UX design might sound like a complex, tech industry term that you need to have a Master’s in Software Engineering to understand — but in reality, it has to do more with understanding people than understanding computers. After all, UX is simply an acronym for “user experience.” The ultimate goal of UX design is to make sure that the users interacting with your product have the most comfortable and pleasing experience possible, in order to increase their potential of becoming customers. Whether the product is something physical (like the automatic waffle maker I’ve been wanting to pitch on Shark Tank) or something digital, like your website’s home page, every product can benefit from better UX design.
Since our forte at Get Community is helping brands develop a ✨stellar✨ digital presence, today’s post will equip you with actionable UX design tips for your website. So dust off your keyboard, scavenge through your files to find your WordPress password, and read on for some UX tips that will help your web traffic be like the 405 on a Friday at 5.
First Thing’s First: Organizing Your Design Approach
Your approach to creating or redesigning a website is just as important as the design choices you will eventually make. The general approach, as detailed by Inside Design, should look something like this:
- Understand – Determine the potential pitfalls of your design and what your brand is looking to accomplish
- Research – Reach out to real users who can test your website and provide feedback on what’s working and what isn’t
- Analyze – Use the data you’ve collected to determine which aspects of your website’s design are the most important to your users
- Design – Create multiple bare bones mockups (also known as wireframes) of your site to easily visualize your design as it changes
- Launch – Once your website is live, make it a priority to continue incorporating user feedback so that your site stays current with users’ tastes and preferences
Having a solid game plan sorted out at the start of your process will often be your saving grace, effectively reeling in the chaos of the design process so that you can keep your cool. 😎
You Can Handle the Truth: User Feedback
The Research phase of your design process is vitally important. After working endlessly on your website, having others critique the design after spending 10 minutes with it can be tough to take in. But we’re here to tell you that sharing your treasured work with others is the only way of determining what is actually important to those using your website, and knowing this will eventually lead to successful UX design. It’s better to hear some critical feedback from a small group than to find out later that your UX design is lacking when people complain about and/or stop visiting your site.
To generate feedback on your design ideas, you can hold interviews with members of your target audience, organize focus groups, conduct surveys, etc. Remember, the more constructive criticism you receive early in the design process, the less likely it’ll be that you will have to scramble to make massive changes later on.
Consistency is 🔑: Using What’s Familiar
As you’re no doubt reminded when ordering the same item off your favorite restaurant’s menu every time you visit, humans are creatures of habit. We like what is already familiar to us so that we don’t have to constantly be dedicating more precious brain space to learning new things. This is especially true with the design of websites, where users demand a familiar, and thus easy-to-navigate, interface that doesn’t force them to spend excessive amounts of time on any given site.
Try to design your website so that it resembles other sites that your users probably frequent. For homebuilders, you should be taking notes on the websites of Toll Brothers, Shea Homes, Pulte Homes, and other big names in the business. Ask yourself: What design features do these sites have in common? Which features do you personally like/dislike? How can your site adopt some of these features while still maintaining your brand’s unique image?
No Comic Sans Allowed: Choosing Tasteful Typography
Choosing your website’s typography, or fonts, might seem like an inconsequential design step that can be sorted out in a second, but the impact of good vs. bad typography should not be underestimated. Since most of what your users will be looking at on your site is written content, plan to spend as much time finding the perfect font as you would invest in choosing an appealing color palette or the proper images to include alongside your text.
You will want to select fonts that suit your brand, are pleasing to look at, look great across different devices, and are widely accessible. We recommend researching what other designers have to say about the topic, while also checking out what has worked well for other websites.
Pushing Your Buttons: Responsive Design
It looks like a button. It’s in the place that a button should be. It’s practically begging you to click it — but when you do, nothing happens. We’ve all been here while browsing through a website, so we all know how frustrating it can be to come across a page with a non-intuitive design.
One of your main goals when designing a website should be to make it as easy to navigate as possible. This means providing your user with the proper feedback when they click, hover their mouse, and scroll. Buttons should change color slightly when clicked, some images should also function as buttons, tabs on the navigation bar should expand to show sub-tabs, etc. Make sure when you’re developing your user surveys to include questions asking which components could be more responsive, and if your testers ever felt lost while scrolling through your site.
UX design is not an easy task to master, but taking it one step at a time and continually learning how to improve your website’s design can reward you with a user experience that drives more traffic and makes people want to stay on your site longer. Want your UX game to be on point? Contact Get Community to ask about our UX design services!
Gage Greenspan is a copywriter for Get Community. When he’s not creating content, you can find him traveling the world and learning about new cultures.