What is UX Design? Why You Need It.

Have you heard of UX Design (which stands for User Experience)? It has become a popular buzz word recently. It’s being used more and more and especially in the online business world. I’m not however sure, it’s something most people think about or in some cases really understand what it truly is, or why they need it.

So, I thought I’d break it down, since I’ve been a professional UX Designer & UI Designer (User Interface) for almost 10 years at 3 companies 2 of which are Fourtune 300.

If you research online, everyone will describe the term “UX Design” a little differently. They may focus on a piece of it, but not what it really is as a whole. To me I think UX Design is the technical problem solving of a user’s experience through either a website or mobile application.

You could even think of it as the experience one designs for a customer who walks through a store, like Target. What is the best flow for the customer to go through in order to see: the most items, the products you want them to purchase, and easily find the items they originally came for – as easily and as enjoyable as possible? — This is all UX.

User Interface or UI Design is the visual and physical design of those experiences in graphic form. Think of signs in a store or a display endcap, the bags you get at checkout, etc.

So why is this important to you?

Take the information I just described in my “store experience” and think about these same ideas, but in a digital world. Like in a mobile app or a website.

As a small business your website is one of the first things a potential client will touch before they even consider contacting you. Think about a time you went to a website to check out someone you wanted to potentially hire or buy from, and their site didn’t load or you couldn’t find contact information, or what services they provided. Did you stay and keep digging? Or did you close the tab and move on to another option? My guess is you likely did the later. And unfortunately for that small business…so has everyone else.

This is because businesses will just put up a website to have a website. The way it functions, looks visually or what information was there and where it was located isn’t a priority. Though it really should be the MOST important part they thought of before putting their site together and going “live”.

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The next thing you’re probably wondering is what you can do as a non-designer/designer to think about how to think about UX when you are putting your own or a client’s website together. Well I’m going to share 5 things you can do to improve your website and UX today.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Follow These Steps To Improve Your Business & Get Clients Booked

These are my tips for success on your website, you can also accesss your Free Download Here

  1. Get OFF the Computer.
    Grab some paper and a pencil and just start with a basic flow chart or diagram. I’ve created and added a download you can use to help you work this out. What you’ll want to figure out is the main pages you will want to have and start building your general site flow based on those main key pages and items you’ll want to share with your user, and then you’ll go from there to bullet point these items or sub pages you will want to be associated with those pages.
  2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes.
    This is important. You need to think about your ideal client here. What things would they want to know before purchasing, moving forward, requesting a consultation, etc.? Think about their needs, what their experience will be like going through your site. Use past experiences you’ve had when you’ve purchased something online, things that bothered you or things you thought were clever. Then think about the flow you did in the previous step. What areas might you change and move around or add/remove to the site flow to help the information flow better and be user friendly.
  3. Less Can Be SO Much More.
    Don’t flood your pages with text. Stop. Just don’t do it. Too much text – though informative, can be just too much text and can turn people away because they won’t want to read it all. Your user isn’t coming to your site to read a novel. They want information, quickly. If you provide them the information they need and allow for them to dig further, if they choose to, you are making their experience clear, enjoyable and informative.

    If you have pages of scrolling text  they’ll scroll past all that useful information and just end up asking you the same questions later. Bullet point the key features instead, so you can highlight the buzz words they’d look for and want to know right away. Then add a “view more details” button below that, so they can see more about the product/service you offer if they want to dig further on that item. This way you are not taking up all this website space that can make it extremely overwhelming for your users.

  4. Pay For Good Images. Whether stock or professional lifestyle shots of you/your business.
    I mean this sincerely. It will make your brand stand out, help explain what you do, and is your visual marketing tool to help your clients easily see what they can expect, who you are, your style, your brand, your services in one quick image without any text needed. This allows you to easily add bullet points without feeling like you need to describe EVERY detail.

    Ideally, if you can get some shots taken for your website that are custom to you, it just makes the users experience and your brand more authentic and unique. Though there are plenty of decent stock photographers out there to give your site a general styled mood feel that match your brand colors like Haute Chocolate, Turquoise & Palm and Her Creative Studio.

  5. User Test Your Site! (Don’t forget to test the mobile version too!)
    Once you’ve done steps 1-4, and before you announce your site it live, you’ll want to go into a facebook group, or ask some family or friends who don’t have a close tie to your brand or business like you do. Utilize people who may not even know what you do at all, so you have a fresh slate of someone who has no idea what they need. If you can be clear to them, then you’ll have a great experience for anyone. Ask the testers to go into your site like a client. You can ask them to do 1 of 3 tasks so you can see how easy it is for them to do those tasks.

    If they find any issues along the way that don’t seem clear to them, bugs in your site, broken links, etc. you’ll be able to address these before going live. This will help you insure you’re site is well thought out and things you may have not thought of aren’t overlooked. You can even ask them to record their experience with a screen capture app, or share the screen with them via Skype or Zoom. That way you can record and pay attention to what they are doing and asking and have it to reference later.

 

Those are my 5 quick tips to help you improve the UX & UI Design on your website.Feel free to download the FREE download that will help you start out this website flow diagram.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Please comment below with your questions & let me know what you think of the download!
I’m always here to help you! 🙂 <3

  1. TogetherDeveloping Your Business Through Brand Experience - Together

    May 15th, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    […] It’s also similar to User Experience (which if you’re not sure what that is, you can check out the post on my personal blog as I happened to just post an article on that exact topic today too). To me Brand Experience […]

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