Your online life just keeps getting easier…and you probably didn’t even notice*!
*and that’s the point!
What with it being 2021, we’re all exposed to A LOT of software on a day-to-day basis. You might not call it ‘software’ (sounds a bit old-fashioned – you might call it a website or an app) but, nonetheless, you/we interact with it seemingly at every turn.
It stands to reason, therefore, that the brains behind the websites and applications you use have been heavily preoccupied with making these interactions as frictionless as possible. And if they/we (present company included) have been doing a good job, you won’t really have noticed – the aim is that you don’t!
Pay attention to the following things, that you hopefully haven’t needed to pay attention to! Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to take a look at the user experience (UX) tweaks that have infiltrated your world, meaning you have to think less and do less, when going about your day, be it for work or play….
The ‘save’ button – remember that?
A long-time stalwart of the software world, the save button had seemingly taken up permanent residence in all manner of applications. Why wouldn’t it? You need to save your work, right?
Exactly, that’s a given, so why not dispense with the need to click file\save altogether? Have you noticed it’s not a feature anymore in tools like Google Docs or Gmail? Who knows when it died, but it has slipped quietly away and we don’t miss it. Needless to say, automatic saving goes hand-in-hand with robust revision history and multiple levels of undo!
Tone of voice
You might think ‘tone of voice’ doesn’t sound very technical or ‘softwarey’, but it’s one of the most powerful tools at a UX team’s disposal. One of the very best ways to make software simple to use, is to choose the right words for buttons, error messages, menus and any instructional text, so the user doesn’t have to think too hard. There’s no prescriptive recipe for getting text right, other than balancing the needs of the user, with the needs of the enterprise. This insightful article summarises things nicely. The principal shift that has taken place here is that organisations are now much more comfortable with using non-technical language in a technical setting. They were only ever using technical terminology because it hadn’t occurred to them not to!
Maybe reading this has made you notice what you appreciate about a good user experience? Let us know…whether good or bad! We’ll be back with some more example in a flash.