Recognizing User Experience with Hany Rizk


This story is provided by  MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab Region

Almost anyone can create an app today, but the success lies in keeping the users interested and hooked.

Hany Rizk, member of the organizing committee for Euro IA, one of the world’s first and biggest User Experience (UX) conferences, gave a talk on UX’s role with product management organized by Coworking+961, Beirut, on August 13. Around 60 entrepreneurs gathered around Rizk to learn that without a successful user experience, an app, service or product holds little to no value.

According to Rizk, good UX means a system that is easy to use, visually appealing and delightful. However, as he pointed out, a good design does not necessarily mean that the user will enjoy that product or service. This is why receiving feedback is key, and the lasting impression of the user should be well researched.

It is easier to do UX design for small apps, because the experience is mainly limited to inside the app itself. However, when it comes to a platform such as Facebook or Google, the service being provided extends beyond the screen, and instead requires dedication. This is why it is vital to create a brand around the app, service or product.

“You see people putting Apple stickers on their cars, while neither the stickers nor the cars have anything to do with the services Apple itself provides,” Rizk elaborated.

He added that one “can’t be limited to what they see, it's not just an app but rather an end-to-end service”.

Rizk shared statistics with the crowd:

· 68% of users leave a website from bad UX

· 44% of online shoppers will tell a friend about a bad experience online

· 62% of customers base future purchases on past experiences

For each $1 that is invested in UX, the developer is able to at least double on return. For example, Rizk pointed out that Amazon improved their UX with a one-click checkout, cancelling out the repetitive complete checkout process for each item, and increased its revenue by $300 million a year.

Rizk guided his crowd through the building blocks of UX and began with Information Architecture. He stressed that organizing the information and navigation was a necessary way to start. Interaction Design, laying out how a service behaves, would follow this, followed by a look at Visuals. Finally, Usability and User Research would have to be accomplished.

“If you conduct a user and usability test with five participants only, you could discover 85 percent of your issues,” said Rizk.

From his experience, Rizk finds that releasing out an app on time is extremely important.

“If you don’t release it tomorrow, someone else will,” he said, stressing that timing could be an issue and a key decider for successful apps.

According to Rizk, product vision and strategy is key. Here are some questions to consider when preparing a Minimal Viable Product (MVP):

· What is a meaningful set of features for your users?

· Do they align with your product strategy?

· Would you learn anything valuable from what you put in front of your users?

In general, products only become more complex which is why the product owner should keep the app as simple as possible, especially when designing for the mass market that consists of varied demographics.

Rizk finds that when evaluating an MVP as UX-certified, the following should be met:

· Utility

· Simplicity

· Functionality

· Consistency

· Usability

· Delight

“Don’t respond to the device, rather anticipate the needs of those who will use it,” concluded Rizk, as he emphasized that the need of the user should be priority when dealing with UX.

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