1. User's perspective should guide everything
This is the first and the most important principle of UX design, and it requires a careful understanding of your user, Is your application meant for housewife in her 40's looking to improve her health at home? Is your digital product meant for a novice stock enthusiast or a mature investor? Look at the possibilities of both the questions, if you start documenting a picture of who is the application for, a lot of deep insights get revealed which ultimately help in the "design" of a good "EXPERIENCE" while your customer is using the app, unique to the likes, preferences and tastes of the particular user/user group. This act of putting the user as your radar and the true judge of your product, is called User Experience Design.
Let's take the first case, the housewife. Here are some questions that emerge form the very first moments of creating a user profile.
1. How much time can the user devote to use the app?
This question means, we actually chart out a housewife's day and night schedule, in detail; to see her life journey and fit the modules meant for wellness in a way that they do not overwhelm the user, they are easy to consume, and even more easy to follow through. Because, a housewife is always squeezing time from house-hold chores and providing care work to her kids and dependents. It is really important that we study the pattern of her life and design the product experience that fits in her journey, not the other way around.
2. Where is the user living? the geography, the language, the socio-economic environment.
Is your housewife living in a city? a village, a small town? a big metropolis? Where is she? Environments dictate proximity to facilities. It is extremely crucial to think even in terms of - whether she lives in a flat or an independent house! Because, a flat will change the very style and design of the excercise routines compared to a house with a bit of an open yard. Shouldn't you think about personalizing the services according to the reality of the customer? Can she understand english well, or a native language app will make her more happy? Things like these break or make the adoptability of your digital product.
2. Findability must be taken very seriously
When you open a website, and you find yourself putting an effort to find information, you are not alone! It is a crime still prevalent even in the 21st Century, and it deserves punishment in today's digital world. It's a very serious error if your consumer needs to wonder where should they go, what button should be pressed, and where. Simplicity and ease of use must be of a paramount importance when we design user interfaces. Nobody visits a site because it is beautiful, they want to find a piece of useful information, and if they find it difficult to navigate across topics, spaces and content spread in your digital product, it's a guarantee that they won't go away without questioning the common sense of the brand (yes! it would not be seen as the flaw by the website design team, but the brand itself).
3. Scalability is not an after thought
Many digital product teams lack the foresight to imagine the volume of users that could grow and eventually cause slow load times when the app becomes immensely successful. The way application architecture works is not an after thought, it should be a part of the product strategy at the time of conception. We are talking about how the application works at the back end, the way data is retrieved and stored, and processed by the servers. A stateless architecture is more friendly than a stateful one, and it helps to scale the apps without disruption. On the front end, technologies like Flutter and ReactNative framework help to produce apps that are way faster than hybrid applications (like the ones made with Cordova). In terms of application design, Microservices architecture can help to design your applications akin to a collection of micro apps which act as a whole unit, so; if one of the components in your app faces an event of disruption, it does not lead to the collapse of the whole app. In fact, microservices as a strategy helps to scale individual components of the app as and when required without hassle.
"Clunky apps, slow load times are things of an era that is equivalent to Dinosaurs on earth." - Brandgraphy
There is a lot of noise around building good digital experiences, but few have managed to make it a reality, make sure your digital effort leverages the principles of user experience and delivers applications which let a user navigate effortlessly. And, always prepare for an eventuality of adding thousands of more people to your product. Best of luck for the journey ahead!