Focusing on the user experience of your site is not only good practice but can help strengthen your online brand strategy. Brand’s that are seen to be putting experience first often find they benefit from increased conversion and retention rates.
The key to ensuring a successful user experience (UX) is thinking first and foremost, about your user. Much of web design research is down to studies taken from human computer interaction (HCI) research. The design of your website focuses on layout functionality and this easily coincides with user experience as it contributes towards the whole picture which UX focuses on.
1. Become familiar with your users
The first step to making the ideal interface experience for your users is making sure you actually know them. This means analyzing your demographic as well as understanding what their needs are and what they require in order to achieve their goals.
As well as what they want, understand what they need. Digging deeper into your audience will uncover their requirements and this will steer the design of the interface for your website.
2. How will people use your interface?
Before you begin the process of designing your interface, you need to figure out how people will use it. This is particularly important to consider with the growth of finger-touch devices. There are different ways that users use interfaces, whether it’s directly or indirectly.
The audience that you attract and what devices they’re likely to use will inform how you create your interface. Understanding your audiences beforehand will be crucial to the user interface (UI) interactions that you create.
3. Provide feedback for your users
There’s nothing worse for a user when they perform an interaction on a website and don’t know the outcome of it. When you fill in your card details to make a purchase, you would expect a confirmation page to let you know the process has been completed.
There are many occasions where interfaces fail to give feedback to their users, which leaves us in the loop about what to do next. So, it’s important to give feedback to your users whenever relevant and make sure they’re kept informed. Most importantly, make sure the feedback is fast. Slow loading speeds can increase user bounce rates.
4. Ensure your interfaces are easy to learn
According to many studies, people’s short term memory only holds between 5-7 pieces of information at any one time. Making things too complicated makes them harder to learn. Therefore, where possible, try to make your interface easy to learn.
Do so by breaking down the processes required to navigate your interface. This will prevent your users from feeling overwhelmed and encourage them to return knowing they can move around the interface efficiently when they need to.
5. Make it easy for users to make a decision
More often than we realize, we come across websites that overwhelm us with choices and cloud our decision-making. We’ll have pop-ups and banners that tell us to ‘click here’ and ‘find out more’ before we’ve even had the chance to feed ourselves with the relevant information to help us make the decision.
The more UI options you provide to a user, the more difficult they’ll find it to actually make a decision. In UX design, this impacts everything we make. From content layout to navigation menus, they’re all factors that need to keep decision-making in mind. Ultimately, the simpler design, the easier and quicker your users can make decisions.