User experience (UX) is often traded off for striking design or fancy transitions by web designers. This can lead to consumer frustration, high bounce rate, and poor conversion rates. UX should be at the heart and soul of all design.
What is User Experience
User Experience, more commonly referred to as UX is made up of all the factors which contribute to how a person feels when using a product or more specifically, in this case, a website. These factors include usability, findability, design and aesthetic, utility, ergonomics, human intention, and marketing – read branding.
Successful UX will take into account the user journey from the beginning to conversion and beyond. The outcome should be meaningful and relevant to the prospective users. UX designers will consider these 3 points, why what and how.
The Why, The What and The How
Why is the user using this product/website? This looks at the motivation behind the user using the product or website. What are the outcomes they wish to achieve from using the website? This is a good starting point for any UX designer. The What looks at the goals are for the user. What can they do with/on the product or website? What is the functionality and what are the features users need?
The How looks at the aesthetic and accessibility of the design. This is more of a design component, taking into account the design of the functionality. Each component should work together seamlessly and provide a fluid experience to users.
User-Experience Design is User-centric
Designing for people means being inclusive for human physical limitations, for example, the use of small text makes it more difficult for those with visual limitations. Building for specific ‘target audiences’ means conducting research into your audience in order to build User personas which will be used to guide the design and testing.
The above diagram is a simple outline of a very in-depth process used to generate user-centric design through products and websites.
The Preplanning phase is where a team will look at the data gathered from research conducted with the client and the targeted audience, user stories and flows will be analysed.
This includes sketching, wireframing and prototyping. This is where the raw elements of the final design are planned to ensure that the goals of the website or product are taken into account before the visual design.
Creating the style guides and generating mock-ups based off of the wireframes finalised in the exploration phase. This is where the visual aspects come into play.
In-house testing to ensure all elements have been included, designs are finalised, micro-details are tweaked.
KPI testing and A/B testing are performed with the targeted users. From here it is important to move back to step one with any changes and ensure to follow through each step.
UX should be the center of all good design. It should drive all processes to ensure the products/websites are user-centric and achieve the desired business goals.
If you’re looking for user-centric website design or would like to hear more about what we offer, get in contact with us on 087 151 4637 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.