[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”5″]D[/su_dropcap]o you know what’s the difference between the biggest and the most profitable companies in the world and the ones that belong to the same domain and yet are not as successful, in spite of their best efforts? The answer lies in two words, or a single phrase, whichever way you want to put it – User Experience.
Here is the thing, bad UX can cause anxiety, confusion and even injury, depending on the application. The bottom line is that bad UX sucks! It clogs the system, causes accidents, wastes energy and makes people (you and me) unhappy.
Great user experience design can create efficiencies, keep you warm and focused, safe and get us to where we are headed faster. Bad UX can actually kill-we are talking about signage, public spaces, civic and emergency communications and other forms of urban design that influence our daily routines and in some cases are there to guide us to discovery.
The companies that are literally and figuratively, “owning their niche” are focused on creating products that deliver a world-class user experience to their customers. The success of companies like Amazon, Google and Apple is fuelled by user experience design, something that their competitors’ must emulate if they want to have any chance of competing against them.
Designers aren’t there just to make digital products beautiful, but to make people feel good when they use them— especially when things go wrong.
As a business, if you want make a mark in your niche, and even think about competing, you cannot and must not ignore user experience. But the importance of user experience (UX in short) is not limited to product design alone. You must incorporate it in everything that your company does – from development down to adapting your entire company structure so as to make sure that every customer touch point delivers the best user experience possible. Needless to say, this also includes your website.
Holding ourselves to a higher standard of UX design results in a better product design.
Your website is one of the most important branding weapons you’ve got in your armory. It’s got unlimited potential and you’ll see that quite a number of brands have a branding strategy that revolves around their website alone. It is the pivot of their marketing and sales efforts.
Unfortunately, there are a number of brands, both big and small, that seem to get the UX of their website terribly wrong. Rather than attracting their target audience, the kind of UX that they put in front of them repels visitors.
Design is a game of confidence.
Design isn’t about pushing pixels. It’s about advocacy. As designers, we can make it clear that it’s not about the user understanding technology, but about the technology (and those who create it) understanding them. As soon as we allow our users to blame themselves for our failings, we lose the opportunity to make something truly brilliant.
We are there to offer confidence to both our clients and our users— we’re in the service industry, whether we like it or not. We have to explain to our users that we are going to create something to fit their needs and solve their problems and that if we don’t, they’re not at fault. All they have in front of them is an interface, the manifestation of our work, and if that doesn’t give them what they need, then we have failed.
There are 4 elements of a Good UX Design, the one that will ensure that your website or application maintains the appeal of your users and keep them engaged. So a good UX has;
- The understanding of your Users
- A User Flow
- Aesthetic Appeal
- Gone through thorough testing
Understanding your users
You can’t create a design that’s tailored to your users if have no idea who they are. If you’re sitting down to work on your site’s design and are clueless in this area, it’s time to take a step back and conduct some research. Yes, that means good old fashioned market research to gain an understanding of the demographics you’re dealing with.
Often referred to as user flow mapping, you can think of this as a heat map on a website. What areas are “hot” or get the most activity? What side of the page are user’s eyes drawn to? What elements capture the most attention?
Any good user experience is rooted in solid design concepts. Yes, this means it needs to look good and be generally appealing to your target audience. You should stick with a design that makes sense for your industry, too, but you’re allowed some freedom in terms of color palette and layout, so long as it’s done well. That’s the key to any design, actually: you can do anything so long as you execute it well.
Once you think you’ve pinned down a design that exemplifies your brand and offers a good user experience, you’re all ready to publish, right? Hold up! Wait! Actually, you need to test your site, its design, and your UI before you even think about going live.
But UX is beyond Just design but emphasis too on the content. Bad content may compromise a good design. To ensure that your content supports your great design, pay attention to;
- Readability through clarity
- Excellent information architecture
- Keeping Users in the spotlight
- Conversion Optimization
Readability through clarity
Making the content easy to digest doesn’t necessarily mean making it shorter, but rather making it readable, understandable and easy to scan. Ensure that your content has a clear structure with appropriate headers and supporting sub-headers. Sprucing up the content with appropriate visuals can help as well.
Excellent information architecture
Your content strategy an important part of creating the finest information hierarchy. Organize content so that it can be accessed by the user in a hierarchical way. You can create a hierarchy by emphasizing how content looks when it is on a particular web page. When the content is properly laid out, it improves readability and user comprehension.
Keeping Users in the spotlight
At times, the writer can get so carried away with research and content assembly that he/she forgets who the reader is going to be. One can reap maximum benefits from content strategy by implementing the most important rule of UX—keeping users at the forefront. When you create content, create user personas by coordinating with the UX team.
To create content that converts:
- Find keywords that will focus on targeted customers and relate to your services as well.
- Create better, informative and readable content around specific keywords.
While mapping content, be sure to include only the information that is needed at a particular moment. To do this, brainstorm on every possible question that a user might ask in each section. Based on that, craft your content so that your consumers can easily find what they are looking for.
Great digital products, after all, are a result of hard work, change, and understanding of both the problem and the user. This isn’t easy— if we expect it to be, then we shouldn’t be designers.
I will appreciate feedback on this articles and input too on the comments below. Thankyou!