Adam Higa – My UXD BrainStation Journey pt. 2
In my last blog entry, I not only raved about the merits of the BrainStation Toronto hub (TL;DR lots of learning and beverages) but walked through the course structure of what could be expected from a typical class, to how the 12-week program is organized. I also made wild promises of delving a little deeper into the content of the course itself and why User Experience Design is so important. Seeing how I am reliable (and super employable) I will keep to my word and do so right now.
So what does user experience design mean to me?
To be completely transparent, before the course – absolutely nothing. I actually remember being in an interview for a marketing position and being asked what my experience with user experience design had been. Without any real idea, I eloquently babbled on about “because I am a user, I interact with and pay attention to different companies as well as their platforms on an everyday basis etc. etc. etc.” Although at the time, I battled rolling my eyes at myself because I figured my answer couldn’t have been more wrong, my Brainstation journey has taught me that, at a high level, I really wasn’t that far off. And now I have the knowledge and background to prove it.
At its highest level, User Experience “encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services and products.” This idea of design thinking has been around since more or less the dawn of time, but more recently has only been coined as user experience design. A very distinctive example of bad user design, which you may encounter in every day life is on your stove top. Most burners are laid out in a 2×2 formation, however the knobs to light the burners are usually laid out vertically in a 4×1 down the side. I’ve been living at the same house for 18 years and I still sometimes get them mixed up (clearly my mom cooks too much for me.)
As we all know, society has been launched full throttle into the digital era, and guess what? From native mobile apps to web creation, these user experience concepts still apply, and increasingly so, which is the focus of the BrainStation UXD course.
With 20,000 new apps are added to the IOS app store every month, there is clearly a large overlap in product and service offerings, thus those which are more user friendly and easy to navigate become those to gain a competitive advantage.
One of the most important things to remember about UX design is that fundamentality, it is about a simplified interactivity a user may have with a service or product. However many people forget this and think that just having a website that is produced by a graphic designer and looks really nice is enough to provide for a satisfied user.
Don’t get me wrong, aesthetically pleasing websites and apps are truly important and worth investing in, however it is just the exterior or the skin. The user experience design, or the intuitive functionality is the frame or skeleton that supports the rest of the body. Having a really pretty website that will woo your customers is fine and dandy but if a first time customer coming to your site can’t figure out how to “check out” or even find the products or services to on the website to browse, then the company will be losing a lot of potential revenue.
And there you have it, at the end of the day this enhanced customer journey is going to improve conversion rates and build retention through return customers who are satisfied with the usability being provided.
If you have made it this far in my blog series, then kudos! You will be happy to know that in my final post next week I will be discussing the step-by-step motions of how to plan and design an app or website that has enhanced user experience concepts implemented, hopefully piquing your interest enough that you too will consider taking the course to join the growing army of UX designers across Canada.
Until next time,
Adam “still almost UX extraordinaire “ Higa
Interested in learning more about Adam’s course? Check out our upcoming User Experience Design course and see if it’s right for you!