Does Software Matters In The UX Design Creative Process
User experience should be always the end goal of every process. And it doesn't matter what tools do we use. We can create a successful UX by code or even by hand on a paper.
Sometimes I receive requests where people want me to work on their mockups in PSD format and improve their UX. Usually, it doesn't make sense to take on board this kind of projects. Since these people have their strong opinion on a project that they are working on. And any adjustments can be useless. Moreover, software doesn't play the main role in creating UX.
Photoshop wasn't created for interface designers. First of all, this is software for work on photos, images, illustrations. Creating UI there doesn't make any sense. I used to work in Photoshop before I switched on Sketch. And the main reason why I did this is because we didn't have a lot of options. Some designers used Illustrator because of the vector. But it has a problem with the correct sizing of UI elements and mockups at all.
Every user experience starts with a discussion about business goals, target audience, different technical aspects. It's a complex question. UX doesn't equal design layouts. UX is about relationships of people with the project that you create.
User eXperience can be not only in the design area. We can notice UX even on simple examples in everyday life. For instance...
Shopping experience in the supermarket
You can find there a lot of processes that usually hidden from typical customers. But influence on the big part of its customers. It means that your user experience starts from the point where you step in the supermarket and ends when you go out with groceries that you bought. Each step, each time when you notice something on shelves is made purposely. Did you know why fruits and veggies positioned in the first place where you enter the store? The reason of it is to fill your groceries basket with healthy food and at the end of this process be more open for unhealthy foods that you can usually find at the checkout area.
It has its own user experience and they pay attention to details and shape habits of people and drivers to make this process more smooth. Of course, I'm talking about well-developed countries. Where the transportation system works well. Think about it. They invented pass cards that simplify our experience of payment for using public transport.
We found out that in Amsterdam we can buy a whole package that includes transportation and museums for several days.
And even several types of it such as tram, bus, metro, etc. So, basically, you can buy the package on a several days, month, year and don't think about exchanging money, change and wasting time on it.
When I was in Sweden I noticed that any type of transportation has a timetable and, for example, bus or metro arrive on time. It was surprising to me. Since in my country, we don't have such thing as a timetable. And if we talk about Sweden or any European country than you don't need to pay each time for the transportation services at the bus or buy tickets in a metro. You just use a special pass card that you bought earlier and just affix it when you enter the bus, tram or metro link.
Another example is a simple solution with a button that notifies the driver that you want to go out to the next station. So, you don't need to shout from the back of the bus to notify him about this.
Guess what transportation entity in Sweden decided about women with a pram? They made transportation services for them free. And they don't need to leave pram in the middle of the bus to check in at the beginning of the bus. They just go in the middle and wait for their station. Simple and user-friendly.
I assume that for people who reading it and they are living all their life in the well-developed countries these things seems normal. But I just want you to notice that all these things are user experience. And we can have it everywhere. We can say that in first two examples people designed experience for other people. And they took into account business goals and users needs.
One more simple example is a...
I used to buy different shower gels and they all had the same basic problem. When you used more than half of the bottle it becomes hard to squeeze gel from the bottle. The more gel you used the more difficult to squeeze it from the bottle.
Once, I bought another brand with a different design of the bottle. And to be honest, this was the first thing that I noticed. The difference is that it's designed upside down. And it doesn't matter how much gel did you use. It always stands on its cap and you always can easily squeeze gel even if you used 95% of it.
I believe that this problem was solved not with Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch or any kind of software. This is not the key point here. I assume that people that work for this company made some researches and open their minds to make people life better with just only one simple thing.
As a user of this design solution, I can tell you that I respect people who decided to create a bottle this way. It doesn't make me struggle any time when I take a shower and in some way it turns my mood on a positive side a little bit. I think it's a good achievement for the company.
It's not a big deal and not space technologies, but it's a good start in the right design thinking.
Of course after all these studies and meetings we can think about software to create a presentation for the new line of products. But before that when we discuss a real UX it worth to not think about software and technical thing. I believe that all that we need is to be open-minded for new ideas and people feedback.
Thus, the software is only a small part of the design work. Of course, it's time-consuming and sometimes it has routine work that cannot be automated. But, common! We are talking about changing the world, business areas, life experience! Who cares what kind of software do we use for this. People notice successful products, brands, companies. And in most of the cases, they don't care how do we achieve great results. The most important what we can achieve at the end of the design process.