Content Management Systems are constantly evolving to cater to a growing user base. As more and more users are taking control of the web content they publish, there’s a surge in demand for personalized and contextualized experiences. CMS technologies are shifting to deliver more intuitive and simplified content authoring experiences. With anyone today being able to publish a website or set up an online store, CMS user personas are becoming more diversified across job profiles, demographics, age, technical prowess and more. Furthermore, not only must the author experience live up to standard, a CMS must also cater to the expanding community of end-consumers who view and experience these final web interfaces. And with a never-ending list of user personas comes a pressing need to focus on how usable your user experience really is.
As ‘experience design’ grows in currency, today’s business strategists are increasingly envisioning products and services that bring every human sense into the fold to deliver immersive and engaging end-user experiences. However, while the sky is the limit when it comes to a larger-than-life vision, what is the ground reality of bringing these multi-sensory experiences to life?
Today’s digital era is continuously striving to democratize experiences – everyone has access, and therefore everyone has an opinion. And with user opinions come user expectations. The user’s mindset has seen immense transformation over the last decade, with a key focus on simplicity. More than ever before, today’s user has an intuitively sharp grasp on usability and a brand’s survival becomes difficult, nearly impossible, when plagued with a history of poor user experience.
What makes a product unique? – There are innumerable digital products having the same color, quirky logos and what is the common thread that ties every brand together- design. Big brands like Google, Airbnb believe in building design systems to have unique identity like design details, type, shape, and color that can be leveraged easily across platforms for the brand’s digital experience.
Cultural probes are the key documentation materials like workbooks, sheets, camera, or recorder that are given to a user with directives to complete. The expected activity from the user may be to answer a few questions or perform a specific task at a given time, or to click a few photos at multiple situations and the user ought to return the document to the designer on completing it. The cultural probes are often crafted by designers with a pre-defined narrative to probe the behavior of a user. Cultural probe is one of the key research activity that involves the active participation of the user and the insights are more precise and accurate as the inputs are directly from the users.
Web has been evolving consistently since its inception and web developers believe that there is no one particular trend that has set a benchmark as every trend has created a significant impact. Web development has transformed beyond programming languages, and web developers are looking at real-time APIs, Git and other techniques for ensuring that Web applications resonate with the mobile applications that are being developed.
Participatory Design, an approach that involves the users, stakeholders, designers, researchers in the design process ensures that the product being designed resonates with the user expectations. Its complex to analyze what users expect precisely during the process of user research as the users might not be expressive, they might not be able to comprehend and might be unaware about they want. This is where the role of participatory design plays a crucial role as it serves as an anchor to discover and analyze the user’s expectation which would have been neglected during the conventional user research methods. Participatory Design is believed to be a creative invention that aims at actively involving the users in the process of design.
User journey maps empower to visualize the value-driven decisions based on experience model of performance. Journey maps comprises key components which enable the brands to deepen their understanding of user behavior patterns across touch points. Building user journey maps with the key attributes ensure that they meet the user goals effectively.
Humans can cognize visual information at a much faster rate, and remember the same for a longer period of time. According to a research 93% of effective spoken communication occurs through multiple factors like tone of the speaker, facial expressions, body language apart from words. Human brain deciphers visual imagery faster and hence are believed to have a greater impact on the human mind.
With new front end frameworks emerging, web development has transformed and the design process has become more powerful than ever. Whether it’s about crafting web applications or dynamic websites, web developers believe leveraging all the components of a strong front end framework is a challenge. The challenge is not about building the products but choosing the right framework to build the product.
Ensuring digital interfaces are accessible for the users is an important aspect of a well-executed visual design. Visual design has a crucial role in appealing and setting the appropriate tone for the users. Designing for users with visual impairments is truly an example to showcase how designers can deliver design with empathy and analyze the design from different perspective.
Web development has been transforming consistently with new frameworks, design trends and user expectations. As the user expectation intensifies and the demand for digital experiences strengthens, web developers are expected to adopt new technologies and frameworks to ensure the expected digital experiences are delivered effectively. The key aspect is to ensure that the Content is accessible in real-time and of course, on mobile devices. New programming languages and frameworks are on the rise and extensions are transforming to be more compatible, and real time web apps are popular than ever.
Design systems have been around for long, their importance with respect to efficiency and a cohesive approach in the UX Process is very crucial. Design organizations and teams have been at work, building their Design systems, some of the great examples being- Material Design, iOS Human Interface Guidelines, Microsoft’s Fluent Design, Intuit’s Harmony Design System, GE’s Predix Design System and many more. Design system can be conventionally looked upon as a system that comprises of elements that define the design ecosystem. Though design system and visual language are perceived to be a library of design elements, it’s important to understand that it’s just not about those elements but the aspects that define those elements.
The web development landscape transformed from being just primary static content to the realm of Single Page Apps as the popularity of the frameworks grew. With single page applications gaining more traction along with its complexity and behavior, users expected web pages to be more dynamic and with feature rich experiences.
Responsive Web Designs leverage great user experience across devices and ensure the layouts are appealing to the users by providing flexibility to adapt to the screen resolution. It’s important for brands to have responsive design for their webpages as Google favors webpages and typically the ones that have incorporated a mobile responsive design.
The design influence is expanding beyond the realms of colors, typography and shapes. Designers working for emerging fields like retail, healthcare, education, financial services are now responsible for bringing in significant impact on the quality of human lives with clear ethical implications. With new design trends emerging, designers are leveraging them to build experiences that make the user’s life simpler.
Every webpage has its own target audience and requires multiple features to ensure the page is engaging for the user. It’s important for the designer to analyze that these target audience are across devices and the webpage design needs to be responsive. Responsive web design ensures the page layout gets adapted to the screen size being used to view the page. A wide screen display has multiple columns of content while small screens have the same content in a single column appropriately sized to be viewed on the smaller display.
The role of a designer has transformed from ‘designing to influence’ to ‘designing for the user’, though a gap existing in gauging the expectations of the consumers to the designs expected by them. Behind every design decision to incorporate a new element or eliminate an existing component, there exists a clearly defined set of goals. Every designer has to ensure that these goals are given key priority when design decisions are considered.