Important Elements of User Experience Evaluation

What are the most important elements of user experience evaluation? User experience is one of those sciences and disciplines that a lot of people have a hard time really completely defining. A lot of people mistakenly assume that it’s just UI and aesthetics. Others think it means nothing at all, because so many people abuse it as a buzz word as well.

So, when people are asked to consider the elements of user experience evaluation, they often miss out on a lot of important aspects they could be covering, or they scoff at it foolishly just because a minority of pretentious wannabes misuse the terminology.

So, let’s take a brief look at what some of the most important factors during this evaluation really are. Because, you may find some of these a surprise, and go “huh, I hadn’t considered that”.

Part of the User experience

First, of course, is the UI. UI is a big part of user experience, it’s just not all there is by a long shot. But, it’s incredibly important, as it represents the program to the user, as well as the functions and data that go into and come out of the construct. As far as the user is concerned, the UI is the program.

This means that consistency in controls and layouts of forms, as well as labels and color and font face conventions are incredibly important. So, one of the big things to do is to evaluate consistency and any minor discrepancies as a program runs. It needs to be solid, and seem monolithic.

Navigation 

Second, the navigation patterns are important, as well. Is the order of processes with similar logic consistent? Does it all make sense? Can they be done comfortably and repetitively without any disruption of flow or routine? Testing proficiency, reflex and natural interaction with this interface is absolutely critical, so do not overlook these patterns as so many do.

Prototype them, test them with your team, and test them with focus groups.

Finally, is your entire experience, in layout, order and presentation instantly recognizable? Can users see what all the things on the screen do without being overwhelmed?

Can they get started on basic things before they’ve learned large chunks, and can they easily learn this as a second nature, rather than having to think about memorized order that has no direct relevance or reference?

Testing for this is a bit of a difficult thing to do hard data an clinical analysis with, but you need to settle on a way to do so, because this “like an extension of the body” experience with the software interface is something you need to strive for, and test for meticulously.

Remember, once you hit beta, you should spend another year testing your UX in every way possible, over and over again until you’ve for at least a fifty percent “no problems at all” set of results from your tests and evaluations.

Elements of user experience evaluation are more diverse and numerous than you probably originally expected. Well, if you follow this advice, you’re on your first step to mastering UX on a level you never knew you could, or that you would need to.

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Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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