About Last Thursday – Breaking Down What UX Means

October 8, 2018

Of late I’ve been having fun attending IT events. I just want to keep myself updated in this field I claim to belong to. Last Thursday I went to Safaricom Alpha for an event on ‘Breaking down what UX means’. The speaker was Ich Gichuki, a UX designer from a startup called Utu. Very passionate guy. I learned quite a lot on UX from him. I am so glad I dragged my ass out of the house.

One of my side hustles is web design and I didn’t realize how important user experience was to my users until now.  Let me define UX for the sake of those who might not know. User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users.

One of my strongest takeaways was that UX is actually measurable in metrics, UX metrics. UX metrics represent a product’s experience that is hard to quantify. However, some useful frameworks like the Heart Framework can help out in this. Metrics help you make better decisions. What’s important here is to know what to look for. For example, in the case of a product like Youtube, ‘Engagement’ is important. Using the heart framework a three-step process would be:

Goal →Signal→ Metrics

The most interesting thing I picked up about the UX was the UX Ladder. The UX ladder is a simple benchmark for measuring the quality of user experience and provides you the goals to aspire to for moving forward.

From the above diagram, ‘functional’ is the lowest level of UX, while ‘meaningful’ is the highest level. Product Designers should aim for the latter.

We were engaged in a small exercise to vote on where Safaricom’s Mpesa lies on the UX ladder. Here are the results;

Last but not least, it was interesting to learn that UX problems lead to UX Debt. UX debt can be both intentional and unintentional. This is going to be helpful to me. I have already started evaluating my past projects for UX debt

Out of ten, I would give the event an 8. I had fun and learned new things. Thank you Safaricom Alpha for putting this together. Looking forward to the next one!



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