UX web design – what’s it all about?
If you’re a business owner, marketing manager, tech-addict, or even if you’ve just been on the internet in the last six months, you’re likely to have stumbled upon the term ‘UX design.’ UX stands for user experience and in web design it’s the process of creating sites that are useful, enjoyable, easy-to-use and pleasing to interact with. And there’s a reason that UX is the hot topic on every tech-lover’s lips.
5 useful tools – how to utilise UX
It’s pretty widely accepted that happy customers lead to business success. But how do you make your online customers happy in the first place? Well, you must provide an extremely enjoyable, fantastically fruitful, fun, useful website experience of course! But how? These 5 UX web design tips should help you hit the right spot.
1. Implement UX early and often.
Wherever possible, consider user experience from the very beginning. When UX is implemented in the early stages of web design project, it will force you to consider your user first and foremost. By thinking of the end-user and their motivations, needs and wants right from the word go, you’ll save yourself both time and money in the long run.
UX designers will tell you that it’s a process that’s best implemented early and often. That’s right – it’s an ongoing practice that should be revisited, rejigged and refined, at every available opportunity.
2. Put yourself in your users’ shoes.
Designing for UX is all about a human-centric approach. To have empathy for your users is a powerful tactic – and don’t just assume, actually investigate. Observe your users and put yourself in their situation. Ask yourself, “What do I (they) really want? What do I (they) really need? What motivates me (them) to act?” Only when you know the answers to these questions can you truly empathise, and thus design with your users, and their interests, in mind.
3. Think like a lazy person.
This one’s easy. Make your users’ lives as easy as possible by minimising tasks as much as you can. Your website and its functions should be effortless. Digesting text is difficult. Improve readability by using as few words as possible; use lists or bullet points where you can and include lots of lovely, easy images. At no point should your website feel like a hassle. If a user even thinks your site feels like hard work – bam – they’re gone.
What’s even worse is that they’ll head straight on over to one of your competitors; 79% of people who don’t like a site will go back and search for another). And you can bet your bottom dollar that these guys will be ready and waiting, with open arms, fewer tasks and a much simpler, more satisfying user experience.
4. WATCH users interact with your site.
If UX is about making your website simple and easy-to-use, it helps to physically watch someone using it. You are not your user, so by watching real people interact with your site you’ll gain a better idea of the customer journey, and any design issues that you might have missed. Resolving these issues will optimise your website’s design, providing a, easier, more enjoyable journey for users.
5. Great user experience should be invisible.
A positive user experience should be so smooth, seamless and simple; the user shouldn’t even notice the hard work that’s gone into the job. Jared Spool, from User Interface Engineering has a great metaphor for this idea, he says:
“Think of it like a room’s air conditioning. We only notice it when it’s too hot, too cold, making too much noise, or the unit is dripping on us. Yet, if the air con is perfect, nobody says anything and we focus, instead, on the task at hand.”
Users only pay attention to things that annoy them, or make work. Great UX design shouldn’t be seen or noticed, it should simply be experienced.
User experience design might be the talk of the town today, but it’s certainly not a new concept. Interestingly, all of these points apply to more than just web design – the general framework fits any product or service. The principles of UX dictate that ‘improved usability sells’ – take a product, make it better and it’ll perform better. It’s as simple as that.
If these tips have inspired you to embrace UX, you can download K2L’s Guide to UX Design. It’s full of tips, tricks and tactics that’ll train you up to be a master marketer, whatever your product or service. Maybe you have your own? Let us know on social, @K2LMarketing or www.facebook.com/K2LMarketing