UX professionals love this time of year and have collaborated to create UXmas. Check it out and enjoy the 24 tips on the countdown to Christmas Day.

To further spread the UXmas cheer, here are 5 of Askable’s top tips for improved user experience and user testing – it’s our very own Askable UXmas!

Your team here at Askable have revealed the most valuable tips and tricks to help you achieve your UX goals in the new year.

The 5 must-knows to help you achieve best-practice design.

1. Less is more (John’s pick)

Picture this. You’ve spent your precious time learning all these new ways to show off your UX design skills. You implement them but there’s no user engagement. What’s the problem?

Now picture this. You’re a user coming to a site to purchase a small item. You just want the process to be clear and simple. You open a website that appears to have exactly what you’re after. Sadly, the design has you completely confused on the price, product description and details. So you leave.

As a UX designer, you need to ensure your site communicates, rather than simply looks good. If it is not easy to navigate, you will lose business. Take the time to understand a user’s perspective and what genuinely helps them on their path.

2. Constantly improve (Viv’s pick)

Designers like you, go through an extensive process to create a flawless, user-centric design. There’s lots of research, design time, testing and so on. For some designers, it ends there. They believe no more work needs to be done.

For an amazing user experience, the design should be an ongoing process of feedback, validation and improvement. Implement a constant feedback loop to make consistent improvements and keep up-to-date with how your users interact and engage with your product.

One of the best ways to gather feedback is through one-on-one user testing. This gives you the opportunity to read user’s body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, relative to your product or site. Regular user tests will give you a touch point to help keep your product or site achieving your business goals.

3. Keeping up with trends (Dre’s pick)

Like any industry, UX has trends continually emerging. You can never stop learning and adapting to changing environments. With design being one of the main influencers to a site’s success, it makes sense for designers to grow and trial new techniques. Keeping up with UX trends, means your design can stay attractive to your market, while you keep ahead of the game and continue learning.

Some of the resources we use to keep up-to-date include UX blogs and forums, like UXmatters and UX Movement. We also read blogs such as Feedly, that allow you to follow multiple publishers displayed on one feed. Even better, is interacting and learning from other UX professionals. You can do this at local events, online webinars or simply send them a message.

4. Rapport, relationships and participants (Tony’s pick)

When you’re hosting your own user tests, there are many things to consider. We’ve found one of the most important to be developing rapport and relationships with your participants. By forming a harmonious relationship with your participant they’ll be more likely to be honest, open and comfortable in your presence.

There are many ways to achieve this without extensive effort. Simple things such as; making the user’s surroundings as pleasant and neutral as possible. This ensures the environment in the test will not influence their responses. Use open and inviting body language throughout the test to make it easy for your participants to feel they can speak honestly with you. A common technique to ensure honesty is to remind your participant occasionally, that there is no right or wrong answer during the test. The more sincere your relationships, the better the test will go.

5. There’s no UX in team (Sarah’s pick)

A valuable tip that is sometimes forgotten, is that teamwork is at the centre of every task. Teamwork is an integral part to any successful business, and just like a business, a UX team has many separate parts.

Our recommendation for a more streamlined process for you and your team is to think, breathe and execute user experience. For

As a UX designer, your job is 100% design. You think, breathe and execute UX. But the rest of your team will have other responsibilities. For the best outcome, it’s worth all team members to constantly consider the user when working on their parts of the project.

For example, a Developer who has been assigned a restrictive design template, can take initiative and develop a more user-friendly and mobile responsive design. They do this because they know it’s in the best interest of the user and the business objectives of the site. This user-focused attitude will create a more enjoyable and tailored experience and better results for the business.

From all the team here at Askable we hope you have a Merry UXmas and a prosperous New Year!