Every website should be created with users in mind. The success of a site depends on a large extent on the way people perceive it. In this post, we'll take a closer look at the website user experience. We will show what User Experience is, how to design attractive websites from the user's point of view, and discuss the most important trends in UX.

 

Good UX - how to create a user-friendly website

30 April 2020

 

 

What is UX and why is it important for your website

According to Wikipedia, UX (User Experience) is a person's emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system, or service.

UX is one of the most important aspects of creating a website. If the page is user-friendly, it attracts people. A good design focuses primarily on the user experience. Thanks to this, the person who visits the site will stay there longer and will be happy to come back to it in the future.

User Experience is particularly important in getting a good conversion rate. Conversion rate the percentage of users who perform the action you want on your site, for example, making a purchase, reading blog entries, subscribing to the newsletter.

If the navigation on the page is not intuitive, the buttons are hardly visible and the texts on the page are hardly understood, the visitor will quickly get lost, and thus leave the page.

 

User Experience, User Interface, Web Design - how they differ from each other

These 3 terms are closely related, but they should not be used interchangeably, because they relate to 3 different things.

User Experience is, as we have already mentioned, about personal attitudes and emotions. Designing UX is about providing the user with a product that will ensure the best possible experience. User Interface is all elements of the page that enable user interaction with the site. Webdesign is a term that covers all aspects creating websites, including UX and UI.

 

Skills of a good UX designer

User Experience is an interdisciplinary field - it requires extensive knowledge and skills in several areas, primarily psychology, design, marketing, and IT. The UX specialist must master a wide range of skills because their tasks are very diverse.

 

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Taking into account the results of tests and data collected on the basis of site results;

Transforming the goals and tasks into specific solutions translating into a positive user experience.

Planning and conducting tests and surveys and their subsequent assessment, operation in accordance with the principles of designing the information structure;

Creating personas, stories, storyboards, website maps, wireframes (preliminary projects) and website prototypes;

 

 

How to create a good site design

Creating a good UX primarily involves focusing on the needs of the user. When creating a page, you should always take his perspective. Does it sound trivial? Maybe, but in the process of creating a page, it is easy to forget about this basic principle.

 

The role of research in UX

User Experience is an empirical field. This means that practice plays the most important role here. In the case of UX, it's all about checking how people use the site.

User experience is checked by testing the UX of the site. In practice, this is the only method that allows you to test the adopted solutions and make corrections. The professional UX test consists of three stages.

 

  • Audit - involves a thorough analysis of all elements of the page and catches any errors and shortcomings.

  • A comparative journey - going through a given page in the same way a user does. This allows you to look at a given site from the perspective of people using it.

  • Card storing - analysis of content readability. 

 

UX testing is not only done when designing the page. It is important to check UX regularly. This will allow you to adapt to changes in trends and users behavior.

Usability testing can be commissioned to a specialized company. However, if you do not have sufficient funds, you can carry them out yourself.

The easiest way is to use the help of colleagues or friends. All you have to do is ask them to perform a specific action on the site (for example, buying a black leather wallet) and check what difficulties they encountered along the way.

You can also choose to conduct an online survey. For this purpose, messengers such as Skype or Zoom will work.

 

 

 

10 Nielsen heuristics

Behind this difficult concept lies a set of basic principles that a good UX designer should follow. They were created by Jakob Nielsen - one of the most recognized specialists in the UX industry.

  • System status visibility

The user should always know where he is and what is currently happening.

 

  • The connection between the system and the real world

The site should use communication methods known to the user. Use words, navigation methods, and concepts that a person using your site encounters on a daily basis.

 

  • User control over the system

Users often make mistakes. Therefore, you should allow them to quickly undo changes.

 

  • Maintaining consistency and standards

The user should not wonder what the messages mean in a given context. They should be the same every time.

 

  • Error prevention

When creating the page, pay special attention so that no errors appear on it that make it difficult to use the site (for example, broken links, incorrect navigation or illegible texts).

 

  • Choice instead of rememberingAll necessary options (such as return to the main page, access to the order basket or contact) should be easily accessible from the individual subpages. Thanks to this, the user does not have to remember the structure of the page to move freely on it.

 

  • Flexibility and efficiency

People use websites in different ways. For example, some prefer to access the information they are looking for using the menu, while others use the search engine to do so. You should ensure the best experience for the widest possible group of users.

 

  • Aesthetics and minimalism

The page should contain only necessary elements, it cannot be "overloaded". Any unnecessary information disrupts the user's interaction with the site.

 

  • Clear communication in case of errors

If the user has encountered an error, you should explain in clear language what happened and what to do.

 

  • Help and documentationSometimes users need help or additional, detailed information about the operation of your website. Make sure help and documentation are easily accessible.

