UX Design In-House, Check!
Rob Seas Content Strategist/Copywriter
User Experience (UX) design is an important aspect of our work at Kinetic that forms the basis of many of our most successful projects. And we’re fortunate to have a resident expert who recognized the value and importance of the art and science of UX design long before it became an industry buzzword. Kelsea Schreiner, Partner and Strategic Director, first encountered UX design concepts when she applied for a grant for training with Human Factors International (HFI) more than a decade ago.
“The grant covered the initial training through HFI,” said Kelsea. “I was intrigued by the value UX concepts could add to our work at Kinetic and pursued four additional courses in order to become a Certified Usability Analyst. The four tenets of that certification included ‘User Experience Foundations’; ‘User-centered Analysis and Conceptual Design’; ‘The Science and Art of Effective Web and Application Design’; and ‘Practical Usability Testing.’ This training has allowed us to inject a high level of UX work into our websites and other projects as well as provide clients with user testing on a professional level.”
Great UX Design
UX design encompasses all aspects of a user’s perceived experience with a product or website, such as its usability, usefulness, desirability, brand perception, and overall performance. UX design is also an element of the Customer Experience (CX), which includes the totality of cognitive, affective, sensory, and behavioral consumer responses during all stages of the consumption process (pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase).
Great UX design improves the experience for the user, making it smooth, seamless and positive. The user’s experience of your product is marked by the refreshing absence of confusion and frustration. Decisions in UX design are driven by research, data analysis, and test results rather than aesthetic preferences and opinions.
As consumers, we encounter good and bad UX design all the time and it impacts how we view brands, companies and products. For example, Apple consistently gets high marks for the clean, elegant UX design of its products. When the iPad came out, it was remarkable to see how intuitive the touchscreen interface was for all ages and technology experience levels.
Bad UX Design
By contrast, bad UX causes undue friction that can be maddening. I recently downloaded the United Airlines app to facilitate check-in for an international flight. After filling in all the required passenger information, the app asked me to use the phone camera to capture my passport and other travel documents. But it wouldn’t accept the image and required me to re-enter every field in the lengthy form each time it failed. After several tries, I gave up and was forced to check in the old-fashioned way at the airport. Clearly, they could benefit from Kelsea’s insights on UX.
Onward and Upward
This summer, Kelsea plans to take her qualifications to the next level by completing the coursework and testing to become a Certified User Experience Analyst (CXA). Her efforts will provide new learning to help the Kinetic team continue instituting UX on a strategic level for our clients.
“This isn’t just about web or application development,” said Kelsea. “At the core, UX is about innovation, persuasion marketing and consumer behavior. UX is so much more than ‘best practices’ or web traffic analysis via Google. We look beyond what the user says they’ll do and focus on what they actually do to gather insight on their success in tasks, satisfaction with content, intra-page navigation and individual actions.”
Kelsea’s experience with the course “Science and Art of Effective Web Design” has deeply informed and shaped the web design process at Kinetic. The course was a catalyst not only for creating a more thoughtful web development process, but also how we approach and execute all the product work we do, from primary research to digital marketing.
Your Main Takeaway
“Good UX design attends to the needs of novices, power users, and everyone in between,” said Kelsea. “It’s important to focus on keeping design simple and uncomplicated. We want to tell the story but recognize that some may just want to jump to the recipe that the story sets up. The challenge as designers is to embrace innovation but never lose sight of the need for simple, streamlined, intuitive user experiences.”
Read more about the art and science of UX design in Kelsea’s blog “Designing For Your Users.”
It all began with a father-son fly-fishing trip at 16 years old, and Rob was hooked on Montana. Growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, it took a little while for him to make his way here for good. But in the meantime, he graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Magazine Journalism, held a variety of editorial positions across the country and worked as a freelance web developer for companies large and small, ranging from startups to international corporations like Visa, The Nature Conservancy, and Levi Strauss & Co.
He still loves to fish – and hunt, work magic in the kitchen… and he’s an artist. All of this experience, worldliness and creativity means that Rob is an incredible Kinetic talent and invaluable asset to the team and our clients.Read more about Rob