Do you realize how truly important UX objectives really are? It appears to me that people overlook UX objectives as something to even set and reach for when planning out UX. But, this seems to be par for the course with UX, which is a truly misunderstood science. Most people just assume UX is another term for user interface (UI), but the truth is that UX encompasses UI wholly, but also encompasses much, much more. As a result, UX objectives pertain to more than just the UI, but the UI is far from ignored. So, let’s look at some important objectives that should be put in place in UX no matter what.
The first thing to consider is that yes, UI is important, and it is here that the first absolute objective should be defined. This objective is not beautification, it is not identity or aesthetic; it is order and symmetry, as well as logical flow. The first objective of UX and the main objective of UI is to have the controls properly sized, constant, and aligned in such a way that it looks professional, and makes sense to how the human eye will follow the flow presented to them. So, maybe saying aesthetics was totally a non-issue is kind of wrong, because that is technically partly aesthetic in the rawest sense, isn’t it?
The next objective is to have a properly defined, agreed upon navigation pattern for usability. I’ll be talking more about these navigation patterns in my next submission, so I won’t get into too much detail here. Suffice it to say, you’ll be designing around this navigation pattern, so you need to know how you want it to work. Your second objective is immediately to have one figured out, and in the long term, to adhere to it properly, and consistently.
Your final objective should be efficiency. This pertains to the UI and the navigation patterns, but is an ultimate objective to set. How many steps it takes to perform basic, frequent tasks should be something of constant refinement. The simpler it is to perform repeated, complex tasks, the better off everyone will be. Efficiency in software has been an ongoing goal for most software developers and computer scientists from the beginning, so it’s obvious that it’d be important here as well.
However, it goes beyond efficiency of basic tasks, and also pertains to the complexity and length of time needed to learn the system. Most users won’t read a book, they’ll see a couple quick tutorials and then learn by doing, unless a training staff is present to facilitate it. This means that the easier your Ux software is to learn, the more efficient it is. Part of UX is the initial effort of learning and mastering the tool, not just in daily use. So, overlooking the task of learning the software is a mistake you really can’t afford to make, frankly.
UX objectives like these aren’t the only focus you should have, but if you really only can set a few concrete objectives at this point, I would say that these are the three to go with.