User Experience (UX) is a practice in website design that focuses on the satisfaction of your site’s visitors.
You’ll find lots on the internet about User Experience these days. With so much information, it’s difficult to know what’s what.
Read our quick tips on UX Design for those of you who are learning about it for the first time and want to successfully introduce it onto your website.
What Is UX Design?
Create designer, Gauthier Blanpain, explains how the usability of a website should never be underestimated. He says it answers the very important question “Can the user achieve their goal?”. We recommend you consider this when approaching the usability and experience that your website offers.
UX Design is tricky to define as it covers a wide range of different practices.
UX Design can be implemented in every area of your online business - from your choice of site headers to your marketing emails.
Why Is UX Important?
UX is all about enhancing the experience of the user. Why is this important? Because a happy customer base is everything for your business.
Giving your customers an easy and enjoyable experience will increase traffic to your website, which means more brand awareness and sales.
How UX Can Benefit Your Website
The aim of a successful website is simple: get more visitors by increasing traffic, which will generate more sales.
To get the traffic, you need to maximise your site’s chances of engaging its visitors.
This is where UX comes in: engaging your customers is where it all starts, so user experience needs to be at the forefront of your site’s design.
UX is an umbrella term for a collection of actions - there are lots of different things you can do to implement it on your website.
Put yourself in the shoes of the user, and bear in mind these three things when building a website:
- Usability - how effective and efficient is your site at meeting users’ needs?
- Accessibility - all users should have equal access to your site
- Rewarding - browsing your site should be enjoyable as well as practical
With these in mind, we’ve devised 4 tips to help implement the best UX design into your website.
1 - Ensure Smooth Navigation
To get the information or carry out the action they’re looking for, users should be able to navigate your site easily and smoothly.
Flow and ease of use on your site is the foundation of a great customer experience. Smooth navigation means your user can focus better on the content and get where they want to go faster.
To give your users a smooth navigation experience:
- Use common layouts and menu styles - your customers shouldn’t have to relearn how to use a website
- Avoid creating dead end pages - make sure all your pages have internal links so your site is watertight - more on this below.
- Aim for reasonably flat navigation. By this we mean: avoid going too deep into multiple subpages. Keep things simple and accessible and you’ll have happier users.
- Think about how many clicks a user might have to make to get to some of these deeper pages and consider how likely this is to happen.
Remember that smooth navigation is navigation you barely notice!
2 - Think Carefully About Colour
Let’s be clear - there is no magical colour that will lead to conversion, but colour is an important part of your user’s experience.
Like navigation, colour is something visitors will notice subliminally, but it is an important factor in improving the UX of your website.
Without getting too much into colour psychology, be aware of a few rules when choosing the colour scheme for your site:
- Great design is more than skin deep. Don’t focus too much on making your site look pretty: choose colours that enhance the functionality of your site and embody the values of your brand. For more info on colours in branding - take a look at this great article from UXPlanet.
- It’s all about contrast. Dark colours tend to sit back, while bright ones leap forward; bear this in mind when choosing background colours for the visuals you want to stand out.
- Consider users with colour blindness. Good UX design needs to make your site accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
3 - Create Content with Purpose
One of the main purposes of your site is to deliver great content to your audience.
But website creators often make the mistake of thinking content is secondary to website design. If you’re serious about giving your user a great experience, then both content and design must be seamlessly integrated.
Every piece of content on your website needs to have a purpose for the user. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses indulge themselves in content that adds little or no value to their site.
- Prioritise the information your users will want from your site, and display it accordingly. It’s not just about the information; it’s about how you present it .
- Break your content up into scannable sections with bullet points, and summaries of longer sections of text .
- There's loads of helpful advice around for writing great content - take a look at our tips for writing great content for your website.
4 - Be Clever with Internal Linking
A great way to enhance the UX on your site is by including well-placed internal links.
Internal links help aid smooth navigation around your site; imagine them as stepping stones leading users seamlessly to where they want to go, without hitting the ‘Back’ button.
Add internal links on the most important pages on your sites, leading to relevant blog posts, contact forms and any other content pages you might have. Make sure your links are positioned near the top of the page so users don’t have to scroll down to see them.
Be attentive and keep refreshing your internal links as your content changes. Optimising your site for users is an ongoing process.
UX is a growing field and is not always easy to define, but one thing is for sure: it’s important for your users, so it should matter to you.