What is UX Design?
For the uninitiated, UX design can seem like a broad and confusing term. Let’s break it down and look at what UX design is and why you need to utilise it to improve your business.
What is UX Design?
UX design, short for User Experience Design, can encompass a variety of different skill-sets, but its end goal is simple; shaping digital experiences for the end user.
These digital experiences could be in the form of a new app you are developing, a website, a video game or a piece of desktop software. UX designers use a number of different tools and metrics to study how a person feels when interacting with your digital media.
Confused? Here are a couple of examples of what a UX designer might do.
Let’s say you’re running an E-Commerce site, but sales are down and you can’t figure out why. A UX designer would look at the sub-systems within your website such as the checkout process, to ascertain whether the end-user is having a pleasing and easy experience when they checkout.
Or if you are designing a website for your business, UX design can help ensure that visitors are able to navigate around your site efficiently and without confusion by A/B testing different layouts of links and forms on your site.
And this is just scratching the surface of what UX design can do.
Benefits of UX Design
Having a great user-experience is absolutely paramount to the success of your digital endeavour.
Users who have a great experience with you will undoubtedly come back again and again. They will be moved to post positive reviews of your company on social media. They will tell their friends and family about you. All this leads to one thing: increased sales!
Look at Netflix. Nearly all of their marketing comes from word of mouth from exciting users waxing lyrical about the service they provide. This is because the UX design of Netflix is simple, efficient and elegant.
This doesn’t happen by chance, Netflix goes the extra mile to provide a great user-experience because they understand that word of mouth from a happy user is the best kind of marketing there is.
Customer loyalty and repeat business are invaluable to smaller businesses, and you do not want to scupper this by having a poor UX design. You can have the best product in the world but if people are having a hard time navigating around it you have no chance.
Have a great user-experience and keep your conversions high.
Having a product which is simple, efficient and pleasurable to use will help reduce your costs in the long term.
A great UX design means less need for customer support, which means more time and money can be spent on improving your product further rather than constantly rectifying mistakes and placating angry users.
UX design can reduce staffing costs as having an amazing design and user-experience means you will need less customer support staff, less lengthy ‘help’ documentation to be produced and keep your conversions high.
Substance Over Style
It’s not sufficient to simply have a “pretty” website, when it comes to UX design (and web design in general) functionality is king.
That’s not to say that aesthetics are irrelevant, but simply the design has to support the function and vice versa.
For example, eye tracking studies have shown that a typical website user’s attention starts at the top left hand corner of the page, so from a UX design perspective it is important to navigate a visitors line of sight horizontally from left to right.
This is the type of factor a UX designer will consider when marrying the style and functionality of your project together.
One of the key concepts in UX design is the idea of the “User Journey”. A user journey is simply a list of steps that your target user will have to go through when interacting with your service.
They are typically used to demonstrate how a user is currently interacting with a service or how they could potentially use it the future.
User journeys are a great tool when to use when thinking in terms of UX design.
- User Interaction – user journeys can help you work out the most efficient way a user could interact with your service. By looking through the eyes of the end-user you can eliminate many unnecessary steps they may be taking. Being able to navigate through a digital space with ease makes for much happier users.
- Demonstrate functionality – user journeys are a great way to visualise the function of your project. If you are looking for investment in your project, you can show your user-journey to potential stakeholders to help them understand your vision. Having a well defined user journey can be the difference between getting that all important investment or not.
- Define interface – by having a ‘flow’ of tasks defined in a linear fashion, a user journey can help you understand what the user interface will need to be at each step to help accomplish those tasks. This will enable your service to function at a much higher level.
Effective UX design will absolutely provide a great ROI and improve conversion rates substantially if implemented correctly.
Web design for E-Commerce is about driving sales and conversion, but this can only happen if all the component pieces are efficiently designed and functioning correctly.
UX design is one of the most important factors to consider in the digital age, don’t get left behind!
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