It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact qualities that make UX design “good.” But we tried anyway. From revealing information at the correct time to visual simplicity, here’s how we quantify good UX design.
Introducing the Principle of Least Astonishment (PoLA).
We wrote more in-depth about PoLA in a previous post, but the basic idea? Don’t surprise the user. Well designed mobile apps follow common patterns and leverage what they know about user expectations.
Actions like locating a menu on the top left corner of the screen or using two fingers to zoom are already part of a user’s muscle memory. Apps that try to change these patterns risk having a mysterious interface.
Good timing matters.
Intuitive user flow is a lot about good timing. UX designers guide users toward their objectives by presenting information and choices when it makes the most sense.
Yelp’s mobile app, for instance, places the most common and time-sensitive action — search — front and center. Then it funnels into suggestions for what users can search for. This removes friction and cuts way down on navigation time.
Use well-organized visuals.
Some apps need to present a lot of data to their users. The trick to impactfully delivering information lies in good organization and clean, simple design.
The Betterment app, for instance, uses easy-to-read interactive charts to present financial information to its users. The charts update in real-time, allowing users to see the latest breakdown of their investments and make projections. This makes a potentially complicated and overwhelming experience into a pleasant one.
Overall, what drives good UX design is a user-first mentality. Keep that in mind, and everything will flow from there.