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Where does the User Experience (UX) start?

This article was published on: 11/10/2017

User experience design (UX, UXD, UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.

I recently came across two examples of bad UX and in both cases, these occurred without me even using the product.

The first case was whilst visiting a local hospital. A poster gave details of how to contact the Helpdesk. The URL given was;

http://sql0/intranet/apps/fhd/FHD2.asp?xlm=99

Now the likelihood of someone remembering the URL from the poster is zero. They would have to write it down or photograph it on their phone. Before the user has even accessed the site, they have been presented with an unnecessarily complex URL. Why didn’t the Web Team create a more user-friendly web address of, for example, http://helpdesk. Easy to remember and helps to get the UX journey off to a positive start.

The second case was a note home from my daughter’s school. It concerning a website for doing her maths homework and came with the following warning;

If no links are working, it may be that you are using a Pop Up Blocker. You will need to allow ***** to use Pop Ups and we suggest that you add www.*****.com to your list of trusted sites.

If you are having trouble accessing content, it may be that you need to activate Flash in your browser.

Before I have accessed the website, I have given expectations that there may be issues with it. Not a great way for me to start my UX experience. Remember this website was designed for children to do their homework. Why not just remove the requirements for pop-ups and Flash?

User Experience begins before the user starts to use the website. Don’t get your users off to a bad start.