UX Design thinking Part 1

10 Apr
UX is like being a good friend UNICOM
– Nitesh Naveen, CEO, UNICOM Learning

UNICOM Learning has seen phenomenal growth since last few years and has emerged as one of the fastest growing Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) in global market, worth $25 bn as per a conservative estimate. We do lot of crazy things in a systematic way, one of which is our continuous improvement program. Here we seek advises from multiple stakeholders. We asked one of our past delegate who also happens to be CIO of a large bank, “What more can we do to do better?”

He suggested that UNICOM should provide better user experience on its website. CIOs usually answer in simple sentences, but this time it was complex for me. 🙂

“User Experience” was a new term to me and hence I could not really understand his suggestion. Later that week, I came across the work of Mr Donald Norman, a user experience architect, who coined the word user experience way back in 1995. He has written few books on the topic. As I had little intention to read the whole book then, I read its synopsis available on internet.

Then I realised that “User Experience” is not at all a technical term. It basically means how a user feels when meeting you, your company or when using your product or service.

Analogy – How a new employee feels when he joins a company? How a new bride feels when she moves into in-laws’ house post marriage? There can be many similar situations…which basically is what user experience all about.

Thus began our journey to revamp our website (; this gets 1000+ unique hits per day) to provide the best User Experience. As and when we started learning more about the subject, we were able to understand how difficult few experiences are for our customers, who visits our website. Our analytics team showed that we were not losing many customers because of this problem, but for me it was more than a business.

We would be designing a new website from this month and this is what we have suggested to our designers and developers, when explaining what is User Experience thinking? –

“User experience thinking is like being a good friend”

Won’t the new joinee or the new bride love to get a friend when they enter a new world?

In other words, our new design should not be over bearing; nor should it be neglectful. We have to basically use friendly tricks to provide the best user experience. These tricks are –

[1] Guide the users: We should not try to coach them. Unnecessary gyaan would make us look like a teacher rather than a friend. At the same time, we should not leave them hanging as well.

[2] Don’t confuse: Sometimes in our enthusiasm to win a customer, we confuse them by offering more than what is needed. It is something like when you visit an apparel store, you are handed a leaflet with details of all available clothings. I would think – “Do I like stupid where I need to be given so much information? Guess what I know what I need more than you buddy.”

Don’t make your users feel the same. Don’t frustrate them either with no information or help around when they need.

[3] Give feedback – Friends wants to know how they are doing. They like when you appreciate and love when you help. Basically they want you to be with them. In our context, a good ux design should let the user know (few examples)

3.1 that when they click a button, button’s color would change acknowledging the action tried.

3.2 that when they are downloading a brochure, they are made aware of the time left before they can see it

3.3 that when they are registering, they are aware that they are just 4 clicks away

[4] Be human – Users love when they know that they are talking to a person and not a machine. Hence a lot of focus should be given to the language, instruction sets, etc

[5] Set the users up for success – Nothing delights me when I see the following message after booking my air-ticket-

“Thanks. Your booking is successful. You have been sent a confirmation email and SMS. If you need to alter you plan, we would do it for you. Enjoy your flight and have a nice day”

After every milestone, we need to congratulate our users. They not only paid for it, but also spent their time and imagination in the experience that you provided.

We are also currently looking at the following top 5 trends in UX design for our new website.

– Skeumorphic Design Vs Flat design

– Multi Device Design

– Scalable web design

– Visual storytelling

– Typography


We shall be using India UXUI design summit to learn more about these trends.

See you at the event on May 23 at Hotel Atria

I am open for suggestions.

Nitesh Naveen
Nitesh Naveen

Twitter: @NiteshNaveen
Skype: Naveen_Nitesh


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