Article: 5 Signs of a Great User Experience

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5 Signs of a Great User Experience
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/5_signs_of_a_great_user_experience.php

If you’ve used the mobile social network Path recently, it’s likely that you enjoyed the experience. Path has a sophisticated design, yet it’s easy to use. It sports an attractive red color scheme and the navigation is smooth as silk. It’s a social app and finding friends is easy thanks to Path’s suggestions and its connection to Facebook.

In short, Path has a great user experience. That isn’t the deciding factor on whether a tech product takes off. Ultimately it comes down to how many people use it and that’s particularly important for a social app like Path. Indeed it’s where Path may yet fail, but the point is they have given themselves a chance by creating a great user experience. In this post, we outline 5 signs that the tech product or app you’re using has a great UX – and therefore has a shot at being the Next Big Thing.

1. Elegant UI

A great user experience isn’t just about the user interface, but it helps a lot. While I’m not a regular Path user, today I opened it up and browsed for a bit. To like an item on Path, you click a little smiley icon in the top right. If you really, really like an item, you can make it a heart icon. There are three other options: a winky face, a surprised face and a sad face. So Path has cleverly created 5 different types of ‘like’ using subtle but obvious icons. This is something that Facebook hasn’t yet cracked; it only has one style of ‘like’ and many people have argued for a ‘dislike’ option, at the very least.

2. Addictive

A nice design is one thing, but you also need to see value in it. It must either solve a problem for you, or be a pleasurable distraction. Time and time again. In other words, it must be addictive. One of the current trendy services on the Web is Pinterest, an online pinboard that has become an addiction for many. In a text-heavy social Web, Pinterest has nailed the concept of a completely visual user experience. It solves a problem, because it gives you a place to store images around topics – such as the very popular wedding gowns section. It brings you back every day, if you get hooked.

(via Instapaper)

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