How did Apple miss this?

By Luke Farrugia in Web Design with 0 Comments

Tags: , ,

iPhone app updates1

Have you ever unlocked your iPhone, and opened an app only to be welcomed by a notice that you need to update to the new version? 

Me too.

If you are like me, you probably want the new version, but right now what you really want is to use that app. So, what do you do?

You tap the "Later" button and promptly forget the upgrade request.

THIS IS A USER EXPERIENCE (UX) FLAW.

What you have just started is a loop. The exact same interchange is going to take place every time you access that app until it either stops working and you are forced to update, or you get sick of it and finally decide to forfeit the time to update the app before using it.

The simple solution would be to add a third option. I call it "Update on Lock", that way you get to use the app for whatever your immediate need is, then when you are finished and you lock the phone, after a 2 minute cooling off (to make sure you are really finished) it will then automatically update your app, and POW! next time you look at your phone you have the shiny new update. This minimizes user annoyances and keeps the phone more up-to-date. 

It's simple when you think about it, isn't it?

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME?

Good question, but believe it or not, this principle is essential for any good website or app.

When someone comes to your website they come for a purpose. Their perception of your site and thus your company will be largely influenced by how easy it is to accomplish their purpose. If you put up road blocks in front of your users, it is a lot like asking them to go elsewhere. The thing is, many business owners are doing this in dozens of different ways without even realizing it.

If you are looking for what UX design is in a nutshell; it is where business needs and user needs meet each other, and the friction between the two is removed.

Can i have an example?

First, the easy bit: A user wants to buy a salad bowl from your online store. You, as the business owner, wants to sell a salad bowl from your online store.

Now for the difficult part: Make sure there is no friction in the process, it is up to you to make sure the User Experience is a good one. Your goal is to make sure the customer has a clear run from your home page to the salad bowl section and straight out of your checkout with as few hold ups as possible. 

  • Is your navigation clear and easy?
  • Is the iconography consistent across the site, and consistent with the expectations of your target market?
  • Are you providing enough information for the customers to make an informed choice?
  • Is your copy well written?
  • Does button placement naturally lead the user to purchase the product?
  • When they are checking out, do you ask for so many details that they get frustrated? 

You can ask all these questions and many more to get a pretty good idea, but you still can't know the answers to all those questions without Usability Testing with real people. It is a three step process:

  • Gather Data (User testing+Research)
  • Interpret the data
  • Implement the recommendations

Then if possible you go through the whole process again to see if there are any new problems etc.

This is why many organizations with websites that are already working quite well engage web agencies for Usability Testing so they can make sure they aren't missing out on sales they would have otherwise been able to secure.

Is it for me?

Only you can answer that question, but I don't believe there is such a thing as a perfect site. There is always something to improve, and the best way to improve is to test and refine.

If you have any questions or would like to share any of those niggles that really irritate you about a website, feel free to tell us about it in the comments below.

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