UX web design principles to ensure your online success
You might have heard marketers, web designers and businesspeople talk about the ‘user experience’. You might even have some idea as to what they’re talking about. Knowing the fundamental user experience (UX) web design principles is something entirely else.
In an increasingly online world, every business should be taking the time to focus and implement a solid user experience plan. To help you and your web team get started, here’s a rundown of the UX web design principles you need to know to ensure your online success.
For more information about GO’s UX services, contact us today.
What is UX?
User experience (UX) design is the process by which developers and design teams for products and websites create. This process ensures the optimised and best possible experience for users, customers and clients. Just about every aspect of a product is taken into account by a UX team: from branding and design to functionalities and usability.
When it comes to UX web design, our area of expertise, user experience relates to the look of a website as well as one’s ability to navigate, browse (for online shopping), check out, find more information or contact a business.
Why is UX important?
UX is essential for a positive customer journey. By taking into consideration your customer’s experience you’ll be able to focus on improving the entirety of their interaction with your business.
The better their experience, the more likely they are to turn into a paying customer, and then a repeat customer.
In today’s marketplace, we’re all on the lookout for more than just good products and services. We want frictionless customer experiences that deliver what we want directly to us in a convenient and hassle-free way.
10 UX web design principles
1. Familiarise yourself with the process
The first UX web design principle is the process of user experience itself. We’ve broken it down below for you in four easy-to-remember steps.
Context: Make sure you understand the context of your user’s experience. Who are they? Where are they from? What do they want to do? These fundamental questions are pivotal to understanding your target audience i.e. users.
Identify: The next step is to identify the user’s requirements. You cannot tailor a seamless experience for your users if you do not know what the desired end result will be.
Design: Now that you know your users and know what requirements they have, you can begin to design different website designs, functions and features to address these in as effective a way as possible. This is the part of the process where you should conduct further research into specific aspects of web UX.
Evaluate: Once you have your web design, it’s time to test it. Evaluating its success with clearly defined metrics (e.g. sales, clicks, sign ups etc) will allow you to determine whether you’ve properly identified the requirements from Step 2. If it didn’t work, return to Step 3. If it proved to not even be addressing the right issue, return to Step 2. And if it didn’t even impact your users, perhaps you need to return to Step 1.
2. Understand what you’re looking for
Understanding is all about asking questions. In UX web design, it’s even more important that you take the time to ask and answer some basic yet fundamental questions. Here are some questions that you and your team should be brainstorming answers to:
- What problem are we trying to solve with our user experience?
- What do we want our users to end up doing?
- What do our users want to end up doing?
- What unknowns are there in addressing these questions?
- What decisions need to be made in order to execute a solution?
- What assumptions are we making that aren’t backed up by data or research?
- What strategy are we going to use to measure our success?
The more of these types of questions you can answer, the better positioned you’ll be in to tackle your website’s user experience.
3. User perspective is key
We’ve included this principle at the risk of sounding obvious, but the reality is that a lot of people forget this. User perspective is the key to understanding user experiences. As a web developer, business owner or employee, it can be hard to think like a user and approach your website or online store from an outside perspective. Talking to your customer service teams or even soliciting feedback directly from customers and users, is an excellent way to research and collect data on what really matters to your users. Once you understand what the experience is from their perspective, you can start thinking about the different types of solutions available.
4. Research, research, research
You’re ready for principle 4 now: RESEARCH! An expert UX web designer will know that the more you understand about how websites work, how human psychology works and how those two factors interact the more capable you’ll be at finding a UX solution that works. Take the time to thoroughly explore different ideas and user experience designs. Dive into the backgrounds of your users and collate data about what sort of experiences they value. There are many different ways to conduct research but one thing is for sure: there’s no such thing as too much!
It can be hard not to get tunnel vision when working for extended periods of time on a project. Collaboration with your fellow web designers and team members is essential for ensuring a good UX. Apart from outsider opinions and fresh ideas, it will give you an opportunity to stress test your designs and help identify areas you may have overlooked or not realised didn’t work.
6. Focus on your strengths
A UX design that works, at the end of the day, is all that matters. Often web developers can get caught up in trying to do everything under the sun. This ultimately results in the user experience being muddled and the customer journey convoluted. Focusing on your strengths doesn’t mean ignoring your weaknesses (see Principle 5 for that). It means ensuring that if you need a more skilled web design team or a company with more varied experience in addressing your users’ experience to come in, you outsource those skills.
7. Create a plan
Trying multiple user experience designs and revising as you go is very different to just saying “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks”! Mapping out a strategy and step-by-step process for tackling the UX issue facing you is a key to success. It will help you keep on track and focused on the task and objectives at hand.
8. Prioritise everything
Nope, this doesn’t mean everything needs to be a priority, it means that everything needs to be prioritised according to its urgency and importance. Focusing on the most necessary parts of your user experience will help you see results as soon as possible. If you simply focus on what’s expedient you may find that you’re attempting to build a tower on a shaky foundation. Prioritising does come down to time management and organisational skills, which can all be built into Principle 7’s plan of action.
9. Don’t be afraid to try again
UX web designers all know that websites undergo constant revision and change. It’s not often you get the entire experience right the first time. Don’t be afraid of learning from your mistakes, revising your work and trying a new idea. As you get more feedback, analytics, statistics and information you’ll be in an increasingly better position to focus on improving the UX once again.
10. Have fun
Have fun? Really? Yes, seriously.
Apart from the fact that we hope you love the challenges and creativity that comes with UX web design, having fun with your work is essential for not just thinking outside the box but for actively engaging with the perspectives of your users. Whether your website is an ecommerce platform or a learning database, the more you can ‘gamify’ the experience, i.e. inject a bit of fun to your users’ interaction, the better the entire UX will be.
Let us help you!
There you have it: Our 10 UX web design principles. If you’re not sure how to even start addressing your website’s user experience design, we can do it for you! Contact our team today for a free quote.
We’re the leading web development team in Brisbane and Logan, and can help you create a user experience that will enable your business to grow.