What is UX Design?
UX stands for User Experience.
Think about a recent time when you’ve visited a website. You’ve opened that website because you have a particular goal in mind. That goal could be booking a flight, finding the opening hours of a local shop, purchasing a product, or even as simple as reading an article.
Was the experience smooth and intuitive or clunky and confusing?
Did navigating the site feel logical or arbitrary? Did you find yourself having to think about where to find the information you want?
Did interacting with the site feel like it was easy to accomplish your goal, or did it feel like a struggle?
Think of a situation that I’m sure we’ve all been in. Waiting for a bus, when the rain starts to pour down. We step under the bus shelter to keep dry. But this is Ireland, and in Ireland we have sideways rain. The bus shelter provides us with no actualy shelter when we use it as intended.
There was no thought put into the context of the placement of this bus shelter. “There are bus shelters in other parts of the city, and they work, so this one will too”. If the council had done a small bit of research into the context of the location and the prevailing wind, they may have positioned the shelter differently and it would be used by all customers happily.
Designing without considering the user from the beginning leaves you with a product that will cause user frustration and inevitably cause your users to stop using the product entirely.
By taking the time to follow the UX process before moving to the build process, we can minimise the risk involved in creating a new website for you.
We minimise the risk of time, cost and quality by understanding the goals, expectations and frustrations of your actual users. By using this understanding, we can design a website that will surpass the expectations of your users.
Benefits of UX
We want to provide a positive and meaningful user experience that will keep your users loyal to your brand.
A positive experience can directly affect the growth of your business in today’s competitive online environment.
UX design can raise conversion rates by as much as 400%
Whether it’s online donations, event signups or e-commerce, a positive user experience is key to increasing your conversion rate.
Studies from Forrester Research have indicated that a well-designed user experience could raise your website’s conversion rate from 200% up to 400%.
A similarly important factor to consider is the amount of potential conversions that are lost due to a poor user experience – something that would not be captured or understood without following the UX process.
UX boosts SEO rankings
Google’s search algorithm puts great importance on user-experience when ranking search results.
The focus today is on creating positive experiences on the web. Google shows a preference for websites that are shown to provide good UX.
A website that provides a great user experience will lead to a higher rank on search engines.
UX enhances customer loyalty and improves word-of-mouth marketing
If your customers have positive and meaningful experiences on your website, your brand starts to form long-standing relationships with these customers. A positive expereience online leads to a positive associsation with your organisation/brand.
As a result of this, good UX can help with word-of-mouth marketing. It’s human nature to want to discuss positive customer experiences with others, which creates brand ambassadors among loyal customers.
Taking the time to follow the UX process by conducting research is obviously proven to be a key factor in the sucess of your website. But, you might still be thinking: “We don’t have the time or budget to do all this. We know what we need and what our customers want.”
That’s dangerous thinking. You are not your users and the assumptions you have don’t align with how your customers experience your website.
By following the UX process from the start, you will inevitably save time and save money by getting your website design right first time around. It’s a lot more costly to build a full website and have to go back and redesign because it frustrates your customers or does not perform as well as hoped.
Think of your website as a new house build. You wouldn’t just blindly start stacking bricks on top of each other without a clear understanding of the plans of the house. These plans have been designed before the build begins by a qualified architect, who will have conducted lots of research into the context of the house, location, materials available, budget and the home-owners. The architect would probably create a small model of the plans for the finished house or a 3D model, so that it can be tested with the home-owners before moving to the more expensive build phase.
So, much like building a house, it makes sense to conduct UX research and test prototypes with sample users to validate the designs before moving to your website build.