When preparing to create the visual layout and user experience (UX) design of a website, whether existing or new – it is vital to consider the design behind the visual expression. It is no longer enough to create a few eye-catching graphics in Photoshop and insert them into the web page in the hope that they will bring something visually stimulating to the browsing experience. Modern UX design is about how every element on the website works in tandem to provide a rich and intuitive experience for the visitor.
The considered position of every element, whether it is a search box, a sidebar widget or a featured product slider, can readily be equated to the “design behind” the visual expression mentioned earlier. Put simply, good UX design is all combining form and function to create an enjoyable user experience.
Effective UX design only comes from understanding human behaviour, and in their simplest form visual elements (colours, shapes, highlights and more) can be grouped into sections where each represents your brand and its personality. These are generally pre-set and already agreed upon, and to change such key identifiers might confuse existing customers whilst alienating new prospects. However, like the members of an orchestra – correct positioning is vital to ensure beautiful delivery of the perfect sound.
Intelligent user-centric design is vital to ensuring your visitor travels the journey you want them to travel unencumbered by unnecessary graphic “noise” that takes them away from the main path to purchase, selection or contact with you. When contemplating UX design, it is important to take into account every step of the engagement life cycle – from the usability of your home page right the way through to purchase – and to ensure that the visitor reaches the desired destination as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
A business goal is often different to a user goal. Step into the shoes of your user, your potential customer to be. I am now a customer and I want to buy a car, suit, laptop computer or a mobile phone. Let’s take one of these as an example:
User Goal – I want to buy a car.
Business Goal – I want to sell cars.
User Goal – I want to find information about a particular car.
Business Goal – I want to increase customer loyalty.
User Goal – I want to compare models.
Business Goal – I want to strengthen my brand image.
At the core of every business is a product or service, and designing a user experience that leads visitors to purchase that product or service requires an understanding the difference between your legitimate business goals and those of your potential customer. Careful positioning of calls to action / enquiry at key points throughout the user journey will enhance the experience in your favour. With this understanding of what drives your customer to engage with your business, you can tailor the user experience to suit the wants and needs of your target audience.
About Michael Bell One
To talk to us about your web design, SEO or Branding project, contact Jake Judd or David Park on 01273 478822 or simply send us an email instead.