What is User Experience Design

User experience design is the term that we use for designing programs and applications on computers, smart phones, tablets and more.

This process is known by several other names, including ‘user interface design,’ ‘usability’ and ‘UX’.

They all refer to the process of making an application easy and enjoyable to use, whether it is a mobile app, a web page or a computer game.

UX design today spans many areas and incorporates aspects of branding, usability, design and functionality.

We take a well-rounded approach to UX design and use it to incorporate strong functional design into our websites.

UX Design For Websites

Whether your website sells products or services, you need good UX design for a number of reasons:

  • Building Trust – As soon as a visitor lands on your website, they are making assumptions about you and how trustworthy your products or services are.
  • Creating Flow – You want users to flow effortlessly through each page of your website, and if you are selling online, you want them to flow right through to the payment section.
  • Making it Personal – You want your visitors to feel welcome, and this means making it as relatable and humanised as possible.
  • Keeping it Simple – Websites should be simple to navigate and easy to consume, don’t overcomplicate the experience as simple is always better.
  • Make it Fast – You want web pages to load instantly and you want users to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
  • Ready For Thumbs – You need a website that is mobile responsive so that visitors on other devices can experience the full effect of your website and products.
User experience design plan

The landing page, also known as the home page, is where visitors ‘land’ and then form immediate assumptions about your business and its activities.

In our opinion there are 4 things that create a bad first impression on your website:

  • Content everywhere with no clear layout or flow to the page
  • Too many words or too many pictures, both will overload the user
  • Landing pages that tell you nothing about the business, the products or services
  • Outdated layout and navigation

Once your website has made a negative impression on visitors, the chances are that they will be unlikely to go any further through your web pages and will not be thinking about coming back in a hurry.

People generally visit dozens of websites when looking for a particular product or service, so the point we are making is that you must make a good first impression with your landing page.

ux design home page

Check out this landing page from Slack, which has all the signs of great UX design: clean, simple and informative.

Refine Your Content

People expect good content that delivers on their expectations, and the truth is that less is more when it comes to content.

When it comes to writing content for a web page, Steve Krug, a UX expert, has this to say:

‘Get rid of half the words on the page, then get rid of half of what’s left.’

This is especially important on the landing page and the summary pages, and having loads of content in these areas will seriously affect the user experience.

Focus on quality over quantity, and try to abide by the 70% visual and 30% content rule.

The old saying goes that a picture tells a thousand words, and in today’s image-driven society, people would much rather see visual representations of what you do and make their own assumptions.

You can use icons and labels to cut down on the amount of text you use and make pages more consumable for visitors.

We use content refinement alongside our advanced on page SEO methods, like using semantics and headings so that you can keep your content clear while maintaining your ranking on Google.

ux design pictures

Colourful and bold – this landing page from Brew Dog is exactly what people want to see on a home page.

Web design trends are constantly changing and evolving with the times, but these essential UX design fundamentals generally stay the same, but they are updated as time goes on.

We recently talked about our favourite web design trends in our blog article here, so it is worth checking this out to an idea of how the different design components come together to make a complete UX friendly interface.

There are several design aspects that we think lend themselves naturally to the UX design process:

  • Minimalism – Simplifying the interface and removing unnecessary clutter is a great tool that can be used in UX design, however there is a fine line between being minimal and being uninteresting, so make sure you get it right.
  • Micro-Interactions – These make the webpage animated and engaging for users, and make the web journey personal for the visitors, like the winking Smarter Panther when you hover over it.
  • Mobile Responsive – Hugely important for websites in general, mobile responsiveness helps your visitors and your Google rankings, since all websites are now indexed with Google’s ‘mobile first’ protocol.

Great web design comes hand in hand with effective UX design, and they are very much co-dependent on each other.

In other words, get your UX right and your website should fall into place, as long as you keep a clear idea of what your website should be offering.

web design

Mobile User Experience

There are many ways to improve the speed, navigation and structure of your mobile website.

Below we discuss the main ways to improve user experience.

Reduce the amount of steps taken by the user

Having a fast experience is critical for your mobile users.

Adding more steps to your mobile experience makes it more likely that your user will make an error or become confused.

What’s your main website goals and what are you trying to achieve?

E-commerce sales, sign-ups, phones calls, or visits to your business address?

It’s best to start with a goal and think of how you can cut the number of steps a user must take to reach it.

Below are some ideas to improve your mobile user experience:

  • Make it easier to see click-to-call buttons
  • Link to google maps for directions
  • Feature one-click functionality to streamline mobile sales or registration

Anticipate Needs

Anticipating what your customer wants means you can cater for their needs fast.

Analysing the mobile reports in Google Analytics will provide mobile search data which can be used to shape your campaign.

Which actions are your customers doing on your mobile website?

When you find this out consider adding the following to improve your mobile performance:

  • Add calls to action (CTA) for the primary activities in a prominent spot on your homepage, with secondary actions hidden behind menus.
  • Use built-in GPS capabilities of smartphones - 61% percent of smartphone users are more likely to buy from mobile websites which customise information to their location.
website responsiveness

Even a strong mobile user experience / user interface will not be as effective if the page load time is slow.

“40% of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail website.” See this recent study about mobile user experience

Optimise your entire website for mobile

Use a responsive layout which changes based on the size and capabilities of the device being used.

In the study above, customers with a with a mix of desktop and mobile optimised pages found it even harder to use than desktop only websites.

Don’t use pinch to zoom

Website users are used to navigating and scrolling websites vertically, not horizontally.

Avoiding large, fixed-width elements can improve the user experience on mobile.

It’s advised to use CSS media queries to apply different stylings for different screen sizes.

Expand product images

It’s recommended to always make product images expandable, so it’s easy to see in detail.

Customers buying online will expect websites to allow them view high resolution close ups of products.

Recent studies have shown website visitors were frustrated when they weren’t able to see what they were buying on the website.

Frequently asked questions

We use analytics tools and various software packages to assess your website experience, in the customer’s perspective. We then propose recommendations to be improved upon.

Our team analyses pages for improvements. We look at elements such as call to action buttons, breaking up sections into separate parts and analysing how your users click.

Yes, we design our websites with easy of use in mind, alongside functionality and look / feel.

Yes, we design our websites with specific elements in mind, like optimising image alt tags, which enable visually impaired users to see what the text description of the image / content is.

No, we do not recommend using pop up display ads as the Google Guidelines state they are not best practice.

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