What is UX Debt? Like technical debt, UX debt piles up over time. Each design decision that you make can affect the user experience. Do you create a great user experience or ship your product? If you’re on a tight deadline, shipping wins.
What are the types of UX Debt?
There are two types of UX Debt — Intentional and Unintentional. Intentional debt occurs when you don’t have time or the resources to build your product right. Unintentional debt occurs over time. Design decisions that worked yesterday may not work today. Your users have changed and your UI hasn’t.
How do you manage it?
User Experience debt becomes a problem when you ignore it. Like technical debt, you need to manage how you handle it.
1. Determine where UX debt exists.
You need to figure out what issues you need to fix. Common places to look for problems are:
- User Interface. Your buttons, links and visual styles may be hard to understand.
- Content or copy. Check your written text, labels and headlines. They may be using confusing or hard to understand language.
- Interaction Design. Is it easy to move from one page to the next?
- Consistency. Does your UI look the same? Your elements should look and behave the same way.
How do you identify it?
- Ask your users.
- Use and analyze your analytics.
- Perform regular user testing.
2. Focus on fixing debt
Not all issues are the same. Some need to be fixed right way. Others can wait until you have time. Rank the issues so you know which ones need to be handled first.
3. Build time into your schedule
Plan to tackle the UX issues that you have identified. If you don’t add them to your development schedule, you’ll forget to address them.