The Importance of UX Design for Your Website
When it comes to building a well-designed website, working with a user experience (UX) specialist is your best bet. A UX specialist is an expert in strategy design for websites, but may also work with apps and other digital products.
The goal of their work is to ensure your website (or app/digital product) is usable, valuable, easy to navigate, and performs as planned for site visitors — hence the term user experience, or UX.
Learn more about the benefits of working with a UX specialist for your company, whether you plan to hire in-house or work with a digital agency that provides this service for you.
The Importance of a Good Website
It sounds simple, but many businesses fail to recognize the importance of having a strong website. Keep in mind that an attractive website is not always a good website.
Behind the scenes, much more needs to be considered here, think: placement of copy and calls to action, page loading times, interactive elements that engage users, and so on.
A beautiful design with eye-catching visuals still needs to make sense strategically, otherwise site users will leave just as quickly as they landed. High bounce rates, low traffic rates, and poor lead generation are a direct result of having a website that is not helpful or valuable in the eyes of a user.
Check out our Website Evaluation Checklist for more information on how to improve your site.
An Inside Look at the UX Design Process for Websites
By understanding the user’s needs and goals, this information translates into how they’re using your site and looking at it. The UX design process follows some basic principles you should be performing, as listed below.
1. User research
Studying the behaviors of your site’s users is crucial. UX specialists do this to gain an understanding of how users are interacting with your website. There are many things you can learn about users, such as what pages they spend the most time on, what buttons or calls to action they are clicking on the most, if they are exiting out of pop ups, and so on.
UX design specialists always keep certain tools and resources in their back pockets. Popular options include UserTesting for real time feedback on your website, Lucky Orange to track user activity on each page, and Proto.io to quickly put together professional wireframes.
2. Information architecture
A site map constitutes information architecture, which determines the page hierarchy of your website. This ultimately defines how the navigation menu and subsequent dropdown items will appear on a page. A strategic site map ensures easy navigation throughout the entire site and allows users to find what they are searching for.
Here is an example of a basic site map for reference:
As one of the first steps in the UX design process, a UX specialist will create this basic visual layout for each web page. Known as a wireframe, this provides a general outline of what the page will look like, and where certain copy or visual elements will fit onto the page.
By creating wireframes, you can determine how you would like users to move through the buyer’s journey on said pages. Here, you can begin to incorporate branding using color psychology to create an idea of what the final product will look like. You can also get an idea for the length of copy required for each section and what visual elements are needed from your creative team.
Below is an example of a wireframe to help you see this process:
4. User testing
Once you have a grasp on user research and the first draft of your website has been completed, it’s time to test and test again. User testing is essential for improving the functionality of your website. No matter how great your product or service is, users will almost always leave your site if it’s difficult to use, encouraging them to instead reach out to the competition!
An internal test is the easiest place to start. It is beneficial to have coworkers in other departments test your website so that you can get feedback from people who are not familiar with testing.
You can then make tweaks and run A/B tests. To conduct A/B testing, create multiples of the same pages to test colors, CTA placement, headings, and so on. Allow a certain percentage of site visitors to engage with the pages and monitor the analytics of both. Whichever page has the most conversions, or meets whatever metric or KPI goal you are trying to reach, that is the winner!
5. Site design
Once you have landed on the best page, it can be passed off to your creative and development team for completion. The UX specialist will ensure that best practices are adhered to during this process. Essentially, the UX design team creates the backbone of the site, and the creative team brings it to life.
6. Further testing
At a later point, perform continual testing to ensure that the website is running smoothly. Make sure visual elements such as videos or large graphics aren’t slowing down the loading speed, as this can lead to a high bounce rate. If your site is not performing how you would like, go back to the drawing board and come up with a new wireframe, or see if more in-depth user testing is needed. Regularly test (and make improvements) to your website for optimal performance.
Get UX-Friendly Design for Your Website
We can’t stress the importance of a well-performing site enough, because in today’s day and age your digital presence is everything. It is important to nurture leads and move them through the cycle before they see your website and, quite literally, leave.
If UX design isn’t your strong suit, we have got you covered. Here at Pinckney Marketing, we are problem solvers at heart and only want the best for your business. Lead generation is our top priority, so let us help you build an awesome website that converts. Contact us to speak with our team about improving your website by clicking the button below.