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5 Lesser-Known User Experience Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your App

With the abundance of user feedback available to everyone on app stores, online forums, and social media, your company's mobile and web apps face continuous scrutiny, meaning that user experience (UX) design more important than ever for maintaining a reputation for quality.

There are some common UX design mistakes that are easily avoided, such as overlooking the need for mobile-specific design, cluttered pages, inconsistent element sizes or colors, broken links – the list goes on – but a closer look at the issue reveals more complex mistakes that nearshore software development providers can help you avoid.

1 – Not Including End Users in the Development and Design Process

In order to get a sense for user behaviors, needs, and expectations, it is vital to begin collecting data at the start of any app development project, something that software outsourcing providers are highly experienced at.

"It is necessary to research user insights and feedback in order to start creating products – if you don't, those products will be wrong 90% of the time," said Juan Moreno, System Engineer UX researcher at PSL. "This can be achieved by creating rapid prototypes and having people try them out remotely, providing valuable data on how they might interact with the app."

When launching an entirely new product, access to users is more difficult to find, so it helps to converse with potential users after the conceptual stage to find out what they would like from a new app.

The important thing to remember is not to use company employees – on either side of the nearshore outsourcing partnership – because any stakeholders, testers, product owners, or co-workers are likely to be biased and may not be 100% reliable in their feedback.

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2 – Not Including End Users in the Testing Process

Much like the first UX design mistake, not including end users in the testing phase can be highly detrimental to the success of your app.

Once the first low-fidelity and high-fidelity wireframes have been prepared, bring in more end users and get fresh feedback. This continuous stream of criticism and observation is essential for guiding the application's eventual final design, helping to avoid massive UX problems at launch.

For any user testing process, an adequate sample size is important for generating more valuable feedback. Nearshore software development companies may sometimes reach out to users themselves, or may request customers to be supplied by their clients.

3 – Ignoring Standards or Established Principles

The world of nearshore software development relies on various standards and methodologies that are proven to work – such as agile, scrum, or waterfall – but can be difficult to adhere to at first, making it common for developers to slip into bad habits.

The same applies for UX design, which requires a strict focus on the goals and expectations of users throughout the entire process, with appropriate consideration of how those expectations align with your design choices.

For instance, the bottom left corner of a screen is not a recommended location for a button. Similarly, titles on written content should not be links, and a help section to address user concerns in essential. There are literally hundreds of standards like this that should be followed every step of the way.

"When we do not follow tried-and-tested principles – such as Jakob Nielsen's 10 general principles for interaction design – it is absolutely certain that we will have serious usability problems," says Moreno. "This ultimately leads to bad user experience and negative feedback, which is proven to be more impactful to a brand than positive feedback."

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4 – Not Taking Accessibility into Account

Not every user is created equally, so it can be easy to displease customers by not taking their specific UX design needs into account.

For example, color blindness affects roughly 8% of men and 0.5% of women in the world, so by mixing colors like blue and red, yellow and blue, or red and green, you are immediately creating accessibility problems.

Navigation can also be an issue. If a user's mouse breaks down and the application hasn't been designed with keyboard navigation, it suddenly becomes inaccessible.

Furthermore, media like photos, videos, or gifs should have text and text-to-speech alternatives to support visually impaired or hard of hearing users. And it doesn't hurt to arrange content in a way that it can be fully accessed across all platforms in either a horizontal or vertical orientation, for people who may hold devices a little differently.

Really consider how to make your app accessible and enjoyable for absolutely everyone, and watch that positive feedback flood in.

5 – Failing to Improve UX after Launch

User experience design doesn't end when the app goes live. If anything, it's just the beginning.

Firstly, the app is now exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of new users who will almost certainly have complaints and feedback for improvements. Secondly, users' habits and preferences change all the time, so even if the app is getting great feedback today, it'll be outdated this time next year.

Never stop collecting data from users, no matter how good the app is, and make sure your nearshore software development and UX design team is always updating it to reflect the most current user expectations and requirements. 

About PSL

PSL Corp. delivers high-quality software outsourcing solutions by mastering advanced processes and technologies, such as big data, machine learning, and DevOps, among others. The company's reliable nearshore model, coupled with its top-tier, extensively trained software engineers, allows for efficient agile iterations and continuous experimentation.

Contact us today, we want to hear from you.

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Thursday, 15 November 2018

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