'

Five UX truths every IT professional should consider

The essence of user experience: 'Don't just give users what they ask for, solve their problems'

Delivering a successful user experience (UX) means more than simply listening and responding to users. It means looking beyond the initial request and probing more deeply into users' intent. The challenge is users often can't fully express what they need, and perhaps don't understand how the technology behind the scenes can improve their experience, or help them do their jobs better.

img1029.jpg
Photo: HubSpot

Jennifer Aldrich, UX and content strategist at InVision and UX blogger at UserExperienceRocks.com, outlines five UX truths everyone involved in UX design needs to embrace:

1. Interpret. Listen to client requests, but recognize there may be more to the story than they can tell, Aldrich points out. "Don't be afraid to dig deeper to identify underlying problems."

2. Rework. Users may be asking for additional features they think will make things better. However, new features may not be needed at all -- it may be a matter of making changes to the flow of the application, Aldrich states.

3. Regenerate. If it is determined that new features are called for, perhaps these can be spun off in a new app or product, Aldrich suggests. This keeps the original app/product from getting bloated.

4. Rethink. Rather than jumping on fulfilling a user request, take a look at alternatives that may better address the issue at hand. A user may want more speed, but it may simply mean a workflow change, highlighting a certain feature more prominently, Aldrich points out.

5. Simplify. Software designers and developers can testify about the many software projects they've seen get loaded down with added change requests. Seek simplicity and streamlining, not bloatware. "More features do not equal a better product," says Aldrich.