Thinking about incorporating UX into your App Design
Thinking about incorporating UX into your App Design? UX is certainly a buzz word that gets thrown around alot, even when designers are working on the UI, they seem to draw a direct and encapsulating parallel between UX and UI Design, when in fact there are differences. That is, UX can exist without UI but UI cannot exist without UI. An article by OneExtraPixel (http://www.onextrapixel.com/2014/04/24/the-gap-between-ui-and-ux-design-know-the-difference/) better distinguishes the differences between these two concepts.
Jakob Nielsen, the most prominent leader in the UX field, describes: user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
Essentially, UX should be a consistency across multiple platforms and media, whereby you shouldn't need a manual or user guide when you move from using a particular app or website on a Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, Television. The UX experience, therefore encompasses a few distinguished features and attributes worth noting.
Usability according to the Nielsen Norman Group is thought of in terms of Learnability, Efficiency, Memorability, Errors and Satisfaction. Essentially, this is the measure of how intuitive the app or website is for users to use, based on familiarity from working with the same app across various platforms, and how consistent the design is to allow tasks to preformed. The strength of the Usability is underlined in the number of errors and satisfaction that is fed back from the users. It is also important to underline that UX designs change, people learn and their skills and understanding evolve, and when a certain design becomes common expectance, users are then able to take on new industrial UX designs.
Audience is based on personas you create to work out whom you are designing the app for. Giving them names, their own story, you can tangibly associate certain design features accordingly. If Jolene is a 32-year-old jogging enthusiast, your design will incorporate the fact that she would spend less time on the app as she is preparing for a run, and therefore would design icons and screens accordingly. So how you design your content, the targeted platform, the purpose, and types of screens is based on how well you know your audiences. You can't cater for all audiences, but with lean analytics, work out and evolve your UX design accordingly.
Accessibility is something I don't see a lot of in UX design journals, but it's also important to note based on your audiences (and with advances in dynamic fonts in iOS 7) it has never been easier to make your iOS apps (as well as websites) more accessible to those whom are either hearing or visual impairments. Indeed it fits with UX because they also have experiences and usability requirements.
And in conclusion
Make sure you keep your designs usable and simple, focusing on the three main priorities I believe UX incompasses: Usability | Audience and Accessibility. Different platforms, such as iOS and Android have their own Human User Interface guides, and conforming to a platform's UI designs, for things such as menus are important, it is also important to keep your product learnability to a minimum by being consistent affords less errors and greater satisfaction. Remember, UX is iterative, just as coding is, which is based on user feedback, and with introduction of new features and functionalities.