5 User Experience Design principles that apply to your website

User Experience Design is the science and art of designing a product so that it’s – easy to use – fits expectations and – meets business goals.

You may have come across the term ‘User Experience (UX) Design’ and wondered what exactly it means. Essentially, it means making the users of a product or website central to the design process. Products and websites are designed for people.

When planning and creating a website, UX design is about understanding the various ways your target audiences use your website and how you want them to use your website. The aimed-for outcome is an intuitive and engaging website that makes it simple for website visitors to take action, whether that’s by signing up to your mailing list, completing an inquiry form or purchasing a product.

Here are 5 UX Design principles that apply to your website:

  1. Know who you are creating the website for

This may sound obvious, but the starting point of creating a user-friendly website is knowing exactly who you are creating it for. Ask yourself – who will be using this website (who are your different client, customer or stakeholder profiles) and why.

Also ask yourself – what exactly do I want those users to do on the website.

Different age groups, demographics, genders and cultures will respond to different design elements, images, colours, styles, functionality and language. An older person might not know how to use a hamburger menu icon. So if you are creating a website for users that may fall under an older demographic, make sure your website has a traditional navigation menu, rather than a minimalist and modern style hamburger menu.

2. Understand how people use websites – they scan content, often not reading it fully

It’s tempting to include absolutely everything you can think of in your website copy. You may want to write an essay for your about page. Don’t.

When it comes to using a website, the majority of users will scan and skim read. This means it’s important to keep copy concise and to the point. It’s also important to use headings, titles and paragraph breaks to create an easier-to-read web page that can easily be scanned… which brings us onto the next point:

3. Create visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy supports the way users scan websites by drawing attention to important information that you, the website owner or creator, want to highlight. Visual hierarchy is about creating distinctive headings, subheadings and paragraph text styles that are consistent across the website and create a sense of order and predictability.

4. Create a simple and intuitive experience (don’t create something crazy and unpredictable)

Are you dreaming of a website that is super creative, offering a never-been-seen-before experience, such as a crazy sideways navigation system? Unfortunately, usability after usability study has found that website users prefer simple websites that have common, predictable features, such as navigation menus at the top of the website and a normal scrolling system.

Creating an intuitive experience is all about ease of use, simplicity and predictability; the goal of any UX Designer is to create a seamless experience where the user doesn’t need to work hard to find things or take action. Make it easy for them.

5. Create clear and directional call to actions

Expanding on point 4, UX Design is all about making it seamless and easy for the user to take action. A website built around solid UX Design principles has clear, directional call-to-actions, and keeps choices to a minimum.

Let’s look an example of this. A website page, for example a services page, that has lots of call-to-action buttons on it, linking to different parts of the website and asking users to do many things (and giving them lots of different options), is likely to lead to a lot less conversions than a web page that has one clear and directional call to action button. Don’t overwhelm users. Create a clear and intuitive journey for them.

Let Nutmeg help you create an intuitive + compelling experience on your website that leads to more inquiries and sales

Feeling unhappy with your current website? Maybe the design feels stagnant and outdated. Or perhaps you’re hardly getting any sales or inquiries via your website. Nutmeg is a web design and development studio specialising in User Experience Design. Discover more about our services and pricing here.

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