What is User Experience?
Most often abbreviated as UX, user experience is how an individual encounters and interacts with an interface. That interface could be a website, a survey, an email, an application, or something else entirely. As long as it’s being viewed on a piece of technology, and is designed to be interacted with, it is by definition a user experience.
UX and its place on the internet
Having come a long way since the dawn of the internet, UX is widely considered to be one of the most important aspects of marketing. And while it’s not exclusive to virtual interfaces, UX has definitely staked its claim online as society continues to become more digitized. Before the internet, however, UX might have been considered a key aspect in the design of things like Disney World. Walt Disney himself is often cited as one of the first key figures in UX design. As he dreamt up his creations and brought them to life, surely his utmost concern was the experience that his customers were going to have when they interacted with them. Many years later (given the success of his empire), we can clearly see that he was a true UX design genius.
But what does this have to do with the internet and your website? The whole idea behind a great UX design is to be aware of the needs and wants of your customers so that you can cater to them. The more pleasant an experience is, the more likely people are to stick around, purchase products and services, and recommended them to friends and family. And with Google’s new algorithm update set to start rolling out this month, even they are more likely to turn up your website if the analytics determine that it is accessible, navigable, and user-friendly.
So, why is UX important?
To put it simply, UX is important because it is vital in the retention of users. Websites that are poorly designed, slow, or visually unappealing can deter users. People are more likely to abandon and even degrade websites that do not meet their needs, which in turn, can devalue the associated brand, product, or service.
Components of good website UX design
Information Architecture (IA)
IA is the bones of a website and the reason that many refer to it as ‘the skeleton.’ It’s the way information is built and contextualized within a website and its main purpose is to deliver accurate information to the user as effortlessly as possible.
Navigation & Usability
A website that has a masterful UX design is easy to navigate. This means that buttons and tabs are minimal, clear, and lead users to their intended destination. This also includes things like pop-ups. You’ll want to make sure that your website avoids using intrusive pop-ups—whether they be ads or otherwise. Intrusive pop-ups are often annoying and off-putting, which may lead users to avoid your website entirely.
Aesthetics & Delightfulness
The way that a website or page actually looks often goes hand-in-hand with how easy it is to navigate. Is the page nice to look at? Is the theme you’re using consistent? Do button and menu placements make sense? Have you chosen the right colours? Users should delight in visiting your website so that they’re more likely to return or recommend it to their peers.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what UX design means for your website. If you have a vision, we can help you bring it to life with a website tailored to both your personal taste and business needs. Personal, functional, and good-looking is what we do—get in touch!