User Experience (UX) is a term that we throw around a lot, as we consider it as one of the most important things to consider when designing and developing a website. So much so that we have experts at Fifteen dedicated purely to UX design. They’re here to share some insight into what it’s all about…
UX design is not user interface design
“UI [User Interface] design is definitely a large part of improving the user experience, but UX takes so much more into consideration,” says Lead UX Designer Alexandra Lofthouse.
While user interface design is all about making sure that the customer’s journey is as streamlined as possible, there is a lot to consider when designing with user experience in mind. The user interface helps improve the usability of a website, but UX looks at the customers needs, their behaviours, and visuals used to portray the company message.
“You can have the best user interface in the world,” says Alexandra, “but unless you actually consider what the customer needs, it’s not much good.”
User experience is not just a step in the process
“It is the process,” says UI Developer Chris Lee, “We have to start implementing it from the very beginning of a project, and carry it through.”
As we said above, user interface is a very important part of UX design, so once the designer has finished making the visuals and plotting out the user journey, it is up to the web developer to make sure that the optimal user journey is met.
Each and every person involved in the process is responsible for the final outcome, from design and development, through to the SEO onsite.
UX supports SEO (and vice versa)
With bounce rate, average session duration and pageviews all a prominently featured metric on Google Analytics, it is clear that Google thinks quite highly of websites that cater to the needs of its audience.
“Google is focusing more and more on the user experience as a ranking factor,” says SEO & Content Executive Adam Richmond.
Whether this is quality backlinks that direct a user towards useful information, a well-formed internal link structure, or including relevant keywords within the copy, almost everything that caters to SEO also contributes to the overall user experience, and vice versa.
UX design is not easy
We’ve already pointed out everything that needs to be taken into consideration when designing and building a website with user experience in mind, and it’s a lot.
From the very beginning you need to research your target audience to establish personas and behaviours, then craft a website that caters to their needs. Every part of the website must be mapped out to create an optimal structure that considers the user journey. Visuals must be created that compliment the message and guide the user through the website.
It’s not just the customer that needs to be studied though. UX balances the customers’ needs with the business goals, to create a product that guides the customer towards a desired conversion.
UX is not a choice
If you’ve not already guessed, UX is an essential part to any project we work on. When creating a product or service, you are automatically creating a user experience, whether intentionally or not.
Taking this into consideration, why shouldn’t you tailor this user experience to achieve the best possible outcome? Well, the answer is you should. With all the above, it is easy to see why user experience is now such an important part of website design.
It leads to better results, increased rankings, and happier customers. Why wouldn’t you do it?
User experience is not just for websites
“People regularly talk about UX for websites,” says Creative Director Ollie Piddubriwnyj, “but UX is not just for websites. We take it into consideration for every project we complete.”
It’s true. Whether you’re designing a website, a brochure, or a social media campaign, the first thing you need to consider is the customer.
UX is all about ensuring that your customer has the best possible experience, so it makes sense to carry it over to all aspects of your marketing, digital and print.