While it might seem like a trivial step, user personas are incredibly useful in highlighting opportunities for innovation. User personas are models or characters that represent the different types of users who might engage with a product or service. They are an essential tool that can help guide fundamental UX/UI design decisions and direction.
3 / Visualize.
We take the information we learn and use it to brainstorm the different ways that we can address unmet user needs. The goal is to design user experiences that reflect what the user needs and wants. Then we prototype the solutions. Prototypes are the best way to validate ideas and solicit feedback.
4 / Keep it simple.
Once we have identified the winning solution we take the time to clean things up. We remove any unnecessary distractions and streamline any extra steps. Our goal is to produce the simplest, most feasible user interface—one that ensures the highest degree of user acceptability and interaction.
5 / Test and evaluate.
We test and iterate the user interface to understand what components work and what needs to be revised. Testing is a critical step to see how our initial predictions stand up in the real world
6 / Test and test again.
Our job isn’t done until it’s done right. Once we develop our final draft, we launch your website, run analytics and usability tests to learn if we need to keep refining. We continue to monitor that users are accomplishing what they hope to in the simplest, most seamless way possible.
Interested in leveraging 45/RPM’s UI/UX design expertise to power your next project?
Let’s talk. Find out how we can help you create a smart, seamless experience that puts your users first—one that enables them to think less about what they are doing, and more about your brand.