Keep it Simple: Why UX Should be Common Sense
By Raeleen| 14 April 2022
Happy customers equal more repeat business and greater return on investment. It’s just common sense. And is also backed up by stats showing that acquiring new customers can cost up to five times more than retaining existing customers*. Learn about the basics of UX Design and how it can be a key driver for your company’s success.
What is UX Design and Why is it Important?
UX design (User Experience Design) is the process of creating products, both physical and digital that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to the users.
UX design encompasses the entire users’ journey and includes aspects of branding, design, and function among others. It requires a deep understanding of the users’ needs, wants, behaviours, and the context in which they will use a product.
Different perspectives are necessary to create a product that will give the best possible experience for the consumers. Therefore, UX designers come from different backgrounds such as visual design, programming, psychology, interaction design, and more.
Companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon invest heavily in UX design because they are aware that this is a key aspect in the success of products and companies.
In the context of web design, UX design is about building a website that provides a positive user experience based on the needs, wants, and behaviours of the users. Creating a website that is easy to use and navigate, visually appealing, and give satisfaction or pleasure to the users is the main goal.
Providing a Better Platform for your Customer is Common Sense
Happy customers equal greater return on investment. It is just common sense. Here are more reasons why you should invest in UX design.
Avoid project failure and costly redesign
Imagine pouring money, time, and manpower into creating a product only for it to fail. There could be many factors why a product may not be as successful as imagined. We may not be able to eliminate failure altogether but we can minimise the risk when we try to understand the pulse of the target customers and conduct ample user testing before launching the product.
Decrease your advertising spending
Happy customers are effective salespeople. Customers who had a great experience with a product are likely to recommend it to others too and leave great reviews about the product and their experience.
Increase customer retention
Customers who had a great experience with your website/products will likely return. As long as you can keep them satisfied, they’ll be loyal to your brand. Considering that it is more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, this is also a plus on your bottom line.
When you try to minimise the hurdles in your target customers’ journey and make their experience as positive as possible, they are more likely to take action – whether that is to buy your product, fill out a form, book an appointment, etc.
5 Steps to Creating a User Experience that Customers will Love and Understand
These steps are mostly applicable to creating websites but the core principles apply to designing other products as well.
Define and understand the user
UX design is all about creating the best experience for the users. It follows that UX designers must know who they are designing for.
UX designers gather as much information as they can about the users: what their interests are, what websites they are visiting, what social media they are using, what products they are interested in, their geographical location, age, educational background, and so on. This means interviewing actual people, studying data from analytics, doing surveys, and other forms of research.
Designers then create a user persona–a representation of the target customers based on the data that they have gathered. Personas help the designers have a better grasp of the customers’ pain points and motivations. This better understanding will help them in creating a positive user experience for the target audience.
Map out user journeys
Think of the different scenarios a user may interact with your website. What is the goal of the user? What are their expectations about your website?
Remember that you may have different types of users with different goals. One user might be interested in the products or services that you are offering, while another might be interested in your job openings. Each one will have a different journey. Try to anticipate how a particular user will use your website.
After defining the goals of the project and the target users, the next step is time to brainstorm ideas with the design team and other stakeholders.
For building websites, the design phase usually includes the following.
- Creating flowcharts – these are used to map out how users move through the interface
- Wireframing – wireframes help visualise the basic structure of the page showing the key points of interaction, layout and design
- Creating prototypes – a prototype is a simulation of a product
User testing is an important part of the UX design process because it aims to validate the user experience. This process involves asking people to test the website (or product) under realistic scenarios. User testing is important because it can help discover issues about the product and therefore improve on it, and determine whether it is ready to go live.
It is important to note that UX design is an iterative process therefore there will be overlaps and going back and forth between the stages.
How to Design a User Experience like a User
There are three main things to consider in designing for user experience. The product must be:
Guided by these concepts, UX designers have established best practices in designing websites for the best user experience.
Keep it simple
While you want your web page to hold attention, you don’t want it to be too busy or cluttered because that takes away from your message. It is tempting to put animation to get attention (it may work for some cases) but most of the time a clean layout with ample white space works better.
One page, one goal
The intent of each page and the contents thereof must be immediately clear to the user.
Think of convenience
You want to make the user journey as convenient as possible. Here are some of the ways to do that.
- Position the search bar in a visible area
- Embed auto-complete/auto-suggestion in search bars and form fields
- Only include necessary fields
- Simplify checkout process
Use high-quality images
Blurred, low-quality images don’t look professional and will turn off the visitors. Using close-ups, multiple angle photos can further enhance the user experience.
Make visual elements distinct
Use bold, clear-cut headlines. Make sure that call to action buttons are prominent. Use contrast and colour to highlight important content on the page. By making visual elements distinct, you can help users find what they are looking for fast.
Add micro-interactions when useful
Well-designed micro-interactions can help increase user engagement. It helps you communicate with the user without being too distracting. For example, changing the colour or adding a simple animation when a users hover over a text, icon, or button tells the users that they can take action on that item.
Make your website responsive and mobile-friendly
Responsive websites provide optimal and consistent user experience for all types of devices. Making your website mobile-friendly means that you have to consider how the users interact with the device. You have to consider the thumb zone, fonts, size of buttons, etc when designing for mobile.
Avoid using too many menu items on your navigation as much as possible. Also, make sure you provide a way for the user to go back to the homepage easily.
Take advantage of the latest features/technologies
For example, allow the users to use voice search, scan and find features, live chat, location services, and augmented reality (when useful) to make it easier for them to interact with the website.
Design for accessibility
You can improve accessibility by doing the following:
- Use enough colour contrast
- Use readable fonts
- Use images and diagrams to support texts
- Break up content into digestible chunks
Let us help you design your website and create the best user experience for your customers!
Mettro is a proudly Queensland, independently owned and operated digital agency that has been delivering award-winning website design & development and digital marketing for over 20 years. We are dedicated to solving our client’s business problems with smart, simple digital solutions and have the testimonials to prove it.
Our website design team is second-to-none with a focus on real user experience and creative interface designs, and our website development team delivers quality online customer experiences and measurable benefits to our clients every time.
We’ve built thousands of digital solutions including apps, eCommerce websites, custom software, eLearning applications, WordPress websites and Shopify Websites.
We have a talented marketing strategy and creative team, renowned for designing and producing compelling digital campaigns, effective content marketing strategies, digital marketing and results-driven SEO.
*According to Outbound Engine
Where to from here?
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