If users can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, then they’ll find their interaction with your brand more satisfying. Whether that’s a purchase or a content engagement or a form completion or anything else that your website is intended to do. And happy users are repeat users.
And taking a holistic view of how your website functions—both for your end users as well as users within your own company—is going to make for a much more successful design process. To that end, here are Quba’s best tips for thinking mindfully about UX and website design.
Website Owner: Know thyself
We mean this in a couple of ways. First of all, understand where your website fits within the broader context of your industry. Doing some groundwork to really get to grips with how your competitors use their websites to engage users is time well spent before you meet with designers. Play with other websites and see what you, as a user, like and don’t like. What feels easy and what feels frustrating. What’s clever and what’s clunky? Where are the gaps in provision that your website is going to fill?
Secondly, get to grips with your brand and its values. Having a strong sense of what your organisation prioritises is a driver for UX design because it will help direct the user journey. It will also help designers create an experience that engages users in a way that integrates your brand’s personality. This helps build the trusting relationship between you and your users that encourages the type of engagement you want.
Balance strategy and process
Keeping an eye on the overarching brand identity and the bigger vision of how the website is going to serve your organisation’s goals is obviously vital to UX planning. But UX isn’t only about strategic thinking. It’s also about how your people actually bring that vision to life day-to-day. The fact is, your content managers—and other people who have point of contact with end users—are users, too.
In the requirements gathering session, including the boots on the ground team members goes a long way toward ensuring the final design with accommodate their needs. That means that a system that is created with content managers in mind, one that is flexible to their reality, instead of the other way round.
Open your mind
You may think you already know what’s causing user dissatisfaction in your industry or on your current website. Or you may feel sure you’ve sussed out how to fix any problems users have already flagged. You may be right! But it’s always a good idea to come to a UX design meeting with an open mind to unexpected solutions.
The designers themselves will have a lot of experience of course. And they’ll bring years of insight about how users interact with sites like yours. But most importantly, UX design is a collaborative effort. Everyone’s voice adds value to the conversation, so be sure to listen to what your designers are telling you as well as you speak about what you want.
When it comes to user testing, there are lots of possible setups. It can be done remotely or in person. The tester can be looking at a wireframe or a full design or at any stage in between. From the observation suite, you watch as they try to find their way around the design. There are probably a lot of awkward silences between the tester and the moderator.
It may be tempting to leave this to the designers. But by checking out of testing, you are immediately forfeiting all first-hand knowledge of your end users. And that is what this is all about! It can be really uncomfortable watching someone criticise something you hoped was great. But if you only ever hear it from a second-hand messenger, it becomes harder to accept a fault in the concept. And often that’s how bad decisions get kept in the design.
When you commit to being present even through the less pleasant moments of testing, however, you are squaring up to your responsibility to the end user. This will pay off when you have a final design that serves the purpose for which it was intended. Your users will start giving you what you want from them!
If you’re feeling at peace with the Kentico UX design process and are ready to talk more, get in touch with Senior Designer Amy Willoughby for more information.
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