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How to serve users better when building digital products

Friday, January 31st, 2014 by Servage

Designers today face immense pressure to be creative and produce out-the-of-box digital products. And so, being restrictive toward particular specialties or skills is a costly attitude for us, as we need to adapt to the changing needs of the industry. Our role expands beyond just caring about the interface.

Various Job Titles

If you look at the job ads for a web designer, you will find many different titles for a worker in the trade. If a laborer finds they are good at usability testing, compared to other designing and programming work, they will designate themselves as a Usability Web Designer. If user experiences are the primary skill, then we need to conduct a user experience test prior to starting a project. This can be done through a guerilla testing method, using proxy users during development, and after completing the project through real users and various testing methods.

Similarly, if a web designer is able to draw good UIs, they will adopt the title of UI Designer, and can show good examples of UI designs in their portfolio. Other areas of expertise constantly emerge within the industry. For instance, Interaction Web Designer, Product Designer and many more. The HR professional of our industry knows the current reality, as they too will brand some new job titles based on innovations. They are apt at providing job descriptions that draw specific attention to the potential of web designers.

In short, our job title is not as meaningful as actually focusing on the delivery of digital products, such as websites and web applications. And our primary concern is to deliver the best user experience, as usability matters most.

Concrete Efforts

If our honest intention is to serve our users better, then we need to begin our web design project with extensive surveys on the targeted audience. We do this by strategically planning and utilizing prior UX surveys to gain insights about our final product. We also have to focus on the lifespan of our digital products. In this competitive era, each client needs durability of the products we deliver, and a good return on their investment of money and time from our efforts in web designing.

Ingredients of Success

As we know, the success of any project depends on a good understanding of our client’s requirements, their businesses and their targeted audiences. For this reason, effective communication techniques are essential on the web developer side. Good correspondence relies on quality facilities, as well as investment of time. Fostering mutual trust between the web designers and clients depends on transparency from both sides; so routine reporting and effective feedback matters most.

Extending Roles

Years ago, if someone designated themselves as a web designer, we assumed they likely had command over image editing software like Photoshop, Illustrator or Fireworks. Today we expect more from web personnel; such as HTML and CSS ability, knowledge of various testing methods to manage the quality of development, and most importantly, the ability to exercise great care in detailing the exact requirements of clients as well as their targeted audiences.

Meeting Modern Needs

Recent demands of responsive web designing force us to learn many new things. We must have working knowledge of smartphones and tablets, including their hardware, software and their use-cases with respect to our web layouts. Therefore, our learning curve is greater, as we attend to very complex requirements of multi-screen designing. For instance, selection of UI components for managing hand gestures, typography choices on the various devices, and the smooth flow of user experiences across the various screens. This all contributes to our success in delivering excellence in our web design projects.

References & More Reading

Designing For Digital Products
Product Designer
Minimum Viable Product vs. Minimum Delightful Product Minimum Delightful Product

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Categories: Guides & Tutorials
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