Garret joined AGDATA in October of 2017 as Senior UX Designer. He has over 10 years of design experience, ranging from print design, to digital, and web, which ultimately led him into User Experience– which has been his focus for the past 6 years.
We sat down with Garret to learn more about his role as a UX designer at AGDATA.
Q: Why is UX important?
A: Today’s marketplace is saturated. There are startups everywhere, all trying to solve similar problems. As a seller of goods or services, you have to set yourself apart somehow. That’s where UX came in… about 10 years ago. The truth is, with the market saturation, good UX is table stakes. If you aren’t consistently pleasing your customers with quality service and appealing aesthetics, they’re going to leave for your competitors.
Q: What global trends do you see in UX right now?
A: I think simplicity will be a major theme for the foreseeable future. Once-analog devices like refrigerators and lightbulbs are now programmable, which adds significant complexity to what was previously simple operation. As these products become more complex, it will be critically important to maintain simplicity and ease-of-use.
Q: What metrics do you look at to determine if UX is good?
A: I’m most interested in qualitative feedback over quantitative. What do users say when they’re using the site? What do they complain about? Is there a problem I missed or are users unhappy? Satisfaction is far more important than counting metrics.
Q: What’s a day in the life like of a UX designer at AGDATA?
A: Some days I’m sketching wireframes and flow charts on a whiteboard, other days I’m designing mockups. While it’s not the most common thing I do, one critical function I have is talking to customers. Showing designs to actual users and getting real, honest feedback is really important. That feedback frequently changes the whole design. Even if our internal team thinks a design is great, if the users don’t like it, we don’t roll with it.
Q: How is UX being leveraged at AGDATA?
A: Improving usability and improving aesthetics. We are focusing on creating new tools that are easier and more forgiving to use. While visuals may seem like an insignificant factor, they’re really quite important. Even if a site is well organized, the visuals can ruin the experience: small text, unsightly navigation menus and sub-par visuals can cause eye strain and add mental stress. By improving the aesthetics, we can reduce those pain points and make our tools more pleasurable for our users– which matters, since many users are logged in for hours a day.