The importance of UX when building a custom website

UX is not just another buzz key phrase

UX is not just another buzz key phrase, it is a method of design which actually makes sense. It stands for “user experience”, and when this process is used to build a custom website, it could be the deciding factor in whether your visitors stay or go.

The concept is relatively simple, instead of focusing on one or two areas such as graphics and content, look at the bigger picture and create a space with the satisfaction and usability of the end user in mind.

The Way Things Look

Everyone wants a pretty website, as it can often be the first point of call for potential customers. The way things look is important, but cannot be the only factor at play. A website needs to be easy to navigate and functional to encourage interaction.

Some things just work, take the Google blue for example, it’s ugly and you wouldn’t paint your walls that colour but they stick with it for their links. Why? Because everyone surfing the net understands it is a clickable link and it encourages engagement. Back in 2010 competitor Bing experimented with link colour choices for their advertising network, and ended back at a Google blue.

The decision to go #0044CC was said to be financial as it contributed to a massive 80 million dollar per year revenue increase. UX is about knowing your user, and following their basic expectations. 39% of people will close a website due to slow loading images as poor load times detract from the user experience.

How the Website is Structured

Consider how you browse the internet and what you would personally expect from a website. For example, you would likely expect the navigation to be clear, easy to read and featured near the top of the page. At the very least a user would expect to be easily able to find contact information and a site free from broken links.

Often UX designers will use skeleton maps to determine the potential experience of website visitors. This could be similar to a sitemap, but will give a visual representation of how things will flow. There are a range of different programs which will help you map out your progress, or you can go old school and stick to a pencil and paper. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a unique twist to help you stand out, but the bones should be in the right places. This flexibility in design is just one benefit of creating a custom website over a template.

Knowing Your Audience

To design a website with user experience and customer satisfaction in mind, it is essential that you understand your target audience. This can be done by studying your analytics, as well as surveying current customers and stakeholders. This may be time consuming but this type of data is invaluable in determining the form and functionality of your website. It isn’t always as easy as asking users what they want, as your customer Jenny may love cats, but that doesn’t mean a homepage full of furry feline friends is going to suit a website for a mechanic. Research, research, research and take a little bit of logic, a bit of observation and a bit of user interaction.

Be Mobile Friendly and Responsive

According to data from Sensis (June 2017), smartphone usage is on the rise. 81% of Australians use a smartphone to access the internet, compared to 59% who use a laptop. Once again, the importance of a mobile friendly and responsive design is significant and this is one factor which falls under the UX umbrella. The same process should apply to both desktop and mobile versions, to ensure the navigation, layout and design is user friendly and creates a joyful experience…not a frustrating one.

UX is quickly becoming a job in itself, as businesses now hire UX experts to overhaul their companies. At Dux Digital we can create a custom website for your company which ticks all the boxes with user experience in mind, while still being visually appealing. Contact us today to discuss how we can take your business to the next level.