Whether you’re building a brand-new website for your business or looking to amp up your current website, user experience (UX) should be high on your priority list. Your website is an extension of your brand, so imagine it having a casual conversation with your prospects. Is that conversation a pleasant one?
If you want to show your audience that working with your business is the best option for them, you’ll want to make sure your website is unique, easily navigable, informative and seamless.
So, What is User Experience Anyway?
Don’t overthink it! UX is the experience your visitors have while exploring your website. According to Nielsen Norman Group, it
encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products.
The UX of your site is a working combination of web design, marketing, graphics and interface design. Plenty of factors work together to contribute to your site’s overall UX, which means there is always room to step back, analyze how your site is performing, and use that to improve your UX. Is your website easy to navigate through? Are the important buttons and bits of content prominent on the page? Can your visitors find their way to the information they need while enjoying their time? These questions all tie back to UX.
When researching what specific things your visitors are looking for, it’s important to also research what discrepancies or issues your user has when trying to get information about your products. These are called pain points. By uncovering these issues, you’ll know what to resolve with your killer, new UX on your website.
It’s important to consider the best overall organization of your website, for the benefit of your visitors. A sitemap outlines how the pages of your website are structured.
It’s important to take steps in your design process to help anticipate issues with UX flow of a proposed interface design. A wireframe is a simplistic representation of a user interface with elements of your design laid out to get an overall sense of what the final design will look like!
When designing, a mockup is used to get a feel for the experience of your site and make fixes before the development process and before pushing it live.
Understanding the behavior of your visitors isn’t just for marketing and content purposes. The user journey is defined as the path your users take within your website.
Not only is it important to create a great experience for your user, it’s just as important to adapt your website for their ideal environment. You’ll need to ensure your website is responsive, meaning the pages can adapt to mobile phones, desktops, tablets, etc. without cutting off content, weird areas of white space or other glitches.
Planning - The first step in any process is planning, and UX is no exception. Laying out the details before adjusting or creating your website will help you reach the right goals. Research the habits and desires of your users, get into their mindset and discover how they’d like to see things when it comes to your product or service. What do they want? Where are they coming from? Why are they coming to you specifically? Create target personas that personify the expectations of your visitors and keep those top of mind when creating and executing your design.
Wireframing - Next, it’s time to plan out the interface with a wireframe, usually created as a simple black and white image composed of simple boxes to depict the layout of a page.
This step is important in seeing toward the final outcome as you strategize. We recommend these wireframing tools.
The design process should take the information found through planning and wireframing to start the process toward giving your website life! While mostly a creative task, this part of the process should build a site that gives your users what they need without complicating the process.
Once your website is designed and details are finalized, your job doesn’t stop there! Just as your business is constantly growing and changing, so are your target personas. Your UX should grow and adapt with your audience in order to continue to provide value to them. Analyze the behavior of your website visitors, gather feedback and reviews, and make necessary tweaks to continue enhancing the usability of your site.
So how can you maximize your UX? These effective tips can help maximize your UX:
- High-quality Imagery - Using stock images can save time and money for your team in the long-run, but because they are available to anyone, their use isn't regulated. Avoid similarity with your competition by using unique, high-quality images on your site.
- Homepage Optimization - Like the first page of a book or the cover of a magazine, your homepage is on the front lines of UX.
- Attractive CTAs - With creative and unique calls to action, your client won’t get lost and will always know where to go for more information or contact.
- Simplicity - Keep it high-level and link to additional pages for more information. This way, your viewers will have the option to dive further into your content if they’d like to, but they don’t have to sift through it to get basic information. By maintaining simplicity throughout your website, you’ll keep your clients from becoming overwhelmed with content and they’ll be able to navigate with ease.
- Load Time - Keep your visitors from giving up and running away by keeping your website load time as low as possible to limit frustration.
- White Space - Give your awesome content (and your users) a little room to breathe with surrounding white space. This doesn't actually have to be white, just blank space on your website.
- Animation and Video - Vision is the most dominant of our senses, according to John Medina, a molecular biologist. And visual content is digested much faster by your audience. This makes for a great addition to your website and doesn’t take up large amounts of space.
All Together Now…
With key terms, a solid process and ways to step up your game, your UX is ready to wow your users. At Designzillas, we know there’s more to it than attracting leads. Exceptional UX is the perfect way to take your website to the next level, like we did for E-Z Rent-A-Car (see above). Our designers and developers merged together to produce a clean, easy-to-navigate website that showcased their value, features and added conveniences.
You now have the basic knowledge and the tools necessary to amp up your website’s UX! To learn more tips and tricks for creating a strong digital presence for your brand, schedule a consultation to see what we can do for you and for your customers through a user-friendly website.
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.