It is critical for web businesses to understand how to build a UX or user friendly website. The aim is to ensure that the site you are designing makes sense to the target groups. The phraseology and terminology you will use forms a crucial part in your ability to achieve this purpose.
You will need to build a site which can satisfy the needs of your users, whether they are browsing from their mobiles or their computer. Bear in mind that your content will be servicing various communication devices and should be formatted to meet these demands.
- Eight UI Design Patterns You Should Consider
- How to Build a Better Design Experience
- Writing Tips For Web Designers
- Designing Websites for a Better Mobile User Experience
- 7 Best Lessons on Web Page Design That Apple Can Teach Us
- Tips to Evaluate Design User Experience
As you attempt to model and build the user experience of your website, there are several key factors that you will have to become acquainted with, if you are to make informed decisions that will improve the user’s experience. You need to understand all aspects of:
- Measuring how users interact with your company online and offline.
- The perception users have of your site.
- Pay attention to how your users learn and use your site (How Designers should Read Clients).
The task of building a UX friendly website may sound like an insurmountable mountain, but this break down of what you need to do, as well as how to go about getting it done, will provide vital insights which will enable you to achieve your goal.
Put yourself in the place of the user and take a walk in their shoes as they navigate your website. Users begin their search with one or more of three basic principles in mind. These are I want…, I need…, and How to… It is on these principles that users will seek to build a relationship with your website as they seek answers to their wants, needs or problems.
Basics for Building an UX Friendly Site:
- Use media for the scaling of your websites layout to fit any screen, but be mindful that this alone is not a complete responsive design.
- Keep it liquid. Liquid layouts can accommodate any screen size. Avoid limiting your work by creating your design to fit specific screen sizes. Screens of varying sizes may emerge eventually, so that whereas you created your design for a 7-inch screen, you may later be faced with the task of redesigning for a 7.4-inch that may become the preferred choice in the future. Fluidity and adaptability is a significant factor in designing a user friendly website (Designing Websites for a Better Mobile User Experience).
- Roll your own grids to the specifics of your sites content. There are no guarantees that a canned grid system will fit the bill as they rarely do. Canned grid systems will not fit your unique content. It is best that you approach the creation of your layouts from the content out and not the canvas in( or grid) format. The Fluid Grid Calculator comes in handy for calculating the rest of your grid math, once you have worked out the basics of your grid for your web content.
- Start building your design to fit the smallest size screen then work your way to the largest. When working with the larger windows of tablet and desktop devices, add @media rules to float elements in their browsers. Start your designs with a narrow, single-column layout which is suitable for mobile browsers, and then scale up from that size rather than doing it the other way around. Using this method of starting at the smallest and scaling up, means it is the desktop browsers that will need to handle @media. Polyfills such as Respond should be used to ensure that older browsers are working (Eight UI Design Patterns You Should Consider).
- Do not use Photoshop as it is virtually impossible to mock up layouts in this application. Build your comps in the browser instead and start there.
- Do not aim to achieve pixel perfect designs across all devices. Focus instead on building the perfect website suitable for all devices.
Think of the Future
New technology emerges every day, and the web is ever broadening its reach and scope. Position your design to take advantage of as many of the present browsers and devices as is possible (Convince the Average User to Change to a Non-IE Browser). Your web content, will fit on various computers and mobiles devices today, but tomorrow this may change to include your toaster or microwave oven.
Measuring the effect of your UX design
There is a variety of tools at your disposal to help you to identify your user’s goals, and gauge the quality of their UX. Google Analytics provides statistics on your website visitors, and can be used to determine if your website is fulfilling its expected functions. Overtime you can set up Google Analytics to show traffic changes. Another benefit of this tracking tool is that it also helps to track conversions, the effect of social networks, traffic location, and search traffic and keywords used.
Ensure that you benefit also
A good UX will not only meet the expectations of your users but will also get you what you want to achieve from your business. Never aim to satisfy your users only, but also bear in mind your organization’s goals. Try to gain leads instead of just giving away your knowledge. Instead of sharing your knowledge in a white paper or free report, try to provide a Call To Action (CTA) form to maximise on leads. The CTA allows you to share your knowledge in exchange for the user’s contact information. You know you have a good UX when everyone wins.