The crux of UX: tips to enhance user experience

Sometimes we get so consumed by aesthetics and visuals that we add too much to something. We fail to recognize that less is often more. We'll admit that how a website looks plays a huge role in its success, but how it works is equally important. The usability of a site focuses on how easy it is for a person to complete a task. User experience is about enhancing a customer journey from an emotional level. And as such, it plays a huge role in web design. 

The premise of UX is simple; if you keep your customers happy, you’ll attract more business. But how do you we keep your customers happy? Admittedly, a lot of this will be dependent on your specific industry, but we’ve collated some foolproof UX advice that can be applied to all industries.

Have an independent usability and UX review

When it comes down to it, user experience is first and foremost about understanding your customer journey from a usability point of view. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. When you use your website every single day, you can lose sight of how it works, because to you, it’s simple. We can flag any usability problems and provide solutions to get you back on track. Hand in hand with a usability review, the UX review adds a more personal approach, researching user types and personas, and working to understand more about the psychology of your audience. A usability review will illuminate the path to ensure that you're meeting the needs of your customers as well as the goals of your business, and a UX review makes sure you are making the experience of walking that path as enjoyable as possible.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

Don’t worry, we’re not advocating plagiarism or suggesting that all sites should be the same. The overall design and theme of a site should be in keeping with your brand identity, but there are certain best practices that we should aim to adhere to. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. No matter the content of a website, there will always be similarities when it comes to expected functionality interaction and layout. For example, studies have shown users tend to expect a search field to be in the top righthand corner of a page, and the company logo in the top left. More than just a familiar visual appearance, factors like these affect how people use the site, and can affect how people feel about a site and therefore a business. If the site frustrates, it is human nature to apply this same feeling to the business behind the site.

Simplicity and consistency work beautifully together

In case we haven’t mentioned it enough in the past, we’re big fans of keeping it simple. UX design is about making the experience as enjoyable for the user as possible. Your customers won’t appreciate the seemingly impressive but overcomplicated things that your website can do. Any visitors are there for a purpose; to complete a journey that fulfils an end goal such as completing a transaction or submitting details.

There is an unofficial quote that says “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”, and with user experience, this is a fundamental way of thinking.

Keep content relatively minimal where possible. Communicate with easily understood icons that are clearly linked to relevant pages with more information. Similarly, your website should have an overarching theme that makes navigation simple. Use a carefully selected palette of colours on each page and make sure the design isn’t too overpowering. Keep interactions and animations to a level where they enhance the experience, but don’t get in the way of the task at hand.

If your website isn’t serving its purpose or achieving the desired results, or is frustrating users to the point where they leave the site, get in touch with us to discuss a usability and UX review.

Categories: Design, Digital Marketing, Website Design & Development

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