 

Information architecture on the site

Information architecture is a field that deals with the appropriate presentation of content on a page. It primarily focuses on access to information. This is one of the most important elements when it comes to website usability. Therefore, you should pay special attention to it.

A page with good information architecture allows the user to easily navigate and quickly find content. It makes the user perform the actions desired by the creator of the site.

Most often, one of three ways is used to create a good information structure on the site.

  • Creating a sitemap- a project for placing content in individual places on the page. 

  • Sorting cards. In this method, individual pieces of information are written on separate sheets. You give them to a group of potential users of the site. Their task is to group cards in the way they think the information on the page should be presented.

  • Creating prototypes and wireframes (preliminary outlines of the appearance and functionality of the future site, including the distribution of content on the page).

 

Adaptation to mobile devices

Currently, the majority of website traffic comes from smartphones. Therefore, when designing websites, special attention is paid to the experience of users of mobile devices.

The best way to meet the needs of people accessing the site by phones and tablets as well as computers is to create a responsive page - a site that adapts to the size of the screens of the devices on which it is displayed. Building such a website is facilitated by website creators such as WebWave.

 

Making changes on the page

Designing UX is not just about creating a user-friendly page. The appearance of websites is constantly changing. New technical solutions and fashions are emerging. The changes also affect users' expectations.

What's more, even if the solution works well, it is possible to create even better one. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor user behavior on the site and make changes that improve the UX of the site.

 

How to test the effectiveness of adopted solutions

The primary tool used for this purpose is Google Analytics. This tool is used to measure website traffic. Thanks to it you will learn, among others:

  •  How many users visit your site,

  • How users get to your site (e.g. by entering its address directly in the browser window, by searching for keywords or advertising),

  • How much time they spend on the site,

  • Which web pages are the most popular.

The information collected through Google Analytics will allow you to optimize the page and improve the conversion rate.

 

A / B tests

A / B tests are a method of checking the effectiveness of new solutions. With their help, you can test many elements of the page - from changing the button color to new navigation or completely changed interface.

 

 

The A / B test involves redirecting some of the traffic to the new version (B) of the site while directing the other part of the traffic to the old version (A). Thanks to this it is possible to test the effectiveness of changes in practice.

 

If the conversion rate is higher for the new version of the page, the innovations tested proved to be effective and it is worth introducing them permanently. Otherwise, it's better to stay with the current version of the site.

 

What does the website design process look like

The page design process in terms of user experience can be divided into several stages.

 

Wireframe

This is the initial design of the page, which illustrates ideas for the appearance and functionality of the site. Often it is in the form of drawings on paper. You can also use graphics programs such as Photoshop to create it. Wireframe does not contain specific elements of the page, such as photos, texts, or ready menus. Instead, it shows where the individual components should be in the finished site.

 

 

Mockup

It's a project that contains specific elements of the page. It looks like a working website. However, it lacks functionality - the individual web pages are not integrated, which means that you cannot navigate the mockup page like a finished website.

 

Prototype

This is a preliminary version of a working page that allows you to test specific solutions before making the site available to all users.

After checking and approving the design of the site, web developers encode the final version ready for publication on the web.

 

Website design in website builders

Using website builders such as WebWave can significantly speed up the work on a page. They allow you to create mockups, prototypes, and ready-to-publish pages with one tool. What's more, many people can work on the page created in the website builder at the same time, because the project is available online. In addition, publishing your site on the internet does not require coding - you can do it with one click.

 

Current trends in UX

As we have already mentioned, UX is a very dynamic field. That is why you should follow the latest trends and observe effective solutions from competitors. What UX development trends can we see in 2020?

 

Dark mode

The dark user interface is gaining popularity. The black background causes less light to reach the eyes, which may be important for users visiting the site before bedtime. In addition, aesthetic issues are important - in most cases, dark mode will look elegant and professional.

 

Harmony of colors

More and more sites have a limited color palette. The use of colors lying close together on the color wheel makes the design look more elegant. In addition, websites in non-contrasting colors are less tiring to look at.

 

Combination of graphics and photographs

In recent months web designers are more and more willing to reach for photos enriched with graphic elements and collages. This gives photography a more individual touch and helps website owners stand out from the competition.

 

Conclusion

User Experience is an issue that must be remembered at every stage of running a website - from the initial design through the selection of specific solutions to ongoing maintenance and updating.

A good UX of the site makes it easy for the user to find it on the web, reach the information he is looking for and return to your site in the future.

Creating a website that will meet the user's needs is not an easy task. Especially people who create a website for their own use may have a problem with it.

WebWave templates can be helpful here. These are ready-made web designs that have been prepared with the best user experience in mind. Treat them as the skeleton of your page, which you can fill with any content. Thanks to this, creating a company website, portfolio, or online store will be simple and quick. Try WebWave templates and create a website without coding for free!

 

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