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The experience already exists. “What we do is make it better”. Having more quality of life with interaction design.

No person wants a beautiful product or software if they can’t use it. This is the guarantee of UX designers from Critical TechWorks, Marta Fernandez and Alexandra Rocha. In the last edition of City Café, both guests went straight to the point: “we don’t have to ask the user what he wants, but what he needs”. The focus, they assume, must be on the client. To bring comfort and the best experience. 

First, the certainty. The user experience (UX experience) is in everything we do and use. It can be in a product, a service or a system. Marta Fernandez brings an example that many should know. We are in a building and we have a bell right next to the light switch. “How many of us have made the mistake of pressing the wrong button?” she asks. “In terms of use, it’s terrible. We’re not preventing the mistake. We’re almost provoking it”. 

And what good is a landscape architect building a set of stairs when, near them, is a dirt road being used more often? You need to know what people really need and “deliver it in a structured and consistent way,” Marta says. The solution is to involve people in user design (UX Design), which optimizes experiences. About this process, there are several ideas to retain: 

  • Empathy is needed – understanding people’s needs and motivations – defining what problems need to be solved, designing the prototype – which can be used by users – and testing whether that is the best possible solution. If it is necessary to redefine it, we return to the first step. 


  • Whether with a product or service, the experience has to be the best. And it has to be useful, desirable, credible, usable and accessible. 
  • Be inclusive: “we must not leave anyone behind,” explains Alexandra. The experience has to be accessible to everyone. If we are designing a website, we must not forget, for example, about people with vision difficulties.
  • Give feedback. We must accompany the user as much as possible and, above all, create trust. The example: when an application makes an update, it is necessary to explain to people about the new features. The premise is one: never leave anyone drifting away.
  • Never show more than necessary. This is the principle of “progressive disclosure” – for Alexandra and Marta, “the goal is not to confuse the user with excess information”. Think about the moment you are making an online purchase. It is easier to see a page with each step – personal data, payment method and purchase – than having all the information in the same space.

From the first to the last moment, it is necessary to ensure that everything is adequate for the user. Even because “the experience begins when we have a need and only ends when we forget that need”, the UX designers assure.

Broadcasted live on the YouTube page of the Porto Digital’s Association, this edition of City Café had the registration of half a hundred people. At the end of the session, there was, as usual, a  moment for questions and answers shared between the participants and the guests. City Café will be back soon, with all the news to be shared in Porto Innovation Hub’s social networks.

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