UNIVERSAL UX PRINCIPLES TO CONSIDER WHILE DESIGNING MALAYSIAN USERS
New startups are springing up in Malaysia with great ideas aimed at solving the many global challenges and this startup apply technology for ease of work, productivity, and accessibility and while these startups help grow the economy of Malaysia through investments from government agencies, accelerators and venture capitalists, both local and foreign ones, but how do these startups design sites that are user-centered,one that won’t just attract users, but will keep them coming, being that the sole aim of their entrepreneurial journey is to satisfy their users need and also scale while at it, so it is important we look at how the principles of UX can be adopted so that startups can get a clearer picture on how to fix the many challenges users do face when they visit their sites, either using mobile gadgets or desktops and how they can get to fix it in order to attract more users of their products and achieve scalability
If you are part of a design team or running a business with a digital presence in Malaysia, there is no better time than now to leverage UX for the growth of your business. UX design is growing in Malaysia and is one of the most important differentiating factors of how your customers interact with your product.
User experience (UX) is how a person feels after using a particular product, system or service or a person’s perceptions of a products utility, ease of use and efficiency. So a great feeling or perception from a prospective user after visiting your site equates to one user gained , so in order to attract more users and keep them coming, there are existing UX principle that must be applied to achieve a user centered design.
Here are the top design principles you must know!
1. BE USER CENTERED: It’s in important to have your users at mind, you may have a great mental picture of what to design, but you need to consider if your users will appreciate it, so to avoid wastage of resources and time and be able to design a user-centered product, techniques like User testing, persona testing or competitor analysis can be applied in order to serve your users better.
2.MEET THE USERS NEED: UX design is centered on meeting the needs of users, so fixing the needs of the users should be the paramount consideration while designing and to achieve this the challenges you are looking at solving should always be in the front of your mind while designing’ so your goal can be met. there are many ways and tools to help us identify the user's needs. For examples, observing user behavior, analyzing data, building user scenarios, and more.
3. CONSISTENCY: your design must have similarities with other products your prospective users regularly use, this helps them to easily familiarize with your product without leaving them guessing, so many users don’t have time to waste learning how to use a new product when they can always run back to a familiar product that offers the same experience as you do. Users get easily attached to a product that they can easily use without much stress, so it’s good you make your product familiar to that of your competitor and to achieve this you can carry out a UX competitor Analysis to help fix the puzzle.
A good example is the floating action button that has become common among apps, as seen in the Google Docs apps and Twitter.
4. USE SIMPLE DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE: “Keep it simple lah”. Don’t expect users to understand much of the jargon, reason being that most of them are not in the ecosystem, most of them do not understand the design concept and development process, the language and text of the ￼product must be descriptive, easy to understand and very close to every day to day ￼user's language. However, we need to conceptualize users as busy people instead of not ￼smart people. So we need to think of the middle-class users and optimize some features ￼in regards to them.
5.PRIORITIZE FUNCTIONALITY THAN AESTHETIC: Good looking interfaces are encouraged in UX design because that’s what the user sees before engaging with the product. However, the functionality of product design is more important than aesthetics, because before a user looks out for your product, there’s a function he or she is looking out for and if after being attracted by the aesthetic view and the functionality is not tantamount to the aesthetic view, they are left disappointed, sofunctionality is greater than aesthetic because it helps users to solve problems.
6.UNDERSTAND YOUR USERS PERSONAS: It’s important to understand who your users are and how they behave, so you can design sites that they are comfortable with and one that will meet their needs and to achieve this, you can use a Persona-based testing, this is a software testing technique that helps to determine scenarios that users will execute when they visit your sites or use your app.
7. HAVE A CLEAR HIERARCHY: Being able to navigate a site smoothly without a hitch, is a plus because it allows the user to be able to find the solution desired and this is why hierarchy shouldn’t be taken for granted because if well executed while designing, it ensures smooth navigation throughout a design. Two main hierarchies are very important. First, is the hierarchy that is related to how content is organized.
And there’s also is a visual hierarchy that allows users to navigate within a page or section easily by placing the most important content first and others follow.
8.UNDERSTAND ACCESSIBILITY: This the principle of accessibility is one of the most important UX principles and this means that your design needs to be accessible to many people and people with disabilities are not left out. I call it the Non- discriminatory design.
To achieve this, your design layout bust be one without hitches and hassles. Example, when designing, you need to consider people with color blindness or hearing impairment and adopt techniques that will help them while they access your site.
9.NARRATIVE DESIGN: Apply storytelling telling techniques when designin descriptions on your site shouldn’t be boring or bland, make it interesting and intriguing. You can apply these storytelling elements; time and rhythm. Time is the pacing your design adapts and this could be how slowly or quickly you unveil your narrative and a balance pacing is encouraged because if it is too fast, you get to confuse the user and if it is too slow, they lose interest in the narrative. Rhythm, is the pattern at which your narrative unfolds, for instance, the way the series of the screen in your entire design unfolds and if it is too slow, it bores the users and if too fast, they won’t get note some information, to create a balance while designing.
10.NEVER IGNORE TYPOGRAPHY: The choices of typography can impact the way users interpret the language you use, helping enhance or suppress the message. Moreover, typography can improve UX in multiple ways, it can make it more user-friendly or improve accessibility and make the hierarchy great.
Robert Bringhurst, the author of “The Elements of Typographic Style”, highlights the role of typography design principle in a well-detailed manner. He stated, “Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form”, so this principle, will help to make the contents in your sites stick in the mind of your users.
11.LESS IS MORE: this popular cliché was proposed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, it is a design philosophy that promotes simplicity and opposes too much ￼decoration and less here doesn’t mean denying your sites of necessary contents, but it means designers should do their best to reduce the user's cognitive cost, it means not getting the relevant contents lost in multitudes of unuseful contents.
The Malaysian startup ecosystem is growing rapidly and to uphold this impressive record, it is important to adhere to the UX principles mentioned above, in order to design user-centered products that will solve the challenges faced by users, leave them happy and also help startups access fundings and attract great investors, so that they can help grow the economy as they help solve global and national challenges.
Join Our UX Classes!
Want to explore more about the possibilities of how UX can change the way you create services for your customer? We are hosting UX Design classes at GrowthX Academy, DOJO KL, Jalan P.Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur every month.
Hurry! Only limited seats available. Check it out here - GrowthX.Asia/UX-Class
Find out how what Malaysian businesses need to know about UX. If you are part of a design team or running a business with a digital presence in Malaysia, there is no better time than now to leverage UX for the growth of your business. UX design is growing in Malaysia and is one of the most important differentiating factors of how your customers interact with your product.
Watch full interview with Andrew Goldner and Sean Sheppard, co-founders of GrowthX as they discussed about commercializing corporate innovation.