Often we come across articles that only talk about good designs influencing and improving the ability of the analysts to work with data. Today let us see the other side of the picture and discuss the influence of good data in shaping up great design.
UX designers are equipped with various data sources that aid them in taking smarter decisions related to designs, the foremost of them being the usability testing. This specific mode of testing first carries out assessing a website or an app and then it observes if the users could complete the intended task. It also takes into consideration the probable emotional response quotient of the users on a design. It is possible to make major changes by finding out what is working and what isn’t by having just few users. There are various methods that are available for usability testing ranging from expensive to cheap and all the methods provide benefits accordingly. It is even possible to test users remotely, being in your office, from across the globe, online.
In majority cases, users are mostly involved in situations where they deal about things related to what is broken in usability testing and ways to fix it. But it is equally useful to have a fair idea about things that are working. If you are equipped with the knowledge and data of things that work, you can always defend in cases where people come up and want to bring in haphazard changes. If certain aspects of designs that resonates with the users are already known and one is duly equipped with the supporting data to strengthen the claim, it works out to be incredibly helpful at the time of justifying the decisions related to designs.
Web analytics forms the second data source for designers. If one wants to gain knowledge on features like usage of site or app or sometime about detailed information about the users of the site/app, then Google Analytics (GA) data can be considered to be an excellent resource. Things like the type of devices users are using (e.g. laptops, tablets, smartphones etc.) to access your content, what browsers are being used and even which corner of the world they are located can be known.
There are interactive visualization tools that form the part of business analytics service to aid the designers and Power BI is such a business analytics service providing the same along with self-service business intelligence capabilities. With the help of Power BI, end users can create reports all by themselves without depending on database administrators or IT staff. Users can navigate from data to insights within minutes in an “all –in- one” view.
One more such interactive visualization tool that is focused on Business Intelligence is provided by the Tableau Software company. Tableau is equipped with mapping functionality and can plot both latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates. It aims to transform the way people use data for solving problems making data analysis easier, faster, and more useful. It is also user friendly. QlikView and QlikSense, both provided by the software company Qlik, happen to be business intelligence and visualization software.
An analyst uses both these software for data modelling process. QlikView is a BI data recovery product that is used for creating guided analytics applications and dashboards ideal for business challenges. QlikSense can be defined as self-service visualization, using which analysts can create interactive and flexible visualizations with ease to arrive to meaningful decisions.
UX community forms the third source of data. By consulting the community, existing research studies, smarter design standards or best practices can be used. It is equally important to remember that it is not a wise choice to blindly depend on the data alone. The best approach in this situation would be to blend common sense and experience with data to derive on best decisions.
None of the features be it usability studies, user feedback or website analytics are hundred percent flaw proof and at the end of the day it’s you who has to decide on the ultimate course of action to be followed. Data literacy happens to be a skill set that helps all designers to serve in a much better way. It is not fair to consider design as a subjective concept. If a designer is equipped with good data, he/she could develop excellent designs.
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