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Peak XD UX Course

Recently I attended a UX training workshop hosted by Peak XD. Over three days I learnt the ins and outs of user experience design and research. I also broadened my current knowledge on digital design. All aspects of this course were extremely valuable. I have listed a few of my key takeaways. 


1.Your user is priority Numero Uno!

Understanding and designing for your user means;

  • Reducing user learning time
  • Increasing user satisfaction and trust
  • Reducing users cognitive load



2. Design isn't just for the designer

Include your users in the design process, after all they are the ones who are using it.

  • Include your users in the design process, after all they are the ones who are using it.
  • Hold collaborative design workshops to better understand your users. 
  • Understand the customer, understand the problem. 
  • Designing with your users and business stakeholders allows you to generate better ideas from all angles. 




3. Keep your homepage simple and to the point

  • Your homepage should show all major options for your website. 
  • Key content is above the fold. If scrolling is required, make sure this is obvious to users
  • Minimal text that aligns with user goals. Make sure text is easily scannable 
  • Limit amount of copy and content on homepage. Keep it simple
  • Use the inverted pyramid method to organise content



4. Be clear about what your navigation schema is

Defining your navigational site structure is crucial and will dramatically affect your user’s experience. It’s important to provide clear and mutually exclusive menu labels.

There are different navigational schema to help categorise you content. If you are to mix schemas make sure they look different to  limit user confusion. 
Topic based Schema - Organised by specific subject matter 
Task based Schema - Organised by considering users actions, needs, questions or processes ‘Insurance, 
Time or phase based schema - Audience based - ‘I am’ Personal / Business / Organisation or ‘1yo / 2 yo / 3yo’ organised by audience segments



5. Giving your user visual feedback is essential

Importance of Visual feedback

Having a beautiful visual design is redundant if your users cannot navigate and work out where they are on the website. When designing ensure all hovers, breadcrumbs, state changes,  and active menu tabs are defined. 


Help your user when they make an error

Guide user by explaining in plain language what the problem is, and highlighting the field that is causing the error.
Constructively suggest a solution, don't just use colour to communicate errors.


Prevent errors in the first place

Design carefully and thoughtfully to stop errors occuring in the first place. Eg ‘Caps lock is on’
Constrain input to prevent user error. Eg if there is only two options use a radio button. Don't place Submit and Clear Form Buttons together. 


Hide functionality not required by users

When displaying forms hide functionality not needed by users. Display functionality progressively as needed.



6. Speak your users language

Designing for your user means speaking their language, Use words, phrases and concepts that are familiar to the user. Be aware of cultural differences such as colour, icons and date layouts.