As an entrepreneur or an IT professional, you might have a set idea of what great website UX design means. However, keep in mind that this idea may be far from the actual experience of you non-technical consumer.
To understand how to make your online presence really successful, there is no other way but to put yourself in the shoes of a potential user. Preferably, someone who has close to zero technical knowledge and has never heard of your brand before. If your website UX design is good enough for them – it will be good enough for anyone.
In order to ensure high usability of your website, you need an exchange of information between the UX designers and end consumers. To make sure this exchange happens, at Ideamotive we like to kick-start our projects with product development sprint. But we will get to that in a moment.
First, let’s answer the question:
Why is website UX design so important?
Long gone are the times when your website was meant to simply serve as an online business card. Nowadays it is one of the primary ways for your clients to interact with your business. This means making purchases, inquiring about your services, subscribing to receive newsletters, learning about all the benefits of buying at your store… and a ton of other things.
Just as you wouldn’t want to serve customers in an untidy restaurant, you also don’t want to invite them to visit a sloppy website. Instead, you want them to find what they are looking for easily and to also have fun along the way.
This is rather obvious. But another important thing, which is often overlooked, is not to manipulate your customer into behaviors that don’t serve them. Your website UX design needs to be transparent, ethical and respectful to the user. Otherwise, you are balancing on the border of “dark UX design”, which is likely to harm both the user and your business.
The best UX designers keep in mind the benefit of end-customers and create simple and beautiful web experiences for them. It is currently a growing trend to talk about mental health in UX design – we talk more about it here.
What makes for an excellent website UX design (by a non-tech user)
Recently we spoke with a good friend of ours who is a writer. She browses tens of websites daily while looking for inspiration or making research. We asked her what aspects of user-experience design she appreciates the most.
Accurate information I enjoy reading websites that are both informative, but also very clear. Those usually contain a lot of resources, but at the same time, I can easily find what I am looking for. Content is nicely categorized and I can see who the author is. I often like to check the general idea or “mission” behind a company – so I appreciate it when there is clear info about that. A good example is the webpage ofInteraction Design Foundation.
Visual design Clear and simple design, as well as text formatting, is often a big factor in deciding whether I stay on the website longer or not. I noticed that what particularly improves readability is the use of white space. It makes all the difference when the text is nicely divided into paragraphs, and even better if the column is narrow, in the middle of the screen, surrounded by white space. I think that’s why I enjoyMedium’sarticles layout so much!
Intuitive navigation I hate it when I can’t find the page I am looking for, while I know it is there within that website! That’s why a clear, floating navigation bar is so important. Personally, I am a fan of 4-5 categories tops in the main menu bar, and then having a drop-down item list below each category. I also noticed recently that I expect certain functions of the website to be in certain places – e.g. logo in the top left corner, ‘change language’ option in the top-right one, or social media buttons floating on the left.
Honesty and respect Some websites feel like they are trying to trick you into something. There is a pop-up subscribe window appearing every now and then, or click-bait article titles, which contain zero value. On the other hand, there are websites which feel like being in a 5-star hotel – all the options are presented in front of my eyes clearly and honestly, and it is up to me whether I go for them or not.
Enhance your website UX design with product design sprint
Whether you are designing an entirely new website or remaking an existing one, you want to ensure it delivers quality experience for the user. This means the actual user experience, and not the one projected in the minds of coders or even UX designers.
The way to go about it is to test your website UX design at a very early stage of its development. And here is where the product design sprint comes into play.
Product design sprint allows for developing a prototype of your new project – in this case, a website – very fast. It doesn’t have to be anywhere close to complete in order for you to verify how it is going to play with the users.
Throughout the product design sprint process, coders and UX designers (together with the client) develop a wireframe of a website, which serves as a designless blueprint, focused primarily on substance, content and functionality. Having developed such a blueprint, you can then approach a group of test customers and ask them for feedback on the usability and general quality of UX design. These are all parts of the project design sprint process we offer at Ideamotive.
This approach not only allows us to ensure the highest possible quality of UX design but also to save you a big chunk of costs. That’s because it is much easier (and cheaper) to introduce necessary adjustments to the website UX design in the early, prototypical, stage of development.
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