Georgina Harty

The web designer’s quick guide to User Experience (UX)

In response to user requirements and as digital technologies advance, websites and apps have become more complex in recent years with the introduction of powerful functionality. With the increasing popularity of tablets and mobiles, what used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into an increasingly competitive, and very engaging and interactive experience.

With this in mind, the success of a website still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. Is it easy to use? Is the experience enjoyable? Could the user easily find what they were looking for? User Experience design is all about striving to make the user answer “yes” to the above.

We all know that a positive online experience encourages engagement, repeat visits, recommendations, and ultimately happy customers!

Pete and I put down our stylus’ to give you five top tips on getting the balance between sleek design and good UX.

1.     Plan

Get to know and understand what the client’s audience need and want. In an ideal world a UX Designer would do extensive research with existing and potential users of the system, based on a range of user personas to gain insight into what would be the most effective design.

2.     Collaborate

Based on your research, take the time to create detailed wireframes highlighting any areas of concern. This often works well when the end user, developer and designer collaborate to feedback their views so that you achieve a balanced view from all parties involved.

3.     Take them on a journey

Every website needs to tell a story and take the user on a journey. Each user will have a task or goal they are trying to reach on a website, whether it is purchasing a product, downloading a guide, watching a video or completing a contact form.  This is often referred to as user journey mapping, and the design needs to engage the user at each stage of the journey.

4.     Test

Test, test, and test again. Testing the website with a broad audience helps you get a balanced response from a range of user personas.

5.     Measure

Once the website or app goes live, make sure you are measuring analytics to find where users are dropping out of the goal funnel and how well they are engaging with the site.  Listen carefully to feedback and make adjustments where necessary.

Finally, make sure you keep ahead of the game with advances in technologies for future projects, and strive to be the best organisers of information and user journey planners!

If you have a digital project you’d like to discuss or you’d just like to pick our brains on UX we’d love to hear from you!

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