UX Design Advice and Tips2019-12-11 |
Your website should directly reflect the needs of the customer/client, stop building websites that you think are great because you like them…
UX Design, whats the difference?
UX design and web design can often be confused as the same thing, even by poorly educated web designer and developers. Don’t get me wrong, without the two working together I’m sure we would be stuck in the 90s for the next 50 years and they are equally important.
There are some major difference between web design and UX design though. Web design focuses on problem solving the aesthetics and general feel of a website like consistency, colours, typography, layout etc where as UX design on the other hand is far more user orientated. UX designers are not always the ones with the best colour palette in the world, or even the best typographers by far but they do one thing very well, and thats to guide users through their website experience, and to make sure its the best it can possibly be.
I love it, do they?
Your website should directly reflect the needs of the customer/client, stop building websites that you think are great because you like them… Do some research about your audience, find out things they do on other sites like yours, find out the users flow and how they transition from one page to the next, get in their heads and try to think as they think. Only when you do this will your website become fully successful.
One good way to monitor your users drop off is by using Google analytics. Google analytics shows you how many users hit what pages and where they decided to leave, use this information to learn whats wrong with your design and how you can improve it to keep your users interested.
What a Mess
Stop cluttering your website, you can’t fit everything on one page and to attempt this means your user flow is bad. The first page of your website should tell the client who you are and what you do, give them some call to action and let them glide through your pages gracefully gathering you precious impressions and flow data.
Don’t forget to use bolds and italics to make your most important content and links stand out from the rest, have a variation of headers to split content apart and create a more structured hierarchy of designed content. Content should be easily found, important content anyways. Don’t let user be distracted by things that won’t generate interest. Remember your trying to create a long standing trusted following and with trust comes a certain responsibility to give the users what they want and need, not what you want them to want.
These days its easier to get wrapped up in the whirlwind that is modern web design. High res background videos, animated content, parallax backgrounds and much more. Don’t get me wrong designers love this stuff, its like cocaine… Maybe not but its pretty cool!
But take a step back for a minute and think about this from a user stand point. Ask yourself the question, do they care? Generally in my experience the majority of users don’t care too much about your cool sliding background or the epic hamburger icons that brings up a full screen animated load heavy navigation. All they really want is what they came for, the content! With this in mind, keep it simple, keep it relevant and stick to the point.
Advertising is good… In small doses. Stay away from pop up adverts as soon as members hit you landing page, they didn’t come for that, they came for the content. Allow them in and gain their trust, give them what they want and let them decided whether or not they think the ad in your sidebar is worth a click, if your content is good and your design is clean you will get far more ad click through then if you just ram it down your users throats.
Again this comes down to thinking like the user, not the developer/designers personal opinion on whats important. Don’t allow your users to become backed into a corner with no other way out than to hit the back button!
Quick UX Aesthetic tips
Sections with important content should have bold large heading, if the content is worthy of a read then shout about it, not too loudly obviously, you don’t want to scare them off! Don't forget to optimise your other content though, thats stuff is still important, just learn to prioritise subtly in what your what people to see and read.
Pay attention to space, an airy clean website makes for a happy user. White space is your friend!
Don’t let your image quality ruin a first impression, the quality of your images will give use an idea of the quality of your website, go hi res but keep the file size down.
You don’t need to be amazing designer or the mostly technical developer in the world to be an amazing ux designer, all you have to do is be hard working and good at thinking what people want and how to achieve this in the most efficient way possible.
The web is changing for good and with more and more people become frustrated and tried of slow, unhelpful, poorly navigated sites its increasingly important to have your users get the best experience possible. At its core UX Design is an art form and a career prospect all by itself and for creative problems solvers it can be extremely satisfying. On that note please go forward, educate others and make the web a better, more usable place!