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The user experience should be your priority whenever you seek to optimize your product development phase. Good collaboration ensures that your UX design solutions add value and ensure you are successful in doing so. 

The user experience helps inform you if your designs meet the needs of your users and clients. However, suppose you don’t know what the user experience is. In that case, you won’t ever know what your users think about your product, and the worst-case scenario will be people leaving and abandoning your product without you knowing about it. 

Let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will find out how important the user experience is in the product development phase. 

How important is user experience in product development optimization? 

No waterfall

Traditional software development methodologies aren’t the solution for every product development process. The waterfall model was never a great way of working. It wasn’t that great development and management model that allowed you to track projects. Work was rarely finished on a specified date. Some of the requirements were identified in later phases, and reworking ones would occur throughout the life cycle, which contradicts the naive model assumption. 

Other development processes are pretty similar, but those who maintain the system are required or invited to participate even when there are distinct phases. Many phases will overlap because of the difficulty of nailing down a design in isolation. 

Many software developers or architects will refer to software design, database design, and more. This gives them efforts to incorporate the user experience in the product development phase and is crucial in building a reliable product that exceeds expectations. 

Seeks to excel in the user experience 

Everyone wants to excel in the user experience, but this isn’t what all products will achieve in the end. Unfortunately, many companies won’t pay much attention to the user experience, which is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. 

While you are designing your product in the development phase, your primary focus should be to provide users with a solution to their problems in the easiest way possible. Above all, you should pay special attention to the design system and ensure users get what they are looking for.  

For example, on an e-commerce website, people will buy products online. Therefore, the product interface will need to meet product goals. Moreover, if you have a good user experience, users will shop again on your site. In fact, according to a study, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. 

Above all, no matter what you do, you must define the user as much as possible. The users who use your product and the internal ones such as the administrators, content creators, and other people responsible for the system maintenance. Whether you’re trying to form a legacy system for new platforms, create new technologies from scratch, or anything more, you will need to address many business processes and objectives. 

When you look at it this way, everyone in your team will start to understand that your role makes sense. This is even more true when the UX designer takes the time to understand the technical difficulties and fulfill the client’s and user’s needs. Your design will naturally blend in with the technical requirements if you do so. Because of this, UX design professionals automatically become the most valuable team members. 

Usability testing 

Usability testing is a method of evaluating products with real users. It’s the process of testing your product with real users by making them complete a set of tasks and observing their interactions. The primary goal of usability testing is to identify if your design is usable and valuable enough for users to accomplish their goals. 

Usability testing has numerous benefits, and they are excellent in helping you understand your audience, build a good product and understand your product’s use cases. In short, it’s allowing people to do what they want with your product and promoting misuse of it. 

Depending on what you are trying to achieve, there are three different types of usability testing: 

  • Remote or in-person
  • Moderated and unmoderated
  • Qualitative and quantitative 

Each type of usability testing has a different approach and allows you to identify how the user uses your product, which helps you identify the user experience. This is your primary goal and what you want to know throughout the product development phase. 

Note: Read more about usability testing in Maze’s usability testing guide 

User experience is a must 

In the modern digital world, we are surrounded by many online ads and online apps For example, we have applications for booking a place to stay, ordering pizza, shopping online, and much more. 

For each task that is completed, there are many apps available in the market, but only some of them offer the proper functionalities. You want to avoid launching apps that become part of the crowd because many reasons can lead to product failure. One of the top reasons behind it is the poor user experience. Nevertheless, whether your UX is good or bad, it will predict the future of your product. 

Let’s take an example of a good experience. Let’s say we have an excellent experience while purchasing from an online store. What are the first words that’ll come to your mind? Well, here are some things you’ll have to say: 

  • The product was helpful and helped me accomplish the things I needed to do
  • The product was easy to use and helped me get many things done
  • It helped me get some important things done
  • It was accessible, and I had access to it from any device
  • It was fun and attractive to use and interact with 
  • The product made me feel connected to it 
  • It satisfied me 
  • It got better as I continued to use it

On the other hand, we have negative comments, which are something like the following: 

  • The experience was stressful, and I had no clue how to use the product 
  • The product was confusing to use, and I didn’t know how to use any of its features
  • It was okay, but I would think twice about using it 
  • The product was distracting to use, and it was challenging to try to accomplish anything 
  • It was an inefficient experience, and it took a long time for me how to figure out using the product
  • It didn’t allow you to do anything you wish to do so 
  • The product was frustrating to use overall

The user experience provides UX solutions 

Although UX requires lots of work, there are several techniques that UX designers need to use in order to make the user experience much better during the product development phase. One of the most common issues in the product development lifecycle is that designers will identify issues after the product is released. 

This is a time that you don’t want to face issues and ensure that you identify them during the product development phase, or else, it’ll only interrupt the overall user experience. UX research helps solve this problem by identifying the pain points earlier in the product development phase so that you can solve any problems you may have. 

UX research can start at the beginning of the product development phase and is part of an ongoing lifecycle. 

You can begin with UX research and focus on the end-user from the beginning of the project so that it can help you reveal the customer’s issues and how your product solves them.  

By conducting UX research with your target audience through a set of prototyping, interviews, and more, you can design user personas, journey maps, user scenarios and simplify the overall user experience process

Ongoing research is one of the best ways to regulate your user experience with your product completely. The feedback is as important as the one that comes from actual users. UX research can be done through surveys, evaluations, and more. 

UX research is best whenever the UX designer conducts research from the beginning of the product development lifecycle. 

Here are some of the key benefits you receive whenever you introduce a UX designer to your user experience:

  • It allows much better work management and UX designers to plan ahead of time 
  • The UX designer gets a better perspective of how the product is and will enable them to stay consistent across product features
  • It gives the UX designer enough time to conduct early user research, bring new ideas to the design process, and study new features

Wrapping it up 

That’s all for this article. We showed you how important the user experience is in the product development optimization phase and why you should always pay special attention to the user experience. If you want to know more about what users think of your product, you can only do this by knowing how the user experience is.

Nevertheless. You shouldn’t forget to identify any design issues from the beginning. Identifying issues later on in the product development phase will only make the user experience worse!