User Experience (UX) is one of the most widely used buzz words in the web design world, and for good reason too. We feel confident stating that no website can be exempted from UX standards and that good UX leads to positive results on your website. How then can business owners ensure that your website has a good UX for users?
To identify what makes good UX for websites, we would first have to look at the origins of the term and it intends to accomplish. Only once we have established this basis can we then approach website UX theories to guide your next web design.
Before we jump in, if you are interested in having strong user experiences on your website, then consult Mediaplus Digital. We offer leading website design Singapore services that excite your users.
The Origins of UX
The term “User Experience” was first coined by Don Norman in the late 1990s. A cognitive scientist and the co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, Don defined UX as a human first way of designing products. In his own words, “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products”.
As you might have expected given the time frame, there is no mention of websites or digital platforms within Norman’s definition. Rather, Don explained that regardless of the medium of interaction, UX Design would encompass all interactions between a consumer and a company. This essentially means that UX design consider all the different elements that shape the experience a consumer has with a brand.
While UX affects a host of different consumer interactions with a brand, it has gained the most traction in web and app design. This is due to the autonomous nature of these platforms as well as the level of interactivity expected on them.
Visual Design & User Interface
Within the realm of web design, two highly related fields to UX are visual design and User Interface (UI).
Visual design is most frequently applied in the creation of static mock-ups for websites. Questions that visual designers would ask include:
- How can I make this webpage look visually attractive?
- What colours should I use in order to complement the brand?
- Which fonts should be used to reach out to viewers?
Essentially, visual design can be boiled down to making a beautiful website given the different assets available.
User interface on the other hand determines the functional aspects of the website. This covers how would you perform certain interactions on the website. An example would be the “add to cart” function within e-commerce stores. It is widely accepted that good UI practice has users adding items to the cart without needing to checkout immediately. Rather, users are allowed to carry on shopping, only proceeding to their cart area when they are ready to check out.
UX’s Influence on Web Design
UX can be seen as the overriding or complimentary element to visual design and UI in web design. It takes into account how users experience your website and informs you how to encourage them to take desired actions. As such, a premium is placed on great user experience, being that it strongly dictates the chances of conversions on your website.
Website UX Theories
Over the years, several website UX theories have been formed, helping to guide designers towards high standards of web design.
Did you know that for every additional step that you require a user to take within your conversion funnel, its success rate drops exponentially? While it may be possible for simpler services to have only 1 or 2 steps for a conversion to take place, this could be counterproductive for other websites.
For example, websites that offer great customisation services for products, e.g. bikes, computers or food, would require heavy user interaction for the personalised order to be completed. Rather than forsake the unique selling point of the website experience, an uninterrupted design can be implemented to circumvent the issue.
Other than appearing sleek, Uninterrupted UX presents new data and visuals without ever causing a visible reloading of the page. Most interactions would occur on a singular page, thus never requiring the user to transit or to tune out between pages. As such, a rhythm is created for the user, allowing them to continuously input data or seek information.
Another aspect of Uninterrupted UX is that of master buttons. Especially useful on mobile websites, master buttons allow users to fill out whole forms or to have their password inputted with a single click. Accomplished either through simple gestures or biometric authentications, master button controls empower your users to take the desired actions without getting fatigued.
Ever landed on a page and felt completely lost? Not knowing where to start reading with nothing really catching your eye? If so, then the website that you are looking at probably has poor visual hierarchy.
Visual hierarchy is the order in which the we perceive what we see on a website. Unknown to most of us, we seldom ever solely focus on a singular object to understand it. Instead, we take many clues from its surroundings to inform our understanding about it. Yes, context always matters, and web design is no exception to the rule.
As alluded to before, relationships between objectives and their surroundings gives us important context to make sense of what we are seeing. Typical website examples of these include:
- Font hierarchy; from title to header to sub-header and to plain text. Without clarity on which text is the title or header, a user will be absolutely confused over what your website is promoting.
- Colours; putting together incompatible colours will result in irritation for the eye. Conversely, smart usage of colours and gradients can help guide the eye to the main focus of the webpage.
It should come as no surprise that websites that contain a human touch often perform better. Research has shown that users experienced such websites with greater intimacy, forging stronger connections to the brand. Moreover, human elements are excellent for breaking up overly formal and artificial lines. This creates an exciting contrast that makes the website feel more dynamic and therefore enticing to the user.
Two human elements are favoured include that of human faces and handwritten typography. When done right, these two elements convey much more to the user than one would typically suspect. It also grants a human presence to your brand, making it likeable and relatable to users.
Choose Mediaplus Digital as your Web Design Partner
Mediaplus Digital is a web design Singapore agency with more than 10 years experience.
Our web development team provides mobile responsive websites that are both intuitive and attractive to users. As a premier web design agency, we pride ourselves on providing sound advice to clients and effective project management.