Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 12/7/15 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
Nothing grinds my gears quite like a website lacking strong UX design.
The entire point of designing an online platform is to provide an immensely valuable experience to your users! *steps off soapbox*
When it comes right down to it, you’ll end up losing money if you don’t consider the user.
After all, if they aren’t receiving a pleasant experience, they won’t stick around.
Think about it. Would you stay at a place that wasn’t considerate?
Certainly I’m not the only person that thought about leaving a poor Yelp review because of a bad experience at a restaurant or local shop?
We want good service when we patronize a business, whether online or IRL.
I’d like to take a moment to break down four key insights for stellar UX design. In my experience, each of these insights can greatly improve the effectiveness of your online presence.
We hear a lot about mobile-first design. But really, that’s just a more granular way of saying user-first design.
Because when we design for mobile, that’s really what we’re doing: designing to give the user a great experience.
Younghee Jung, a designer at Nokia, puts it well: “People are more exposed than ever to the numerous choices of what to do to fill their time, to feel important, to feel loved and creative.”
She goes on to discuss how it’s up to designers to take responsibility for their work to empower the users. Users should feel in control at all times, not boxed in by the design.
How you empower your users will depend on your product or service.
Providing a clean, simple and easy to navigate interface is the most common way to keep users feeling in control.
Make navigation intuitive, not a struggle and always strive to understand how the user will want to use the platform.
Sometimes we get in our own way when it comes to design.
It’s easy to overcomplicate design.
But always remember: There’s power in simplicity and clarity.
Gerry McGovern – a long time thought leader in the world of design – suggests that to create clarity every page must address three questions:
When your design answers those questions, users will know exactly what to do.
And I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy myself when I know where I am, what I can do and why I should do it – both online and IRL.
I recently worked with a startup that built – what should have been – a very simple app.
By the time they got me there, it was full of a crazy amount of features. But not in a good way.
Everything was all over the place. And before I could even do any marketing, we had to take 25 steps back and do something super basic: UX testing.
This wouldn’t have seemed so crazy if this person hadn’t gone through three other agencies before coming to me.
Someone should have caught this long before me, I thought. Along the way, things got more and more complex until it was a smorgasbord of features without any logical pattern or flow.
Because no one thought to stop and ask for feedback.
We get too close to projects sometimes to give an objective opinion.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional UX tester, your target audience or even your mom.
You need to see how an unattached person intuitively navigates through your site. What are their hangups? What can’t they find? What seems confusing?
Get the feedback, listen and apply.