In this era in which we find ourselves, where users increasingly use their mobile phones, not only to interact with their friends and watch videos, we are at a time when online shopping and tools, such as ours, are proliferating to book, buy even exercise through the mobile. Therefore, we believe in the importance of usability and web design.
For you to know this reality better, today we have a coffee with Ricardo Gil, UX Designer, who, with extensive experience in this field, has been collaborating with us for a few months helping us to improve the user experience of both the software and our applications.
Do you want to know more about this world?
– Good morning Ricardo, first of all, tell to us, who is Ricardo Gil? How did you start in this designed world?
I was born in Pamplona the same year that The Return of the Jedi was released (1983) and I am a training programmer. But there, in 2007, the accessibility of the Public Administration websites had to be improved and at the consultancy where I worked, I was the only one with knowledge of front. I was encouraged to do a master in Accessibility and Web Usability and until today.
– UX, a figure for many unknown, Ricardo, what is it, what does a UX do, User Experience, exactly?
To solve problems, hahaha UX has several steps. Understand the problem, investigate, devise, prototype, test … In other words, we use design as a methodology to solve problems creatively and oriented to the needs of users.
Unfortunately, it is common for companies to look for solutions. And they really don’t know what the problem they want to fix is, or if the solution (or idea) they want to execute is the right one to solve the problem.
To achieve this we involve everyone, the stakeholders (managers, customer service, logistics, … and anyone who is related to the problem) and also the customers. We try to understand the problem for all parties and investigate what users do and how they do it.
Ideation sessions are held, some ideas are prototyped, tested and if they do not work, go back.
It is a process in which anyone from the company must participate. It is necessary to discover that our product is used by people and to discover those people, how they use it, what they think, what frustrates them… And that is only achieved by getting involved in the UX process.
– Should all companies have the figure of UX -both on a template, or subcontracted-?
Definitely. It is increasingly common but it is still difficult to understand the figure of the UX and how and how far it should be integrated into the company. Fortunately, the culture of startups and the search for innovation in large companies is creating this need.
UX is not something new. Amazon and Google have been putting it into practice for almost 25 years. Yes, they are two big companies, but 5-person startups that are creating the products of the future right now, have a UX on the team.
– What is the main value that UX contributes to a company?
Find out what is really happening in the real world with our product.
We can do surveys, look at analytics, intuit, believe … But we don’t know what happens to our product. How people use it. Where they use it. And above all, why they use it.
– And about Ricardo in particular?
hahaha that’s good. Always I thought that having an step in development world give me different and good perspective. But the experience is starting to be important to. I have been working in small national projects and in international projects for companies as Harley Davidson HQ, and that finally give you very important experience.
– Which are the most important abilities that a good UX designer needs?
Mainly, empathy and patience. You have to be able to listen without judging and know how to put yourself in people’s “shoes”. And I do not mean users, also interested parties. Many times, you have to know what a manager means when he says “we need to do this like this.” You have to ask the right questions to discover what is behind it.
– How would you convince a company of the need to do usability tests?
Rather than doing usability tests, I would try to convince them to integrate the UX within the company. It is as simple as if you do not know what is happening, it is very easy for a new company to discover it and launch a better product.
– In many cases field studies are carried out, dealing with real people, with users, what are the necessary skills that a UX must have in these cases?
Empathy and patience.
– What is the future of UX?
Right now, as has always happened in our sector, many voices no longer speak of UX, but rather of Product Design, and some are already with Strategic Design (trying to design the future) … but since I always started this It has been the same thing: understanding what is happening.