UX web design is a phrase which is being thrown around in the web design world at the moment. But what does it actually mean? And how does it affect your website?

What is User Experience (UX) Design?

User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function.

UX (User Experience) Design Process

The user experience starts from before the website design even begins. In Order to create a website with an effective UX experience we need to following the process:

  • Empathize with the users (learning about the audience)
  • Define the problem (identifying the users’ needs)
  • Ideate (generating ideas for design)
  • Prototype (turning ideas into concrete examples)
  • Test (evaluating the design).

Product example of UX Design

Using an example of make-up let’s look at the above process. First of all we need to look at the audience. Including the demographic and motivations for purchasing the product.  i.e 18-30, female, shops with her heart.

Through defining the problem, we consider the values and views associated with the product. The purchaser is looking for a brand which she associates with herself. Individual, honest, playful.

Ideas for design are the ‘what’ of UX, the functionality and features of the product. These should reflect the above. Effective, fun to use, personal.

Prototype. Creating concrete ideas from the examples. The how of UX is the 3 core elements of the brand that need to be integrated into every user experience to make the brand connect.

Test is then the process of checking. Ensuring all of the elements above are reflected in the overall product.

Service example of (UX) Design

We can then take the process above and relate it back to a website. Let’s take a builder for example.

  • Empathize with the users (learning about the audience). Homeowner needing house extension. Medium budget, high quality, value for money.
  • Define the problem (identifying the users’ needs) Need planning, drawings, full extension.
  • Ideate (generating ideas for design) Although our main service is building, we need to connect with the user at the drawing and planning stage.
  • Prototype (turning ideas into concrete examples) Provide how to submit planning and chose and architect page on website.
  • Test (evaluating the design). Review user stats, visits, bounce rate and number of enquires.
“ I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction and the manual." Donald Norman

Tips on how to improve the UX for your website

Now we have established the UX design process, lets look at how this equates to UX web design.

10 tips to improve your UX web design:

  1. Optimise the page speed
  2. Clear landing page
  3. Use white space
  4. Don’t word stuff with SEO phrases
  5. Unified page design
  6. Use a responsive design
  7. Ensure it is mobile friendly
  8. Use call to action
  9. Use compressed images
  10. Ensure no broken links

Optimise the page speed

This is key to the UX experience. If the webpage is slow to load then users will bounce off the site. There are many ways to increase the page speed of a website. Including quality of the hosting provider, size of images, minimising the use of JavaScript’s. To check the speed of your website use Google PageSpeed Insights.

Clear landing page

The landing page should reflect the business and purpose instantly. It should be visually attractive but not to fussy. Keeping it simple and clear ensures that the users attention is focused and differentiates your brand from the competitors.

Use white space

White space is any space which does not contain text or photos. White space doesn’t have to be white but could be coloured boxes. Ensuring that there sufficient split of white space and text and photos makes sure that the UX is positive.

Don’t word stuff with SEO phrases

Although it is tempting to include SEO phrases repeatedly through out the article to appear higher on google. This technique will not work and does not provide the user with a good experience. Keep the content relevant and only use your key phrase when appropriate.

Unified page design

Keep the design and theme on the website consistent. Although you do not want the keep each page exactly the same the variation should be kept to a minimum. Making every page feel like a separate website does not offer good UX.

Use a responsive design

Using a responsive theme or design ensures you website appears on all screen sizes. Including mobile and tablet. A responsive design automatically resizes photos and text so it is suitable for the user.

Ensure it is mobile friendly

If your theme is not responsive you must ensure it is mobile friendly. This an be achieved through using a mobile specific theme or a plugin to convert your website to mobile. Mobile search has now overtaken desktop search therefore the majority of your visitors will be on mobile devices.

Use call to action

Call to action – buttons, contact forms, numbers – converts visitors into customers. Using these appropriately ensures a positive UX. There is a balance between lots of pop up boxes, which are considered to be annoying for users, and not providing call to action at all on the website.

Use compressed images

Images are important on websites to catch users eyes and improve the overall UX. However image files are large and can slow the website down. Therefore it is important to compress images. This can be done without loss of quality. Using Tiny Jpeg before uploading to your website then a wordpress plugin such as Imagify will reduce the image size and increase loading speed.

Ensure no broken links

Review your website for broken using a free tool like Broken link checker which will identify all errors. A broken link will frustrate users and will not help SEO.

Final Thoughts on UX Web Design

UX web design is all about the user experience of the website. How easy is it for the user to complete an action? Does the website represent the brand? Using the above tips ensure you website is user friendly. Final tip – test the website.