UX Honeycomb: 7 essential factors influence the user experience
User Experience (UX) plays an increasingly important role in the success or failure of digital products when the competitive environment is fiercer and users also become "picky", requiring empathy from the product team to meet user needs and bring a positive impact to the business.
According to Peter Morville, an experienced UX researcher who consults for many Fortune 500 companies, user experience can be fully portrayed through 7 dimensions (UX Honeycomb). These are UX "slices" which designers should notice when building digital products.
7 essential factors influence the user experience
Usability is especially important and fundamental to a product. If it does not serve a specific purpose, the product will be difficult to attract potential users, less competitive when launching into the market, which is always full of useful products serving a specific purpose. To ensure the product is useful to the target users, the team needs to conduct user research to gain insights as well as find the real needs for the product solution.
An usable product enables users to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively instead of confusing them so that they have to give up on the product. Product makers should consider improving UI design and information architecture to help users spend less time and effort understanding the product, completing required tasks, or using cool features of the product.
Information, content and features should be arranged logically for users to view and access easily. The information architecture, search button/bar and navigation should be optimized according to the experience journey and user needs as well as the business goals of the product. For error messages or alerts, the team can attach useful instructions for users to solve these arising problems quickly and conveniently.
Trust is one of the important factors to attract and retain users to stick with the product in the long term. The team makes sure to design CTAs (Call-to-Actions) that have specific instructions along the experience flow, leading the user to the right outcome mentioned in the attached message. Ambiguous, unclear language or attempts to trick the user into completing the desired task would be a great strategy to lose the user.
Products that are aesthetically appealing, ensure brand identity while still evoking positive emotions in use, will easily attract users and be viral to the community. When doing user research or usability testing, the design team can combine user empathy methods to find insights about users' emotions, thereby improving the usability, engaging, and making their product experience journey more enjoyable.
To ensure the product is accessible to the widest range of users, the product team also works hard to create experiences accessible to disabled users. As modern society increasingly goes for equal rights and humanity, product design suitable for users with functional impairments is also more concerned. Therefore, the team needs to understand the characteristics of the target user, the context and challenges by the surrounding environment that the user may encounter when using the product.
To survive and evolve over time, each digital product needs to create a positive impact, bringing value to the business and the users. Besides the great ideas and features, the product team should be aware that the true value of the product is one of the factors that considerably affect the enterprise's decision to build the product as well as the user's choice to buy and use it. Understanding customer’s needs and business goals to create solutions that meet these requirements will help bring value to the product.
How to use UX Honeycomb effectively
According to Peter Morville, the Honeycomb UX model can serve many different purposes at the same time. In building digital products, UX Honeycomb supports the team as follows:
- Set priority: Besides simply considering the usability of the product, the team can "dissect" each aspect before deciding on an order to enhance user experience, especially on personalization. What is more important when designing a product: desirable or accessible to all users? More usable or credible? With each direction, the team can identify important factors to prioritize the resources and focus on developing these ones better than the other.
- Improve each module: this model also suggests a single “slice” approach. If the team falls into a situation of lack of resources (time, budget, human resources, ..), they can still choose the aspects suitable for the current conditions to start upgrading the user experience.
- Diverse angles: Each “window” in the UX Honeycomb can become an independent view, helping the team detect related issues once they dig deeper into each aspect. From there, more product development ideas may come up instead of just common techniques and ideas.
- Create UX Checklist: The elements mentioned are fundamental, suitable for the product team to create a checklist before evaluating, measuring user experience in parallel with other design elements.
- Redesign User Experience: The product team can use this model to detect defects in the user experience, then brainstorm ideas for optimal UX redesign for the working product.
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