Why Web Designers Should Pay More Attention to UX Design Principles
The next time you build or rebuild a website, you may want to pause before you start thinking about all the new features or design elements you want to add. Instead, you should start with UX, basing your new design on users’ needs and desires.
Good website UX is good customer service, built into the structure of a business’s web presence. By leveraging UX design principles, like user personas, user-centric navigation and more, you can make a website that is tailor-fit to audience needs.
Good UX Boosts Conversions
Customers typically don’t spend long looking for what they need. They’re on the internet, which means that hundreds of thousands of other options are available at any time. If they feel lost or confused while on your site, they’ll simply click away off-site.
Strong UX — site design that starts with the user’s perspective, can help to prevent this. If your site is easy to navigate and predicts user needs, visitors will be more likely to stick around. They’ll also be more likely to click through to product pages or blogs. They may also direct questions to the business’s sales team. This can help you to boost conversions significantly and improve the effectiveness of site content.
There’s even some evidence that effective UX can boost a site’s SEO ranking , meaning that you may even boost your site’s organic traffic while you grow conversions. As Google’s search algorithm becomes more sophisticated, it’s possible that UX may become even more essential to site and page SEO.
UX-Centric Design Helps Visitors Find What They Need
Business sites typically contain a lot of important information, your business hours, contact info, location and product catalogues. This information can be almost impossible to find if you don’t make it accessible.
This is especially true for eCommerce retailers with websites home to a wide variety of available products. Navigating through a deep product catalogue can be almost impossible without the right design elements in place.
As a web designer, you have access to a large number of techniques you can use to make navigation easier, like drop-down menus, product filtering options and sort features.
With user personas and other UX design tools, you can know which of these navigation elements will work best for your audience.
In practice, these elements can help your visitors navigate through large and varied product catalogues or find the specific information they’re looking for.
UX Makes Visiting Websites Feel Purposeful
A good website is capable of informing, entertaining or engaging a visitor. A good business website does this while also providing some kind of function or purpose. Visitors come to a business’s site for a reason, to find products or to access an account. Effective business site design means that the site should make these functions central to using the site.
Some designers even recommend thinking of your site as a product, rather than just web content. Websites that are like products have utility or function and provide customers with something that will directly benefit them.
Ecommerce sites, for example, must include functional elements like search fields and product filters that help customers find products. Prioritizing these functional elements will help to make navigating the site both easier and more purposeful.
Strong UX Can Be a Trust Signal
When visiting your site, users are scanning carefully for trust signals, site elements that suggest a business are trustworthy and credible. They don’t have time to investigate every business they come across. They skim instead, looking for these signals to determine if they should learn more about a particular business.
These trust-signalling elements can include professional graphic design, testimonials, product reviews and a blog or content archive that suggests the business has been around for a while.
Security measures are similarly important, especially for businesses that sell products online and accept credit card payments over the web.
Websites that take users’ needs into consideration often appear to be more trustworthy. As a result, UX-centered design can also be a powerful trust signal. Good UX features like fast page loading times and effective use of white space, for example, imply professional design. Visitors won’t feel like the business is hiding information from them or making it more difficult to find the products they’re after. In addition to being less frustrated or confused, good UX may also make a business seem much more credible.
UX-Centric Design Saves Time and Money
Design strategies are always easiest to implement when you consider them right from the start. If you’re building a business site, you have a powerful opportunity to incorporate UX directly into that site’s design.
Because UX is so important for increasing conversions and improving customer satisfaction, businesses often want to improve the UX of their existing websites. Upgrading a site that already exists can often be time-consuming and expensive.
On the other hand, building a site with UX principles in mind can be much cheaper comparatively, and may make it easier for future design changes to be user-friendly as well.
The most cost- and time-efficient design strategy will consider UX from the very beginning, ensuring that a business
How UX Design Principles Can Improve a Business Site
A website’s usability and accessibility can have a significant impact on how often visitors convert or come back to the site. UX design principles are one of the best ways to ensure that a site is both easy to use and navigate.
By building a site with user needs in mind, you can effectively predict what design features your audience will need and how they’ll respond to certain design features.
When creating a new website, keeping UX principles in mind can help you to boost conversions, improve site SEO and future-proof the site’s design.
About the Author:
Eleanor is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy.