The User Experience: Tips for Making Your Software Great for Users

Many businesses focus primarily on their software’s functionality when they need new products developed. The software needs to be able to do what is was developed for, so this is obviously a crucial part of the process.

However, functionality must mingle with great design if a software is to have a chance of succeeding. The user experience will determine if a software sinks or swims. After all, it’s not good having a software that does everything you need it to if its users can’t figure out how to get it to work for them.

So, focusing on the user experience is key and we have come up with a few tips that will ensure you do just that during your software development project.

Personalisation

Offering personalised content has developed into a key trend in software and web development. You can see it everywhere. Online stores offer personalised recommendations based on previous purchases. Social media sites suggest pages that you may enjoy based on what you have “liked” before.

Most customer-facing softwares have potential for personalisation, so take a look at yours and try to figure out how you can make a user’s experience with your software as unique to them as possible.

Show the Clickables

Navigation is a big tripping point in developing a user experience. A lot of developers don’t dedicate enough time to it, which leads them to create softwares that users get lost in.

A good rule of thumb is to ensure that anything that should be clickable looks like it is clickable. For example, a link should be underlined and in a different colour. Buttons should stand out from the page, rather than melding into the background. The key is ensuring users know what they can and can’t interact with.

Don’t Stray Too Far

Having an interesting design is important. You want to make your software stand out, after all. But, you should also avoid straying too far from established design practices.

Remember that your customers use all sorts of different softwares and applications during the course of their day. They know how things are supposed to work, so moving too far away from that template could confuse them. Use your content and visual flare to separate yourself from the competition, while ensuring the key design elements are familiar enough for the average user to acquaint themselves with quickly.

Avoid the Clutter

There is a reason so many app and software developers favour grid-based layouts. They’re clean and simple, which makes the user’s job that much easier.

Every piece of unnecessary clutter in your software makes it harder for the user to accomplish his or her task. That’s the exact situation that you want to avoid when creating a user experience. Always cast a critical eye over your design and really think about if everything on the page needs to be there. There should be nothing that doesn’t serve a purpose. Design elements need to catch the eye without pulling it away from the interactive aspects of the page. Content needs to inform the user, rather than drown them in information.

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