One of the fundamental aspects of modern web design and development is the issue of user experience.
Rising to prominence in recent years, as a wide range of consumers from different backgrounds get savvier as to what they expect and what they want to see in a website – user experience is paramount to any user today, and must be considered when building and designing a new website. In this blog post we’ll look at what makes good user experience, as well as taking into consideration a few of the recent developments within the field that would be worth considering when moving forward into the web design of the future.
When it comes to web design, customers to your site respond to the elements that not only look good but also feel good to use. User manuals are things of the past – no visitor to your site or user of your app should have any doubt as to how it’s used and what it does. Intuitive design, functionality and usability are key in good user experience today and are likely to become more prominent as our smartphones and tablets are used in an increasing variety of ways.
Consistency in design
Linked to the idea of being intuitive and having the right ‘feel’ is the issue of consistency. User experience is sometimes a hard element of web design to pin down – but you should aim to develop everything with consistency in mind at all times. This has two benefits, firstly it looks good and retains the right visual aesthetic, and secondly it enables customers to believe and feel that they already know your brand, your product and how your site or app works.
Don’t dictate to your users
One important rule of user experience is learning from what your customers would expect to see from your site. Interpret and learn from the way your customers use your site – they often know what they like and what they want to see – and your job working on user experience is to find this out. Your role is not to tell users what they want, it’s to create a product or an offering that solves their problems and fulfils their needs.
Integrate data seamlessly
We’ve all heard it before, but it can sometimes be easy to put at the back of our minds. The truth is, the internet is absolutely swimming in data, and integrating this data can sometimes be baffling for an audience or severely hamper the customer journey. Think of problems that your customers may face – and use pertinent data that’s useful and relevant to help them. Data for data’s sake, or random statistics, will complicate your user experience and confuse potential customers.
Make the user feel powerful
The final point, and possibly one of the most pertinent to consider in today’s digital age. People are now filled with so many options as to what to do with their time – and the digital landscape can provide so many different avenues for users to explore. Therefore, web and app design, as well as user experience, needs to make the customer feel powerful. Make them feel loved, cared for and give them the opportunity to be creative – one of the most important rules of good user experience today is acknowledging the fact that even within the vast web landscape, everyone is different and everyone has their own story.