User Experience (UX)

August 12, 2015

User experience (UX) has come about in a big way and is something every web designer absolutely needs to take into consideration. The website you have designed may look great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the user is engaging with it. Is information clear and easy to see? Are people finding exactly what they are looking for when they come across your site? These are important things to consider as people may be visiting your site, but will quickly be leaving not having found what they wanted or even feeling positive about the site, this could be because information could be hidden away or misleading, or simply getting frustrated by the site.

If you do grab their attention there are still other elements that could really let you down when it comes to UX and this could be detrimental to the success of the site. For example if you don’t provide the info or you fail to direct them to the correct parts of your website this is bad… You should use design to guide them towards where they want to be looking, users don’t always use the website how you think they will so a little guidance can really help.

Things must be interactive the website must feel like it is reactive and responding to the the user when being hovered over or go to click a link, such as simple drop down menus and the link becomes highlighted, all this greatly affecting UX as it lets the user feel in control.

Another huge thing to try and avoid is user friction when you website is unresponsive or slow, we live in a day and age where people want everything right now especially on the web. So if people have to wait around for your pages or other elements to load this is jarring and causes a break in user flow of engagement with the website. At the very least if you need to have loading screens make them entertaining! Play around with the user make them laugh or if you need to be more series engage them in a way that draws them into the brand and website so they are already invested! Animations help the user have a more memorable experience and take the monotony out of having to wait for things.

Again menu should be simple and easy to navigate, don’t have too many options all thrown together under a generic ‘products’, split them up by sub-categorising. Make it simple and logical to navigate. This Not only works with navigation menus but also things like signup forms or any other kind of online form, if it is more than a few simple steps split it up so the user isn’t overwhelmed, reassure them they are progressing with the task at hand, you can do this by either using a progression bar or lay it out in numbered steps as the user moves forward. Finally make sure it is clear exactly what information is needed to continue and where it will lead to, the last thing you want is people getting frustrated because the user is confused or unsure what to do, chances are they won’t bother struggling through in frustration they will just give up and go somewhere else instead.

And at the end of the day that what UX is all about the user having a pleasant experience and engaging with your site so they stay in the first place, making them either want to come back or sharing with friends. To achieve this they need to have a pleasant flowing experience in which they find the information they are are looking for easily and quickly. If this is done well they will go away from your site with a positive experience and it enforces the brands image in their mind and they will hold them in higher regard because of it.

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